The importance of friendship is immeasurable. As human beings, we need relationship, connections, and support. Although some days we need a little alone time, we really were created for community. Not solitude.
A few months ago, I called my best friend to get caught up on all the life happening in her world. She only had a few moments, because well…life. We get busy with our families; hers happens to be pretty big. We get busy with our jobs, and we don’t always have another five minutes to squeeze out of the day.
Created for Connection
Out of desperation to see and catch up with my friend, my closest confidant, I suggested we meet at 5:45 in the morning to walk the track at the high school before I went to work. Now, let me just follow up the previous sentence with the very big fact that I am in no way a morning person. I despise getting out of bed when my alarm goes off. I have tried over the years to change my sleep patterns, but I think I have just accepted that I am more of a night owl than an early bird. So, you see, my suggestion was out of a sheer desire to connect with my friend.
Another important point to mention is that it is winter here in the Pacific Northwest, and the track faces the north, where we get a frigid northeast breeze straight out of Canada. It is affectionately called the Nor’easter, and when it blows in, it chills you to the bone. Heck, it will even give your spirit a little kiss of its frosty breath.
Alrighty, I’ve set up the scene—my alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. and I cheerfully remind myself why exactly I chose to get up at this ugly hour. We walk and talk for about 40 minutes. I realized how much I miss her, how much her friendship just warms my soul, so when she casually suggests we do this a couple of days a week, I wholeheartedly agree. When my alarm went off two days later, I asked myself, “What the heck were you thinking?” Even though I was so hesitant to get out of bed, the exercise before my day began, coupled with the depth of our conversation, was oh-so-good for my soul. As someone who suffers from depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder), finding something that helps is like finding a magic potion. So, cling to the magic—you bet I did!
We started that first week with two days, the second we upped the ante to three, the fourth week we added more days and another friend. Around the fifth week, we committed to seven days a week. Now, that’s all history because as I write this, it’s the evening of our 85th day. Eighty-five days, y’all! Yes, we took off a couple of days here and there—Christmas day was definitely off—but we are committed and accountable. Not to mention how freaking awesome we are for getting out of bed at 4:45 in the morning to venture out in the rain, cold, and even snow, with our dogs in tow to get our walk in and spend quality time together.
A Worthy Investment
Out of my need for connection, this habit began. I honestly didn’t think that it would become a morning ritual, but I’m thankful it did. Each morning is a precious gift that I get to unwrap. It’s a counseling session, a workout, a walk for our dogs, and even prayer time. Sometimes it’s a deep conversation, sometimes a light one, and other days we are a little quiet, but every time it’s an investment in each other and our friendship.
It may not always be easy to connect with the people we love, so get creative and think outside the box. Heck, let it take on a different shape altogether, but make sure you take time to invest in relationships with those you love. You might even surprise yourself and start a new habit. Whatever you decide to do, it will be worth the sacrifice and investment.
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