I love being with my family; my husband, the kids, our siblings,,,,,,we have a great time when together and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and that’s a lucky thing cause you can’t pick your family, so it’s a bonus that we get along. You can, however, pick your friends and if you’re anything like me you surround yourself with people who share your interests and like a good time.
My girlfriends and I share a variety of activities. I have one friend with whom I hike exclusively because she’s the only one willing to do it with me. It’s our common bond and I would no sooner ask her to go to a movie (she hates them) any more she’d ask me to go camping (hell would indeed have to freeze over) We both know our likes and dislikes and neither pushes the other out of their comfort zone.
Another friend is my shopping buddy. (actually I have a couple for this category in the event of an emergency) We thrive on browsing the shops and make it a weekly occurrence. (much to my husbands chagrin) We give honest constructive opinions on what is being considered for purchase, trusting the unbiased judgement of the other, and we sincerely celebrate each other’s big win. (there’s nothing like a steal of a deal to make your shopping trip!) Shopping is always fortified with a nice lunch somewhere and most of our time is spent laughing. (I actually have a couple of friends who hate shopping and I honestly don’t understand it….they have to be missing a chromosome or something. It’s just not normal, but I’m very fond of them so I’ve decided to overlook this massive flaw to their character)
Other friends are travel buddies. We are comfortable on extended road trips or annual vacations and neither cramps the others style. We do our own thing throughout the day and meet for dinner and evening activities, recapping our events. It’s not too much and not too little time together, rather we respect each other’s need for space.
Then there’s out regular goto friends. They’re like the comfortable old shoes, familiar, easy, and they are always available in a pinch – you can count on these friends. They demand nothing of us and both parties are ok with long periods of silence. We can get together for causal impromptu meals or a last minute card game. There’s no pressure. You’re either free to get together or not and there’s no hard feelings either way because we all know if today doesn’t work, tomorrow will, and that’s ok.
We all have the friends we’ve known since childhood and while our lives have gone in different directions we occasionally cross paths, picking up where we left off, as though we’d never been apart. I love those friendships. There’s something deep and intentional about their existence in our lives, like there’s a history that can’t be overridden by another. It’s a friendship that feels good despite the lapses and there’s no expectations of more than each can offer.
And finally, there’s our casual acquaintances. They are the people we meet unexpectedly, in social situations and immediately hit it off. You don’t necessarily make plans to meet regularly but know that you are likely to meet again through mutual acquaintances or at common events, and you look forward to seeing them again and again because it’s new and fresh and exciting.
All my girlfriends are unique in what they bring to my life yet I know I could never bring all of them together because their only common bond is me. The hiker would hate the shopper who’d hate the comfortable old shoes who’d feel threatened by the childhood friend who’d hate the new and exciting friend because each represents an aspect of their own personality that takes them out of their comfort zone….and yet it’s that very element, that one aspect of their personality, that has endeared them to me. A day with my lady friends is always rejuvenating. We confide in each other, support each other, never judge, and always ALWAYS laugh, A LOT!
Family is the staple provided to us for stability, structure, moral values, and unconditional love. They are our life long teachers. They challenge and support us and each family members presence in our lives serves a purpose, even if you don’t get along. Families aren’t always easy but they are our constant; the foundation upon which we root and grow, and not a day goes by where I don’t thank God for my family.
Friends, on the other hand, are the gift we give to ourselves so we can be a little more selective about their temperament. Choose them wisely. No diva’s, no drama, no jealousy, just honest sincere friendship….and a really good sense of humour!
Long live ladies night!