What a fabulous day I had.
It’s Saturday. Up at 6am, rain pelting, still dark… hang on, that doesn’t sound like the start of a fabulous day.
But I knew it was going to be.
“Wouldn’t it be great if… the rain got it out of its system now, I got to where I am going and although the sun won’t be shining all day, the rain will abate so my fabulous friend and I can do our 10km walk in the dry” (I always start my morning with a “wouldn’t it be great…” mantra).
So I finished getting ready, left the house at 7 (had a hubby to get a move on too) picked up girlfriend and headed to our local surf club to do the Walk for Women’s Cancer fundraiser – just the 10km walk this year, but we reckon we can do the 20km next year J.
Arrived to a sea of pink – pink t-shirts, pink shorts, pink tutus, pink bras on show, and a whole lot of fun and frivolity. There were friends everywhere. All smiling, laughing and chatting, and ready to go.
I was there with my fabulous friend and we were raring to go. Now, I haven’t seen this friend of mine for quite some time. Busy-ness sometimes – strike that – always seems to get in the way of things, but she still thought of me. She had been invited to do the 20km walk, but since it was her first time she thought, “No, I’ll do the 10km, but I don’t want to do it on my own, so who shall I ask? I know, I’ll call Sam and see if she wants to go.” (She walks at least 10km everyday every day on her own – so why just do another walk on her own). My first reaction was YES, but then I had to check on my schedule and make sure I could make it. A few things were checked, a few calls were made, and voila! I had a free morning, so off to the walk I went.
We started the walk through an arch of pink balloons, amongst the sea of pink, and we were off. And so were our mouths.
My gosh! I don’t think we stopped talking the whole way. We were back at the finish line in just under an hour forty; we didn’t jog like some, but we certainly weren’t dawdling, we had a great steady pace, just like our conversations. It was like we’d only seen each other last week. We had picked up where we last left off; it was wonderful. Of course, we then had to sit and have another hour’s chat to cool down J.
This friend had places to be, so she left, and I thought “right let’s see who’s up for coffee” (decaffeinated of course). A text went out to a new friend and within one minute she’d called me back. “Where are you? Great, I’ll pick you – see you in 6 ½ seconds” (She was very close but it took her closer to 36 ½ seconds J ).
We went to a local shopping mall and gasbagged the whole time – eventually both shutting up long enough to order two coffees (I always order extra hot coz I know I talk so much it goes cold too quick). We went and found a seat and continued to talk and talk and talk. (Hers went cold this time).
My new friend is another like-minded person, so we talked and talked and even though we’ve only known each other for three weeks, we could have been friends for years (and I know we will be).
So I spent half my day with two beautiful women who are wonderful friends. We caught up like we had never been apart, and isn’t that what real friendship is all about?
Friends, real friends, (not your friends on social media – all 3072 of them- honestly who has 3000+ friends?) are needed for your health and your sanity. They hug and hold you when you’re down, they help you up if you fall (after laughing their ass off first), they tell you if you have spinach in your teeth or a booger hanging out your nose, and give you their honest opinion when you ask them “Does my bum look big in this”.
Sure, we have fair-weather friends who are there with us when we need a plus one for a party, or to go shopping, or have our nails done, but what about when the shit hits the fan? You want the friend who’ll put on the raincoat, and cover you up, and help take that shit with you.
Real friends aren’t perfect; they might be late sending you a birthday card, they might still have that book you lent them in 1982, or they may not return your calls in a timely fashion (really is 24 hours too long to wait?). But we shouldn’t care. We’re not perfect either and friends love us anyway, so we should remember that.
But be choosy. Don’t just settle for anybody.
You want friends that listen to you, to your gripes, to your excitement, to your weird ideas and to your dreams. You too, should listen to their opinions – they are the only ones who will be brutally honest with you. Appreciate the fact they have the braved your wrath by questioning your likelihood of running that marathon that’s being run next weekend, and you haven’t even dusted off your runners.
Friends will motivate you. Sure you can’t run that marathon next weekend. But they sure as heck will come and wait at the finish line of the marathon next year. Gee, they might even give you the name of their brother’s best mate who’s a personal trainer to whip you into shape. A true friend will keep you motivated, not by bullying, but by asking you how you’re honestly going and if you need anything.
Friends will celebrate with you – whether you win or lose. You might limp over that finish line, but as far as they’re concerned you’ve come first and need to celebrate. They pop the cork on the Champagne (before you’ve even had time to rehydrate yourself with life preserving water) and whisk you off for a night of fun filled dancing and celebrations… No, maybe not. They take you home, run a bath filled with mineral salts, and while you are soaking your weary bones they make you something nourishing to eat. Then they tuck you up into bed for a night of exhaustion induced sleep.
Friends, true friends, encourage you to be the best you can be, and they are the people you need to keep close to your heart, both for your mind and your health. They keep you honest and grounded. A real friend won’t take your bullshit excuses for not doing what you said you would, but they will sympathise if there really was something that went awry and you couldn’t get it done. Then they’ll help you find a way to get it done. They know you don’t always get it right, but they don’t care, and they’ll be there for you.
So take a close look at those around you, and those you call friends.
Do they bring joy and happiness, love and laughter to your life, and keep you grounded? Yes? That’s fabulous. Keep them all.
If they don’t, if they just aren’t on the same page as you, it’s time to clean house. Having insincere or thoughtless friends in your life doesn’t only make you feel crap, but they have a toxic influence on your health and well-being. As hard as it may be, and as heartless as it may seem, you need to let them go.
For your sanity. For your health.
You need to surround yourself with friends who listen to you, encourage you, support you, challenge you, and celebrate with you.
You deserve it.
Oh, and you know what? The rain held off, we stayed dry just like I asked for. And I saw a beautiful rainbow.
Start Kicking Up Your Heels,