make time for friends…and yourself

Yesterday I was blessed with an unplanned girls’ day with one of my oldest friends. What started out as a planned day to accomplish a list of items turned out to be a an afternoon of leisure, laughter, and spontaneity.

My friend Sasha has been going through an emotionally draining period in her life. Not only does she have to deal with empty nest syndrome she has to deal with the alienation of her youngest child and her first and only grandchildren. It’s a sad situation.

So, Sasha agreed to ride along on a 2 hour drive so I could take care of some business. I was finished several hours sooner that I planned, so we decided to just hang out and take the time to catch up. This was long overdue. We have gone through a lot as friends, and as individuals, but through it all we have remained the best of friends.

We are finding ourselves in a new chapter of parenthood where are children no longer need us as much….possibly they don’t need us as much as we need them. I’m blessed because I still have a little one at home although she is reaching the teen years where inevitably I won’t get as much mommy-daughter time. This is a huge adjustment when you have spent 18+ years putting the majority of your time and energy into raising a child. When the priorities shift and the child is no longer the main focus you can feel a little lost. How do you transition from waking up each morning with a routine that consist mostly of taking care of the needs of your child, to waking up and only having yourself to think about. It sounds like heaven but when your heart, your world, revolves around being a parent and it is suddenly gone, there is a grieving period.

I guess the trip was part of her grieving process. When I asked her if she wanted to ride with me her response was “yes! I have nothing keeping me at home” so off we went.

We had lunch at a restaurant she had not been to but had always wanted to try. I didn’t know it when I suggested it so it was a win-win for both of us. As we drove up she saw a specialty popcorn store and squealed like a teenager at a concert. After lunch we did a little shopping at a few boutiques that we can’t find at home then we stopped at the popcorn store.

The popcorn store was an adventure in itself. Over 100 flavors of popcorn and she sampled almost all of them. The interaction with the sales clerk was hilarious and we walked out of there with a dozen bags of flavored popcorn and worth every dollar we spent. It’s these free-spirited moments that add dimensions to a friendship.

The drive back was filled with a variety of conversation. We reminisced, we laughed a lot, and we even spent time talking about business ventures we would like to invest in. And when I dropped her off at home she hugged me and thanked me for being her best friend. She made me promise we would have another girls day soon.

I am finally realizing how important it is to take time for friends, and for myself. So, now I have girls’ trips with my little one to plan, and a girls’ day for my friends to make time for too.

I will say over and over again…life is short. We HAVE to take time for ourselves, our families, but also our friends.

Best friends are the angels God sends us to support us while we are on this earth.

God bless, and be blessed.

 

 

 

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