Isn’t that the truth? I believe this every day and last night the thought was reinforced yet again. In a big way.
I had had a very long and busy week and wanted nothing more than to get in my jammies, watch endless episodes of “Downton Abbey” on Neflix, and call it a week. But, I had somewhere I needed to be: a get together with a group of ladies who I’d done bible study with for more than 10 years starting some 20 years ago. Yes, 20 years ago!
We’d long stopped getting together to live by the name we gave ourselves: LIPS: Ladies in Prayer and Service and monthly Saturday breakfasts had become our norm. Being a woman who loves nothing more than sleeping in on Saturday mornings, I rarely made the breakfasts so when an evening gathering of wine and apps was quickly thrown together I knew I was in even though I was exhausted. It was a decision well made.
I just this week wrote about “The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin saying strong relationships are the keys to true happiness and that if given two options, always choose the one that involves others. Suddenly I had to practice what I wrote so off I went to Kelli’s gorgeous home in the hill country.
I had not seen many of the ladies for months but we all quickly caught up and enjoyed a fabulous night of laughter and love. The women, each and every one of them, truly amaze me. When we started our group years back, we had small children, were figuring out our lives, and praying for guidance and understanding. Today, we are strong, accomplished women who are watching our parents age and pass away, stressing over college-age kids, sharing stories of grandkids, downsizing our empty nests, travelling the world, dealing with health issues, and going back to school to get master’s degrees and become respected and award-winning college professors. The babies some of us had while starting our group are now grown and the struggles we now have were all shared and supported. Did I mention I got home past midnight?!
It wasn’t the first night I was out way past by bedtime on a “school night” the past few days. Earlier in the week I was home at midnight, again for my new prayer group. What a wonderful women they are as well and how lucky I am to have them in my life.
How am I so blessed with such great women in my life? What I love so much is that the women in my life believe in me. They respect me. They think I’m funny and they think I’m smart. They also know I’m not perfect and that my life isn’t either. Still, they love me.
Four such fabulous friends are the ones I will take my annual girls trip with next month. We went to college together and nothing compares to our journeys through life and our annual journeys to far away places where we can laugh and be ourselves. It’s always a highlight of my year. This year will be our 11th trip and we are already literally counting down the days. Again, why me? Why so blessed?
As I’ve blogged many times before, friends are gold to me. They make me laugh and they’ve gotten me through some tough times. Kathy, Ana, Jeannie, Deb, Jenelle, Leslie, MB, Kelly, Melissa, Judy, Deb, Cindy, Rosie, Liz, Norah, and all the women mentioned above. They are my rocks and my inspirations.
Smitty and I often talk about moving now that our nest is empty. I’m all for it, but I am not at all for leaving my friends. It may be easy to keep up with friends via Facebook, Skype, and email, but nothing replaces getting together over wine and coffee and sharing lives face-to-face. It happened so gloriously last night and I am looking forward to it happening again. Hopefully with you!
Great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.