I love my friends. Each has a unique gift and each friendship is very different. Some are new friends, some I’ve known forever. Some like to drink wine, some don’t drink at all. Some like to hike, some would rather light themselves on fire (you know who you are, don’t you?) When I list out the things I’m grateful for, my friends are always high up on the list. Enjoying them is a priority. I love you, my friends.
Over the years, I’ve learned to hold on to the healthy friendships and let the others go. I’ve learned that making new friendships is as vital as maintaining old ones. That’s because I think friends are the best medicine. Equally important, when the relationship morphs into something that is one-sided or does not feel healthy, that can be poisonous, and it’s time to let go. Nobody wants poisonous.
When I made the decision to get healthy, I took this health quiz created by Dr. Wayne Andersen to get a starting point, and was surprised by the questions it asked. One question was “How often do you go out and have fun with friends (FWF)? or “How often do you laugh with friends?” The answer options were two times a week (high points for that) or once a month (low points for that) and so forth.
I found myself bartering with the friend-time scale. You know, like this. “If I can count date nights with my husband, and my writing critique group, and meetings with clients, and phone calls…” But, wait. We’re just talking having fun with friends without other agendas. I was coming up shorter than I wanted to. I considered myself a social person with a lot of friends, but in reality, there were holes in my FWF calendar.
Curious where you weigh in? On my website (www.jamieweil.net) under Free Resources you’ll find this health assessment and you can see how healthy you really are. (The results, by the way, are private. Only you see them so go ahead and get a good, honest read on your current health.)
Friendships take time. Everybody’s busy. It takes calendaring meetings to square up dates and sometimes it feels frivolous to calendar FWF time that doesn’t have some ancillary purpose. There already isn’t enough time in the day to get all the “have to-s” done right?
But what if I told you your health depends on it? What if I told you your life would be longer and more full if you did this every week? Would it be worth it?
I think so. Goal for 2013: increase FWF time. Yeah. I feel healthier already.