Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hanging out with friends is a personal learning experience

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.” To this, I respond with, “A friend is one who will not leave the room or slap me when I start to think aloud. Instead, she will smile and nod and accept me for who I am.”
As much as we love hanging around with people who share similar thoughts and interests, I love to find diversity in my own circle of friends. Not only do they comfort me when I am thinking aloud, but each and every one brings a little something to my life that makes me a better person. From all of their traits and quirks and stuff that makes them tick, I only hope I can grab a little of what they teach me to put to use in my own life.
So in tribute to a few of the many great ladies I know, I’d like to share some of my favorite things about my favorite people…
“Deana” is my friend that is just a little too nice. If I called her up and told her that I really needed another finger, she’d promptly chop off her pinky and drop it off on her way home from work. She is the one who is always reminding me that there is a reward in giving, and that helping friends is one of the greatest prizes of all.
“Janey” is my friend that has the biggest ears and the biggest heart. Actually, her ears are pretty cute, and they are always there at a moment’s notice. If I had a problem I just needed to talk about, day or night, I could call her and she would give me nothing but the silence I need to let it all out. From her I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all, and that a hug is worth more than a thousand words.
“Meryl” is my friend who always appears ultra-organized and under control. Her home is always clean. Her diaper bag is always supplied, and I’d bet my bottom dollar that her car doesn’t look nearly as much like a pig sty as mine does. She takes the time to get things done and even takes time for herself. I am constantly amazed by this one, and I have A LOT to learn from her!
“Kallie” is never afraid to be who she is. She calls herself the “square peg in the round hole” like it’s not a bad thing, it’s just what she is. Kallie and I meet on such an odd level that most of our conversations range from world religious to breastfeeding. She teaches me to think proudly, and not be afraid of who I am.
“Evelyn” is my friend who’s always game. She’s spontaneous, fun, ready for anything, and never afraid to embrace her inner child. She’s the one who will dress up on Halloween and host Christmas in July complete with gingerbread houses. From her I’ve learned that it’s OK to call today to make plans for today, and that no one really cares how your house looks as long as the coffee is fresh and fun abounds.
“Maura” is my short friend who is never afraid to stand tall, and who puts her children’s well-being first. She’s always telling me how she’s making a stink at school, but that she doesn’t care that she’s called the principal on the second day of school. I keep her motto close: “You’re the only one who is going stand up for your kids,” and even though I tower over her physically, I definitely look up to her!
There are more friends I wish I had the space to mention, but the important thing to know is that I keep a piece of each of them with me all the time. I only hope that my friends learn something from me, too.
My wish is that if you are reading this column, you’ll stop and take a minute to think about the special people in your life. And then take another minute to let them know how much they mean to you.
I just did.

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