The older I get, the more I realize the importance of having strong bonds with my friends and family– MY PEOPLE. When I reach for the phone, I know there will be someone on the other line willing to chat, whether I’m having a really good day or a really bad day. The older I get, the more I realize how often I turn to my people for support, advice, and encouragement.
As a child, it was SO easy to find and make friends. Elementary and high schools are bombarded with children of the same age and location, making it super easy to find humans to befriend. Connections were formed because you had the same favorite colored pencil and liked Lisa Frank. In high school, we drove around with friends, landing at Flandrau beach in the summer, and hosting basement movie parties praising Zac Efron in all his teenage glory. We lived in the moment without worrying about adult things yet. In college, education and part-time jobs were still delicately balanced with an adequate social life. We met people, went to parties, and bonded over the amount of beers we could shotgun or shots we could take.
BUT THEN CAME ADULTHOOD.
Adults are super weird. We think about fancy adult responsibilities and money and work and so on. We get caught up in our boring day to day lives. It’s easy to let friendships dwindle… especially those elementary & childhood friendships formed out of pure convenience. We don’t often work at creating new friendships either, because that takes a lot of time and effort. Instead, we focus on maintaining the friendships we’ve already formed. Planning and dedicating time in that oh-so-busy schedule takes work.
I’m often not home. I work a lot, travel a lot, and generally stay very busy. My housework is usually one of the last things to get crossed off my to-do list because I value my relationships and job more than I value a clean house. As a funeral director, my friends deal with my hectic schedule so gracefully. They’d be rich if they got a dime every time I say “I can’t, I’m on call.”
Truthfully, it really doesn’t matter how often we see our friends IRL, we just pick up right where we left off! Those are the best kinds of friends. Social media is a great tool for keeping in contact with our people, but nothing truly beats that real life face time.
Today, my high school bestie Tanya and I did our 5th annual Color Run with our moms at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. FIVE YEARS. We started this annual tradition while we were Sophomores in college. We didn’t see each other often throughout college, but we always dedicated time on this day every year to hang out and have a fun girls day with the Mommas– visiting new restaurants or wineries afterward. Plus, who doesn’t love looking like a unicorn turd?! There’s something so childish and fun about getting blasted in the face by colorful cornstarch and sneezing rainbows!
Traditions are important because they cement the existing bond we have with our people. Making memories with our loved ones is what life is about! What sort of non-traditional annual gatherings do you do with your people?
Off to take my rainbow colored shower and become human…