Kevin and I recently had a much-needed day with friends. At breakfast, we did more than “break our fast” – we also took a break from the draining realities of parenting (yes, our kids are older, but we’re still parents) while reminiscing and talking trash. It was exactly what we needed for a quick recharge.
There’s something wonderfully healing about spending time with friends, talking about everything and … absolutely nothing. Kevin and I need to be more deliberate about this form of selfcare. Usually, we just roll as a twosome, but time with friends offered an opportunity to put aside our worries for a bit. Or, if you’re on the ledge and ready to blow up, it can also offer a no-holds barred venting session where you know that nothing you say will be used against you – or repeated. It’s the comfort of sharing your burdens with someone who loves you enough to help you carry them.
And, let’s be honest: true friends are the best equalizers in the world. They remind you of who you are when you’re feeling low and when your ego gets bigger than the galaxy.
They can hype you up or pull you back down to earth. I’m writing a contemporary romance with paranormal elements and one of my critique partners and besties can pitch my story better than I can because she knows how anxious I get before I pitch. When I am feeling overly confident, though, I know my college roommate will whip out pictures of me going to a formal sophomore year with a guy in a blue plaid suit. Blue. Plaid. Suit. Perfect way to remind me of who I am! (Will she destroy the pictures if I tell her this is a form of bullying???)
With old friends, you are who you are and you can easily click back into the relationship, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve talked or seen each other.
Writing this post made me think a lot about reciprocity: do I give as good as I get? The beautiful thing about true friends is that no one is keeping score.
Old friends witness your growth. New friends spark it. New friends don’t necessarily know your history yet, or your hang ups, but they are just as important to your mental health and wellness. New friends can offer a fresh perspective on the world. I mean, no, I’m not going skydiving with you (dude, why?) but I can appreciate how much you enjoyed it and be excited about your next adventure. It may even encourage me to think up a few adventures of my own.
We ended the day having dinner with new friends. The similarities between the two meals made my soul happy. Fun, laughter, and of course, trash talking. The combination of old and new is the perfect blend for a support system to help you relax, keep you humble, and make you laugh.
How do you maintain your friendships?