Cue the “Friends” theme song! haha
June was all about making time for friends. Before I get into my experience I have to make a confession, I got behind on this month so my experience is still in progress however, I will share my thoughts on the challenges that were placed before me. The challenges that were tackled in the month of June were focused around improving ones friend circle. Side note: if you have not read The Happiness Project buy yourself a copy and read it!
This one is exactly as stated. Remembering your friend’s birthdays. Nowadays Facebook has made it very easy to remember someone’s birthday. It takes very little effort to post on someone’s wall a happy greeting for their special day. Gretchen talks about sending her friends and family an email for their birthdays because she hates talking on the phone and knows she will never do it, so for her an email worked best. I want to take it one step further and send a quick little letter. I LOVE getting snail mail and am extremely touched when I get a letter just out of the blue. To be honest, in 20 years I’m not going to remember the friends who sent me a Facebook post wishing me a happy birthday, while I do enjoy them, but what I will remember is that one friend who went the extra mile to send me a handwritten letter for my birthday.
I really liked Gretchen’s approach to this one because she challenged herself to give generously to friends in ways that utilize her strengths. I would get overwhelmed if I only gave monetarily to my friends. That would be a BIG financial burden. I like giving my time and skills, which could be babysitting, cooking, cleaning, or organizing (to name a few). This one is a constant balancing act for me because I love my family so much that sometimes I turn into a MAJOR homebody and do not even realize it. This one I will have to keep in check.
This one, again, is exactly as it says. Be present in your friendships. Like I mentioned above, I can be a real homebody. Being available for friends, will be another balancing act. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this which is comforting, however, it does not make the struggle less real.
Like most people, I do enjoy talking about other people. (Admitting is the first step to recovery) There is a high that happens when I talk about other people, especially when that person’s circumstances are worse off than mine. I am not going to lie, I sometimes cannot help but think “At least I have not screwed up like so and so.” Ok, let me take a moment to say I am not gossiping all the time. I am not sitting on my porch, sipping a sweet tea, talking to a friend on the phone about what the days gossip is. What I have noticed is my ability to deceive myself in thinking I am not really gossiping I am just “concerned” for this person and I need to share my concern with someone else. What I really need to do is go to the person I am concerned about and share my heart with them. Not gossiping will be tough for me and will always be tough for me. I am constantly growing and changing and maturing and I cannot expect that change to happen over night. For now, I have to take it one day at a time.
MAKE THREE NEW FRIENDS
Making new friends is always a good goal. As I was thinking about my friends, it got me thinking about how many different types of friends I have. Close friends, best friends, church friends, workout friends, the list could go on. After I finished compartmentalizing my friends, I began to think about how I can invest in them. For each grouping, my investment came in different forms. This will be something that, for the rest of my life, I am always shaping and evolving.
This particular chapter came at the perfect time in my life. Lately I have been very internal and extremely focused on my family. After we lost Spark, I let a lot of relationships move to the back burner and I know none of my friends fault me for that. I still get sad. I still cry A LOT when I see other babies or families with more than one child. I still have breakdowns and the worst times. And the fear of losing Bow is greater than ever. BUT…my community of friends, along with family, is what helps make things just a little bit easier and letting them help is the first step. With all that said, friends matter and maintaining those relationships is hard but so well worth it!