Monday, July 2, 2012
The Power of Friendship
After a busy weekend, I realized the month has changed yet again. I can hardly believe that we are halfway through 2012. It is amazing how fast time really flies. Before I get on with my post, I would just quickly like to share with you what I was up to this weekend: the Dirty Girl Mud Run. This was the 5K event I was training for and it was a blast! If you have a similar event in your area, I would highly recommend getting a group of girlfriends together and doing it. I am not a "play in the mud" kind of gal, but this was really a fun challenge. Everyone I talked to that participated was in agreement: let's do it again!
If this wasn't fun, would we all be smiling?
I am always excited at the beginning of the month. It is time for me to reflect on how things are going in my life: what is working and what needs some improvement. As part of my Happiness Project, I set three goals in each of three areas and focus on them for a whole month. Many of them become a habit and carry over, but some are just a 30-day goal that I would like to achieve. I am looking forward to my goal-setting later today.
I just finished a fun book called MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche. This book caught my eye when I was searching for some new reading material, so I picked it up from my local library and dove right in. Since we had just moved, I thought it was something that I could relate to. As it turned out, I really enjoyed the book and there is a lot of insight on friendship intertwined with the stories of her "girl dates."
Friendships seem to take a backseat once you become a mom. I have heard many moms say that they don't feel like they have any time to do anything for themselves: it's always for everyone else. If there is one thing I learned from this book, it's that having good friendships is vital for your well-being. You need to make the time to build your social network. I know that after I had my first child and began staying at home, I felt isolated for a long time. When he was about five months old, I began to google mom's groups in my area. I found one that I wanted to try and got up the nerve to go. It wasn't long and we branched off and started our own group. It saved my sanity! Before I knew it, I had weekly playgroups to attend and some occasional nights out. As our family grew, these women helped out by bringing meals when we had a new baby and we began to try activities outside of our group together. We had a lot of fun and always joked that the playgroups were more for us than the kids!
Once we had our third child, though, I began to find it hard to participate in the playgroups as I was balancing two nap schedules and running a child to and from preschool a few days a week. Our youngest son was a challenge when he was a baby (and can be still!) and I spent a lot of time at home alone with the kids again. It was a very difficult time in my life and something needed to change. I ended up heading back to the gym where I met several women through the classes that I took. It was great to have some adult interaction and I always left feeling very happy. I also began to hang out with some moms that I had met through my son's preschool class. It felt so wonderful to connect with these women and it brought my spirits right up.
A few of the ladies I met through my son's preschool class have become dear friends to me. In the beginning it was just a friendship among the moms and kids, but we decided to introduce our husbands after awhile and planned some family events. We all had a wonderful time and would try to get another one in the books before we got too busy with everyday life. It was a good idea to commit to something a month in advance than to try to pull together a last-minute gathering. We miss our little group, but were fortunate to have a few hours together on our trip back over the weekend. I think it is pretty awesome that my son's fondness for two little girls turned into such great friendships for me!
If this book taught me anything, it's that I need to make the time to keep in touch with my "old" friends and meet new people as well. I will by no means be placing an ad to find a new BFF, but I will step out of my comfort zone a bit and take the time to strike up conversations with people who I don't know (or don't know well) and see where life takes us. There are also friendships that I had in my life that have faded that I would love to revisit again. Whatever happens, I will forever be grateful for all of the friendships that I have had over the years. If you really think about it, everyone played a role in who you are today!