While reading my book selection for the month, MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche, I came across a passage regarding the behaviors necessary to maintain old friendships and forge new ones, which sparked my interest. The passage basically states that good social interaction – a lot of it – is the key to living a good life. Obviously this seems like a no brainer but I’m intrigued by the science of it that Bertsche mentions in her book.
Studies consistently show that people who have good friendships usually have high levels of social interaction and are more likely to be happy and fulfilled in their life than those who tend to be loners (that’s me, self-admittedly). When I looked at my calendar of social activities for the month, even after setting “friendship” at the top of my priority list, I was disheartened to see how disproportionate that time looked compared to other obligations on my plate like work, school, and another part-time job I just took on to help fund travel excursions.
I think part of the issue is a majority of my friends are scattered in various locations and aren’t easily accessible at the drop of a hat. Or, if they are nearby, they have just as many obligations as I do and our schedules don’t mesh. More often than not activities and social gatherings always seem to get pushed to the wayside or, more commonly, we make non-committal statements like,”Yeah, that would be great. Let’s get together sometime and plan that!” And then we never get together because life just gets in the way. Well today, after waking up on the wrong side of the bed, I got tired of being an active contributor to this cycle so I decided to take matters into my own hands, which actually added a nice boost to my happiness this afternoon. As Gretchen Rubin has so eloquently shared, now is now and I can’t keep putting things off and waiting for some other appropriate time to get together with everyone. Later isn’t the time, now is the time.
With that in mind, I promptly contacted my friends-for-life (dubbed lifers, a term I took from Bertsche) and began dedicating entire nights and weekends to social gatherings this month. Slumber parties, potluck dinner/game nights, weekend excursions to Springfield, numerous friend dates set, and finally a travel excursion booked to visit a lifer in Florida at the end of February. Now that it’s all set, my calendar seems more balanced – and colorful, which is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Bertsche has a blog dedicated to friendship. It’s interesting and quirky – much like her book. Check it out here.