An Important Investment

I had it so easy in high school.  I got to see my friends each and every day. We got to chat on our way to class and eat lunch together five days a week.  Now if I want to meet a friend for lunch it requires at least a month of texting trying to figure out a time that works for both of us, then a location, and if we actually do end up making it work, it's only for an hour, if we're lucky.

At times it feels easier to communicate via text, social media, or phone because it doesn't require much planning.  

As a wife, mother and career woman, I feel like friends are on the bottom of my priority list.  I assume they will always be around, and when our lives settle down, we can get together.  As least that is the story I keep telling myself.  But, that is just a story, not the truth. 

Friendship is a vital part of our lives and shouldn't be neglected. They are the people we choose to share good times with, that we celebrate milestones with, and the people who show up when you face difficult times.    It is crucial that you invest in these relationships, not only to make life more enjoyable but to have a safety net when you need a soft place to fall.

A friend that I hadn't spoken with in months tragically lost her husband.  Despite her family surrounding her, it was her friends she said; that helped her the most.  The friends that surrounded her in her darkest moments, and sat with her during the unbearable nights she couldn't bare to be alone.

Being a female there is something so deeply special about my time with other women.  I know this, because every time I come home after dinner or coffee with a group of women, I feel stronger, more balanced and even happier.  Friendships are sugar for the soul.

If you feel that you are missing out or have neglected friends here are few ideas to rekindle or create friendships.

Make the First Step

Text a few girlfriends and tell them you want to see them.  Please don't make this a group text. Nobody appreciates those. Make the effort to call or text each person individually. Say you miss her and would love to reconnect over drinks, say.. Tuesday.  Set the time and place and hope to see them there.

Do Something Different

Sign up to do an art class at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art.  Most classes meet once a week, and it is a great way to socialize and do something new and fun.  Go see a concert, film or play at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.   Take a stroll downtown, to see the river lights.

Getting out to try something different together is a great way to deepen any relationship.

Invite Someone New

Making a new friend as an adult can feel awkward.  The only way to do it, is by diving in.  If you meet someone at work, or at an exercise class, invite her for coffee or drinks.  Say there is a new coffee place or restaurant you have wanted to try and don't want to go alone.

In an age where we communicate virtually through social media, person-to-person interaction is a welcome breath of fresh air.  

Friendship is something that needs to be cultivated in order to grow. Even if you have been a flakey friend in the past, or have dropped off the radar, it is not too late to get back in the game.  It just takes a little extra effort.  Friends, whether you have one, or ten are important to our health. Make friendship a priority and you make yourself a priority in the process.

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