Wednesday, September 22, 2010

6 Degrees of Girlfriends

I just love my girlfriends! I can honestly say that I have have the best friends anyone could ask for.

One thing that I was struggling with when I was working was having time to spend with my girlfriends. It's one of the things that unfortunately fell to the bottom of the list, because my assumption was, my girlfriends will understand that I don't have enough time. And we all do understand. But, the relationships we have with our girlfriends, are one of the most important things to keeping us happy and healthy.

One of the things on my sabbatical list was to make more of an effort to do things with my girlfriends. It's not that I didn't want to's just that I would often feel guilty chosing to spend time with my friends over spending time with my kids because there just wasn't enough time to go around for everyone. When you don't have the time to spend with your friends though, you forget how great they make you feel, how you can cry at the drop of a hat just by sharing a story, or how quickly you can laugh so hard that you cry (when was the last time you did that?). You also realize it makes you a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend when you have those moments with your girlfriends.

And you have all different types of relationships with your girlfriends. There are those you talk to all the time, those you call when you really need to talk, and those you call when you just want to have a little fun. There are those you don't talk to for months or even a year, but when you do finally reconnect there aren't any hard feelings and it feels like just yesterday that you talked. And there is nothing wrong with having different relationships with your girlfriends. I recently made peace with the fact that some friends are never going to give me what I am looking for in a relationship. There are some friends I wanted more from and found myself perpetually disappointed because I didn't get what I was looking for. It hit me one day that it was okay to have a different type of relationship. That I could stop being disappointed by what I wasn't getting and just focus on what I was getting out of that friendship. Maybe I am the last one to realize this, but for me this was a big revelation.

In the last few months I have had a great time with my girlfriends. We have walked (and with some I have walked a marathon!), we have shopped, we have had coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and drinks (but not with breakfast...yet). We have talked about Dancing with the Stars and the Hoff, current events (and came to the conclusion that people are crazy), hollywood gossip, and local gossip. We have shared what is going on with our jobs, our families, and our plans for the future. We have cried over losses, supported each other through crisis', and checked in on each other when we have been sick or just feeling down. You have been a great sounding board for my thoughts on my future career plans and we've talked about our hopes to simplify our lives and find more meaning in what we do and the choices we make. We have emailed, texted, called, and caught up in person. We have gone to Boston, we've gone camping, we've danced, we've gone to the beach (and we have danced at the beach). We went to the Cape, Nantucket, and just stayed at home. We've planned trips, gone out to dinner in an impromptu moment, and even shown up one another's house unannounced with a bottle of wine. No matter what we talk about, whether our moment is planned or unplanned, no matter what we are wearing or what we look like, I have enjoyed every single second with each of you.

I recently got together with my friend Lynne who was visiting from North Carolina. I am always impressed with her trips "home". She truly makes every trip about seeing her friends and family. She was busy morning, noon, and night reconnecting with all her friends. I think because she is separated geographically and really misses her personal connections, she makes such an effort to see everyone. I can't imagine it is a relaxing trip for her because she is constantly on the go, but I know that she leaves here extremely happy. She has gained the understanding that girlfriends are what keep her going, and that these personal connections are key to being happy.

Tomorrow I am heading out on a girl's weekend with my great friend Beth. She is the one who introduced Timothy and I and for that I will be eternally grateful. We have known each other since college (she has known Tim since they were about 5!), have been in each other's weddings, and boy, do we have all kinds of stories!! We have similar interests and don't even need to talk...sometimes one of us will just look at the other and we immediately know what the other is thinking. Yet we have never gone on a girl's weekend together...just the two of us! We are headed to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio...and it just so happens that the town is celebrating Octoberfest. Steins o' beer, sauercraut balls and schnitzel, oh my! I know we will laugh a ton, share all kinds of stories, and yes, even learn something new about each other...we always do.

When I get back to "my real life" (which is rapidly approaching), I know I need to continue to make my friends a priority and find the time, even if it is just for a few minutes. I hope this post makes you think of the friends you want to reconnect with, inspires you to reach out and make plans or just drop by or call, and reminds you to take a few minutes to spend time with your girlfriends who make you so happy.

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