It was 1991 and my first Christmas in my new home after my emotionally draining divorce. We lived in a depressed area. My family was 400 km away. I was struggling financially with a small business, helping in the community where I could, while nurturing my four-year-old who had some health challenges.
It is like a marriage. You will fall in and out of love from time to time but you stay devoted to them. You will have periods where you don't talk much, or talk enough. You will lose yourself, you will lose touch. But true friends don't drift away during those lulls. In true friendships you let resentments melt, and find ways to show kindness, you help each other find your path again. Most importantly, you make a time and space to hang out with them for the purpose of simply hanging out with them.
Investing in friendships is part of a finding a healthy balance in life. We care for and enjoy our friends, but sometimes we might forget to think about how we can secure and grow our friendships. Any sort of investment requires some time and thought. Maintaining friendships requires effort, but when we look at the health benefits of friendships, this effort is worth it.
There are a lot of really awful things happening in the world right now. Fear, though an important mechanism for survival, is also something that can stop you from having a real human experience. There ARE good people in this world. You just have to be open to them. As strange as it may sound to you, a professional cuddler specializes in this kind of thing.
With last week's unwelcoming snowfall coming to an end, we're headed for warmer days and patio-ready weather. For the glass is half full type, it's time to prepare for the fun of spring and summer -- hooray! For the glass is half empty type... well, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) doesn't stop at the sight of spring.
The truth is that if you're a people-pleaser, you've been using the people in your life to compensate for something that's been missing within you; you've been focused on getting others to meet a need, rather than on creating real connections. This might explain why you're not as happy as you could be, today.
When people ask what her "secret" is, she laughs, as she honestly cannot believe she is 100. That's a big part of what aging well looks like, too. Of all the lessons my mother leaves those who know her, is her love of living and desire to be here. To be active, to contribute and to live life to the max, regardless of your circumstances.
I hope that we can still be friends, but I understand if it's just too awkward for the next 15 years or so. Perhaps I'm high maintenance, but I feel that a three year old should eat his or her lunch sitting in a chair rather than standing on the kitchen table throwing crackers at another child. I do not believe my son should be hiding in the bathroom for an hour during a play date just to avoid his "friend."
So what's a parent to do when they realize that their child, for whatever reason, is having difficulty making or maintaining friendships? No parent wants to feel that their child is missing out or... being shunned for one reason or another... Yet, this is the reality for too many children who face rejection on a daily basis.
In the spirit of giving thanks, I decided to go public with some of the entries in my gratitude journal. My goal was to compile a list of things that not only myself, but many others can also feel thankful for. As you read this list, try to figure out how many of these blessings you have experienced in your own life.