Monday, January 2, 2012

Friendships Save our Spirits and our Resolutions

"And let there be no friendship save the deepening of the spirit." -Kahlil Gibran

My best friend, Lindsey made me a box one Christmas or birthday that had this quote written inside of it and I have loved it ever since.  I am blessed by it every morning when I see it on top of my dresser.  I read it, ponder it, and think of my friend and how blessed I am to have a true "bosom friend!" (How could I not reference the great "Anne of Green Gables" where such a true friendship is showcased??)

Birchswinger and Smiley Sue.  Bff's for life!

When considering what to blog about, I typically think of what has been sticking out to me lately- what trends continue to creep up until they grab my attention.  Over the past few days I have come across quotes like, "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves" (Edna Buchanan), and “Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend" (Albert Camus).  Maybe friendship in the new year is just the topic to ponder today!  After all, weight loss, exercise, getting more rest, cleaning out the "catch-all" spaces of our homes are typical New Year's resolutions, and what better way to actually attain these resolutions than from the help of our soul sisters!

Seasons bring these cravings for change, and I know that after rich food for a month and a half, I am ready for a fresh diet and a fresh perspective!  I long for it.  I am relieved when January 1 arrives because I am ready to leave the temptations of pumpkin pie and breakfast casseroles and trade them for running shoes and grapefruit.  But, give it two weeks, and all of the sudden I am craving hot cocoa and don't know if I can continue my grapefruit and salad regimen until spring break.  I need help.  We need help!  We need someone to push us to be better- to hold us accountable.  A friend!  A spouse may be that person, but typically we expect them to be, and they just aren't.  I had the realization recently that my husband is fabulous, but he isn't a personal trainer.  When I ask him to be, he teeters on a tight rope between "encourager" and "accountability partner", and for him, he never knows what the right thing to say is.  Should he say the dreaded, "Anna, do you really need that cookie?"  Or should he say, "remember your goals honey, you can do it!"  Or the most neutral, "Whatever you need, honey." 

What I realized was that, in my case, I need to have him  be my encourager (you can do it, honey and I love you!), and choose a friend to be my accountability when it comes to health and fitness.  And this a great thing!  Not every friend (or spouse) is going to be everything for you all of the time.  That's what is so great about having a spouse AND friends!  So I suggest we propose a toast to friendship this new year.  Be the best friend you can to your friends.  Be the one who steps out and calls them to see how they are doing instead of waiting for them to call you.  Allow them to challenge and encourage you to achieve your goals.  Ask them to!  Maybe you have a friend who has similar goals to yours and you can hold each other to them- even work together!  It's a great way to hold your resolutions while building friendships that deepen the spirit!

Cheers to friends, and cheers to a new year with endless possibilities ahead!


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