Don’t you hate having to do something? I do. Going out because it’s required, even to a nice restaurant where I can order what I want and not have to clean it up, pay for it or do more than listen to someone talk about a topic I have a vague interest in, torturous.

At my age, I get tons of solicitations to attend a Free Dinner! All those nice people want is an hour of my time to hear about Valuable Information concerning money or retirement or how to get more benefits from the government. Every single one of those colorful, splashy, yummy looking steak pictures go right in the trash.

Not doing it.

Mostly because they all say a few magic words: You Must Do This!

In a pig’s eye.

Rather stay home, wearing house shoes, comfy sweater and flannel pants, drinking hot tea and eating cheese and crackers.

The old obligation thing. Talking about money, getting money, benefits, how to enjoy retirement, all good topics. But being obligated to listen? No worth the effort.

If my best friend called me and suggested dinner (or more likely lunch) out and we started talking about any of those topics, I’d love it. My friend’s company matters.

Everyone who knows me, has been to my house, knows I am not a great housekeeper. And my cooking? No one has ever died of eating what I prepare. My husband loves my beef stroganoff while kids and grandkids brag about a couple of my favorites to make. I enjoy having friends come, eat together, tell crazy stories.

But.

If I had to have people come and do those same things because of social obligations, the dread of the whole massive undertaking weighs a thousand tons. I feel a slight queasiness coming on just thinking about it.

So what the difference? The actual work load is the same, sometimes less with an obligation. I will work hard for weeks, months, doing something for love that I will not spend more than a few minutes for if it’s an obligation.

The difference is me.

When I love the action or the person, I will do everything I can, enjoying the moment, anticipating the event, replaying the best of it in my mind, ready to do it all again.

Could it be the love of the action itself or the person involved (besides me) spurs the warm, the delight, the pleasure.

The pleasure of being with or delighting in that other over-rides the onus of labor, creating more love, more fascination, contentment than I can achieve alone.

I act not because I must but because I love.

Hmm. Thinking about that.