Monday, April 4, 2011

Friendships at 39 and counting...

As I am in the full on "RUMBLE TO 40" (only 7 more months), I've been thinking about friendships a lot lately.

Perhaps it's because I want to do something super fun for my 40th birthday but realized the following:

Many of my close friends would not have the: a) time b) money c) interest to do what I'd like to do for my birthday celebration.

That's when it hit me that I need to do something completely different for my 40th birthday celebration. I plan to celebrate by doing something extra special with my closest friends in small doses THROUGHOUT the year.

It makes perfect sense. With the advent of "friending" as a verb thanks to Facebook - it's time we re-look at what we call friendship and how we go about building and maintaining them.

When I looked at my friendships I realized that I have a healthy, diverse mix of people flowing through my life and I am proud of that. However, this crew does not lend itself for the traditional birthday party/outing of yesteryear because there is no set definition for what my closests friend are anymore...

Some are single.
Some live across the country from me.
Some are a car ride away.
Some are married with many more children than me.
Some are male and single.
Some are newlyweds in their 20s
Some are emptynesters in their 50s/60s

Regardless of where they are in life,  I intentionally reach out to them periodically and make sure they know I love and cherish them. I've been reading a lot lately about how the dynamics of friendships change as you get older and how it is not as easy as it once was.

I just don't buy into that. I make friends as easily now as ever - especially with the communication tools that we have today to keep us connected. Perhaps I'm more selective in whom I invest lots of time in but I find that my goals for friendship have not changed over the years.

My goal for friendship is to connect with other humans and positively impact the lives of many. Of course,  with that comes sharing, caring and all that ups and downs that life brings. Not all people, at all times in our lives are able to share in this type of relationship and that's ok. You move on and find those folks who do.

I am blessed right now to have an eclectic hand full of friends who support me and I have the priviledge to support. My only challenge to all is to look at what you want from friendships as your first step towards getting the most from these relationships. Let's not allow social networks to decide who our friends are or aren't. Let's live intentionally and strive to connect regularly with those who mean the most to us.

So look out, close friends - you will be summoned to celebrate the milestone birthday over the course of the coming year and I promise the celebrations will vary and be plentiful.

Just like all of you...

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