No serious or contemplative posts today.
Today, despite the freezing cold here in Melbourne (spring, where are you, please come soon) I feel like I am bathed in warmth.
And I want to share the love.
I am in the middle of what has, quite by accident, turned out to be a fabulous two weeks of “girl time” – catching up with my girly mates.
Sometimes it has been via email – especially those that live interstate. (Hello Gibbo).
Mostly it has been through personal catchups. I’ve had a supper date (consumed yummy espresso martinis) and a movie and shopping date (saw Bad Teacher – a fun chick flick although not, I hear, in the league of Bridesmaids ).
I’ve had dinner and champers surrounded by screaming kids (ours); and this weekend I have booked in a Saturday afternoon rendezvous, as well as a Sunday lunch. Both very likely to involve champagne.
Then there’s the girls weekend away arranged this week to take place in September. And talk of an international girls holiday next year.
All of this makes me feel incredibly happy. None the least because I have finally admitted to myself that catching up with friends is my hobby. I no longer care if it can in fact be properly classified as a “hobby” – but hey, I put as much time, effort and dollars into this past-time as Chris does kite surfing.
And I get the same joy from the experience he seems to get from flying through the air over waves. And my hair doesn’t look as bad when I finish.
So what I am wondering this week is why does spending time with my friends mean so much to me and make me feel so happy? And is it just me – or does everyone else get the same kick out of spending time with the girls?
Naturally I did a little research into this question.
Dr Timothy Sharp in his “Happiness Handbook” says
“If you want to be happy, be loved: and if you want to be loved, love and be loveable”.
Spending time with the girls fits into that category for me.
Dr Sharp goes onto say all good relationships need SUPPORT:
S = strengths
U = unconditional love
P = praise
P = positivity
O = openness
R = respect
T = trust
Again, for me a good friendship ticks all those boxes. Although I would also add – humour. You need to be able to have a laugh with your friends. And sometimes a cry.
As I was doing my research, I also discovered that this week – 7th August – was International Friendship Day. Perhaps on some subconscious level I knew this, which is why my friendship cup has runneth over this last two weeks.
The website for Friendship day also lists some memorable quotes about friends. Here are some I liked:-
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway.
We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need.
Your friends will know you better in the first minute they meet you than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
Friends are good for our health according to Dr Google. One article explained “When we’re with friends, we talk, we laugh, we’re active, we hug. All of these can increase endorphin and serotonin production and lower blood pressure, encouraging better health and longevity,”.
The same article I sourced this quote from went onto to recount “another study” which set out the benefits to our health of friendships:-
“Researchers found that among women with breast cancer, those with a large circle of friends were four times less likely to die of the disease than patients without close mates.”
And now that we know how important friendships are to our health and general happiness, I thought we could use some suggestions for keeping those friendships going strong.
All of this research has simply cemented for me what I already knew.
Friends are important to me for many reasons and the pleasure I gain from spending time with them is immeasurable. My friends make me happy, my friends make me laugh, my friends remind me of who I am and what is important in life.
And my friends listen when I bitch and moan – particularly about the husband failing “Husband 101” yet again.
Thank you to all my friends out there.
As an old friend used to say,
“Shine on you, crazy diamonds”.
Cin Cin to that,