Amazing how our moods can change when surrounded by friends.
The other day…. feeling blah. Invited friends over for games night……feeling happy, giggly, excited and just downright joyful.
The next day….feeling blah. Moody teenagers got the best of me, couldn’t go to family celebrations because some of the kids were sick, and nothing much to do, blah. Invited friends over for dinner……feeling loved, happy, fun, and useful.
Yesterday….feeling okay. My sister in law wanted to get together so we decided to take our broods for a hike by the river. The sunshine and exercise were so great and we all had a great day. The kids all love to play together and having happy kids makes happy moms. Playdates are so great.
Today….feeling okay. Texted a friend to see if she wanted to get the kids together at a park or go for a walk. We chose to walk and ended up in the rain but we had such great conversation and we were both sweating by the end and left feeling blessed. Blessed by good conversations, support and fun. We will both have great endorphins flowing through our bodies the rest of the day and feel happy.
Feeling blah? Try changing that with people!
Doesn’t have to be a big deal. Now some people would think that inviting over two girlfriends for dinner would be a big deal that would take planning, cleaning, and picking a date. All I did was send a text. “Want to come for dinner?” That was at 4pm. Dinner is at 5. We ate a simple meal and added a watermelon and one friend brought a fruit salad so there was more than enough food for our 16 kids and four adults. Everyone played all over the house and outdoors and we spent a few minutes cleaning after but the effort is so worth what we get out of it. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses or spend so much time worrying about how clean your house is. If they bring kids, they will understand and probably make it messy anyways!
So many people in this world feel yucky. Yucky can be different each day; depressed, sad, tired, bored, lonely, unloved. The best way to help yourself out of the yucky spot is to surround yourself with your circle. Your friends don’t know when you’re feeling yucky. Everyone is busy and possibly having their own yucky day. When you gather, your natural happy hormones (endorphins) will kick start. You start to smile, you gain energy, you laugh, you talk, you get out the yucky thoughts or you just take a break from worrying about them.
Many people reading this will say, “But I don’t have a circle!” YOU need to make one. I don’t have a circle because people just want to circle around and hang out. I put effort into keeping my circle. I reach out. I call. I text. I send cards. I hug. I help babysit their kids. I offer help. I make meals. There is so much that I do to keep my circle strong. I support and love others and in turn they support and love me back.
Last week when I got some bad news and had a funeral, one of my friends dropped by and brought me a lovely plant to cheer my day and stayed for a quick visit. Another friend called and chatted to help me vent and deal with my sadness.
People say marriage is work. Gardens are work too. Both need tending, weeding out the bad stuff, watering with love and tender care and protection. Friendships are the same if not more work. Your friends don’t often live under the same roof as you do unlike your family. It’s easier to kiss my husband and tell him I love him everyday but my friends could go weeks or months without feeling appreciated if I don’t pay attention. We are all busy. If you want to keep your circle (and we all need a circle), you need to carve time for those who you want in it.
If you truly have not one single friend in your circle, I encourage you to start planning to find one this week. Go through your Facebook friends list and see if there are any actual friends on your list who you could start adding to your circle in real life. Is there anyone you can message and meet with? Anyone you can call or text and ask how they are doing? Anyone you can go out for coffee with? Sounds silly but get a paper out and make a plan to grow your circle. If you don’t have contacts, make a plan to go places where you can meet with people with similar interests. Church, mom’s groups, art class, there are so many events where you can meet people.
I am so thankful for my amazing circle of friends and the people I have surrounded myself with. I truly hope that this helps anyone feeling lonely to reach out and start working on building a circle that can be there to support and love in times of sadness. No excuses like you’re too busy. If this mom of 9 and grandmother of 3 can make time for friends so can you!