Hello, lovely you!
It’s been below 20 degrees here lately, and another storm is heading our way . I cannot believe the frigid temps we have been having across the country. My heart goes out to my Kentucky and Texas friends. Where is global warming when you need it?!
I haven’t been leaving my house often, for obvious reasons. But I actually had a friend over to my house for the first time in a year. Heather is a cancer thriver, and we met when she came to my house to help me design my new build-out in the attic. She helped me with architectural design, and I helped her with cancer coaching. It has been an amazing journey for both of us.
Heather arrived at my house last week to offer some advice about how I can safely put in a wall gas fireplace. I took down the chimney during the construction and I really miss my fireplace this winter.What a really good friend to come over to my house in this nasty cold weather. It was wonderful to see her mask and all! I can’t wait for better weather and COVID to be behind us so that I can enjoy dinner on the deck with Heather and her husband.
Look at Heather’s magnificent design!! This was a tiny attic space with one little window where I would look out and dream of building a beautiful sanctuary with a magical view of downtown Boston and the ocean one day.
The builders finished March 2020, just as we went into COVID lockdown. I can’t tell you how grateful I am every day to be working and writing out of this magnificent space. I can’t thank you enough, Heather, for your exceptional talent and patience with me during this build-out.
A special thank you to my Dave for his support and love during this venture. I don’t think we will ever go through construction again while living and working at home. We slept on the floor and lived in one heck of a mess for months. Little did I know this dust mask was preparing me for COVID masks!! I kept reminding myself that this mess and craziness is only temporary and it will be well worth it in the end, and it sure is.
Friendships are an incredibly important part of life. When we’re young, our friends are THE MOST important people in our lives. As we age, it becomes clear that our friends are a source of comfort and encouragement, helping us to get through some of the biggest challenges we’ll ever face.
But what sometimes happens to many of us is, we get so busy with our careers and raising our families, that many of our friendships fall by the wayside. Or maybe we move or our friends move away from us… and at a certain point we take stock of our friendships and realize we don’t have the connections we once did.
There is an old proverb I love that say, “Friends are flowers in the garden of life.” Friendships don’t just happen to us; we must tend to them as we do a garden.
Here are some ways you can strike up new friendships and build (grow) stronger friendships in the new year:
Depending on your age and place in life, you may only have so much time and energy to give to making true and lasting connections. For this reason, be sure that the people you choose to surround yourself with are worth your time and effort. By that I mean, make very certain these people aren’t toxic, be sure they will support your beautiful self and elevate your life, not bring you down. You must kindly ditch the ones that drain you and criticize your way of thinking or your lifestyle. These people are not healthy for you to be around.
We’re all so busy multitasking most of the time that when we do sit down with our friends, we’re still multitasking without maybe even knowing it. Sure, we’re eating together but how many of us have our phones just inches from us, looking at it anytime it beeps, chimes or vibrates?
If you want a real connection with another human being, you’re going to have to give that human being your full attention. When they speak, listen, really listen. And expect the same from them. I know I could do a lot better with this one!!
Don’t Micromanage Your Friends’ Lives
When we’re young, we have a tendency to push our opinions, wants, needs and beliefs onto our friends. We offer advice at every turn whether they’ve asked for it or not.
Now that we’re older, it’s time to take a step back and realize that our friend’s life is THEIR life. If they ask for help or advice and you can offer it, by all means do. But don’t give advice when it’s not asked for and don’t try and fix all of your friend’s problems. Their life is their journey just as your life is yours. Enjoy each other, but don’t try and control each other.
Social media has made human beings act, well… not so authentically. So many of us do our best every day to make the world think our lives are perfect… flawless. But that’s simply not the truth. We’ve all become so afraid of being our true selves these days it is genuinely sad and frightening.
Don’t make the same mistake in your offline world. If you are looking for true connections then you need to have the courage to present your true, authentic self. Facades eventually fall and what are you left with? Confusion and hurt feelings. Just be your awesome self.
Make Time for Your Friendships
It’s far too easy for us to get so busy we have no time for our friends. I have had times in my life where I actually had to schedule an appointment just to have a phone call with a friend. It was so easy and effortless when we were in our teens and 20s to get together with friends and share your so much quality time. But we age and life demands more from us.
Don’t let this happen. Be sure to make time for your friends. Make plans and stick to them. Even when you’re busy, send your friend a text or email to let them know you’re thinking of them.
I just reached out to a long lost friend of mine from 30 years ago, and she was so delighted to hear from me. She said we must never lose contact again. Wow, did that feel good.
Express Your Gratitude
Your friends need to know that you value them. Show them you value them and their time. Celebrate them and your friendship. Never take it for granted. I have taken friendships for granted in my life, and now some of those friends are gone. Do what you can to show your “real” friends how much they mean to you.
Life would be sad, lonely and DULL if we didn’t have friends. If you are longing for new connections, or to reconnect with old friends, follow these tips.
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