Essentialism – Friendship

We had a blast at Disney, but I’m not done getting through all (any) of the photos, so that post will have to wait, but in the meantime ….

This is one of those topics that I don’t really want to talk about, which usually means I should. I am blessed to have some great friends, but having said that, friendship is somewhat hard for me. I frequently feel very out-of-step with my friends. I am one of the only ladies in my friend group who works full time. That means I’m never available for impromptu birthday lunches or tennis drills on a weekday morning. It’s out of sight, out of mind and I frequently end up feeling like an after thought and/or the odd man out. The upside to this is that I feel like I have special sensitivity to people being left out and try to always include others that are on the fringes. They don’t always want to be brought in, but I usually try. Anyhow, all that to say … here’s what I/we say no and yes to in friendship.

What we say NO to:

  • We say not to family friendships that don’t work for our whole family. We used to hang out with a family where the parents got along great, but Ben was constantly being belittled, ignored and mistreated by their son. We tried to address the issue but it didn’t help and eventually just had to be done. We still see the parents occasionally, but we don’t get the boys together. We’ve had this happen with couple friends too – where one of us gets along with one half of the couple but the other doesn’t mesh up. Not that we can’t be friends one on one, just not as a couple.
  • We say no to guilt over not seeing people as often as we’d like. We’re all busy and it doesn’t mean that we like each other any less.
  • We say no to doing things just because everyone else is. If it doesn’t fit in with our personal preferences, lifestyle or finances, we’re out. I’m not talking about the little stuff like restaurant/activity preference –¬†we just won’t majorly compromise our true selves to hang with people. True friends don’t care.
  • Gatherings that are just TOO BIG where you don’t get to see much of anyone because it’s all too overwhelming.

What we say YES to:

  • “Scruffy Hospitality” – the concept that the food, house, etc. don’t have to be Martha Stewart perfect to have people over. We are huge fans of making a pot of soup and saying, “come on over!”
  • Planning ahead … sometimes months in advance just to make sure we stay in touch with people.
  • Including friends in productive time. Good fun can be had paintbrushes in hand and it works both ways – we’re happy to give and receive.
  • Quality over quantity: fewer really good friends as opposed to tons of not so good ones.
  • Friends from all walks and stages of life.