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March 11, 2012

Weekend Awareness: Friendship

I just finished reading a great book, recommended by Marcia, "MWF Seeking BFF".

A memoir of sorts, it chronicles Rachel Bertsche, a late-twenty-something newlywed who recently relocated to Chicago. She has best friends in New York, where she grew up, and she has plenty of acquaintances in Chicago...but she feels a palpable void without a local BFF. She details a year filled with 52 "girl dates", on which she meets lots of new people and learns a lot about friendship, and herself.

In the book, Bertsche presents some interesting research about the science and psychology of friendship. Between reading her book, and following Marcia's weekly posts on friendship, I've been thinking quite a bit about my relationships.

I consider myself to have three BFFs, two local, and one from home.

Since the girls were born, I'm so thankful to have made some wonderful "mommy" friends. (They're much more than that, but I characterize them as such, as we met after our kiddos were born.)

I have quite a few good friends that I don't see as often, but we could easily fill a three-hour lunch without taking a breath.

And I have met some wonderful friends through blogging, too, many of whom I'll probably never meet for lunch, but ones who definitely make my short list.

I consider myself to be very blessed with some wonderful friends, and this week, I'm reminding myself to be AWARE of these friendships, to appreciate them. Maintaining a friendship takes effort, particularly as geography separates us and our busy lives can easily consume us.

I got a belated birthday card from a very sweet friend from high school this week. In the several years since we graduated (ahem), I don't think she's once missed sending a birthday card. In all those years, I've only seen her a handful of times, but she never fails to deliver a hand-written card, catching me up-to-date on what's going on in her life.

I generally do a pretty good job with birthday cards, but it's something I'm going to make a greater effort with this year.

To this end, I've just gone through my Christmas card list, cross-referencing against Facebook (employing the wonders of modern technology and social networking!) to enter my friends' birthdays in my calendar.

It's one small way to show my friends - near and far - my appreciation.


championm2000 said...

I am SO bad at maintaining my friendships! I think it's great that you have made this an area of your life for more awareness. It's not easy as a busy mom.

Will be checking out this book...(I also don't do well with keeping up with personal reading)

cat said...

I have to say that I need to get my friendship groove back

Anonymous said...

you read this too?? i just finished last night.

...wonder if we should have our own little book club? :)

i'm not sure i can be as overt as rachel about it, but i'm definitely trying to TALK to people more and to be friendlier. the thing is: i have such limited spare time right now that if i do have some free time come up, i want to spend it with the kiddos or with B. :( maybe that makes me a loser?

Barbara Manatee said...

Oh how I want a good balance to my friendships, too! Over the past 5-10 years, friendships have shifted so much...some grown stronger, some slipped away. I wish I could hold onto all of them with all my heart. Trying to keep hold of the ones that mean the most...

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I know what happened!!!! I read, tried to comment and the computer froze.

But apparently in my head, if I mentally write the comment, it's here too LOL

LOVE that you've read the book (to April, yes, we need to start a book club :).

It definitely takes effort to maintain a friendship which is why I think over a certain number you can't have everyone in the "inner circle" and that's okay.

Like you, I'm very conscientious (!!!) about maintaining regular contact with birthday cards and so on (my friend spreadsheet helps too) but for me there's nothing quite like seeing, touching and hearing someone LIVE in person. LOL

PS keep challenging me on this subject too!