Making Friendships Matter


http://www.cherylrichardson.com/

"My friends are my estate."

--Emily Dickinson


~*~ Topic of the Week - Making Friendships Matter ~*~

Two months ago, as part of a decision to create more support in our lives,
my best friend Max and I agreed to start meeting for dinner once a week.
Like many friends, our lives would often get so busy that our
well-intentioned plans to see each other more would end up relegated to an
occasional long phone conversation just to catch up. As we've gotten
older (and wiser), we've both decided that we want more.

After making the decision to meet, we first chose a town that was located
mid-way between our homes (we live almost an hour from each other). Then,
we decided to vary the day and time during the week to accommodate our
changing schedules since we're both self-employed. We've made it fun by
trying a different restaurant each week. What started out as a
girlfriend's get-together has turned into an important commitment that we
both value and cherish -- every single week.

During dinner we talk about anything and everything -- beauty, aging, the
stock market, what's currently driving us crazy, or the plans we have for
our businesses and our future. We laugh like crazy and also offer each
other heartfelt guidance by listening carefully and providing feedback
about the personal things that challenge our daily lives. We also discuss
practical things -- technology tricks and shortcuts, recently found
resources in the form of products or services, and our favorite movie
picks from Netflix (I especially love this part :)

After two months of holding our dinner dates as sacred, here's what I've
learned:

~*~ While email and phone calls keep people connected, nothing replaces
the richness of face-to-face time. Nothing.

~*~ The more you meet, the closer you feel, and the more motivated you
are to make your friendship a priority.

~*~ As close as two friends might be, there's a missed opportunity for so
much more when you don't meet regularly.

~*~ The more you put into a friendship, the more you get out.

~*~ Seeing a good friend on a regular basis wraps you in a feeling of
closeness and belonging that stays with you long after the dinner has
ended.

Most important, my weekly meeting with Max has shown me that there's
something magical that happens when two people get together with the
expressed intention to support each other. During each meal we've both
had the experience of tapping into a collective pool of wisdom and insight
that takes our lives to a whole new level -- a place that we couldn't have
accessed on our own.

Finally, the commitment to invest in this friendship has also taught me
once again about the importance of putting action behind my words. If I
say I care about you and that our relationship matters, then I need to
back up that statement with action. Finding a way to make a regular date
in a busy schedule is a small price to pay for the one thing that will
matter most when we come to the end of our lives -- our precious
relationships. I hope my experience inspires you to call a good friend
this week to add a new level of richness to your life, too. There's
nothing like it in the world . . .


~*~ Take Action Challenge ~*~

This week, take the time to invest in a friendship that matters to you.
Call and have a conversation about how you'll see each other more.
Schedule time in your calendar to meet regularly over three months instead
of only scheduling one visit. Then, do what you have to to make it work.
You'll be surprised by how quickly you wonder why you hadn't done it long
ago.


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