I started the morning feeling completely drained and totally alone. Two hours later, I am not only still alive but writing, with a smile. That is the power of friendship. My gift to self today: valuing my friendships by trusting them and sharing our energies, wanting good for both of us. It started at 8 a.m. with a meeting with my business partner, the legal term for a relationship so simple yet too complex for either of us to describe. I had to look him in the eye and tell him what I shared with all of you 11 days ago; that there would be no book launch this month, maybe not next month either. That we would have the book in hand when the lilacs bloomed was a promise I had made to the both of us. The lilacs blossomed in full force overnight, but it seemed we were now both too exhausted and distracted to do a new book justice. I burst into tears. He handed me the tissues. “We don’t need a book to smell the lilacs,” he said, holding my teary gaze, “and you know, they’ll bloom next year, too.” In that moment he was a pure friend, and I wouldn’t trade that feeling of being valued and connected for a bestseller. OK, maybe the New York Times list … But the point is, we both admitted to our overload, discovered we were on the same page, and made a plan to move forward that didn’t hasten the drain on both of us. That gift will see us both through the next several months of chaos and transition that is the current reality of our lives.
It didn’t stop there. I called another trusted friend and shared my experience. She added her wisdom, of which she has much. Yes, it may feel like a failure to miss a deadline, but pushing through for an arbitrary date is useless if you sacrifice yourself in the process. “You know, they bloom every year,” she added. The more I repeated it, the more real it became. Then she was also able to share. The weekend she had said was “interesting” and “good” was fleshed out with such traumatic details as food poisoning, car trouble, and bidding a final goodbye to a dear lady who meant the world to her. We trusted each other to share the downs, knowing we have enough believe in the ups that we won’t get stuck in the lowlands.
I don’t spend near enough time visiting, talking to, or even thinking about my friends. Starting today, I will do that, at least one friend a day, even if only in prayer. There is so much joy in friends, and they are so easily taken for granted. We make time for work, for family, and for people who need us for specific things: when sick, grieving a loss, down on their luck or overwhelmed by chores. It’s time to make time for friends not because we need them (because we always do!) but because we want them to have a good day, to have some fun, to know that they are appreciated. The energy generated for everyone is more healing than any medicine.
Thanks for listening. See you tomorrow.