staying connected

Lately I’ve been sharing a lot of posts about how I’m not quite living up to my expectations as far as setting my goals. While I seem to have hit a turning point with several of those issues lately (in the right direction) rather than talk about something half-complete or barely begun, today I want to talk about something I have been doing a good job of this year.

My personal goal of having coffee/lunch/dinner with a friend once a week has been one that I have managed to uphold. Throughout the past several months, I’ve reconnected with friends I’ve missed. I’ve strengthened other friendships I value. And I’ve been able to visit some regular haunts and try new restaurants.

One of my favorite instances of this has been meeting for dinner about once every four to six weeks with a few of my former co-workers. We’ve all moved on in different directions with our lives both personally and professionally since we shared office space, but that friendship is still there. Each time we’ve gone out, we’ve tried a new restaurant. Not only do we get to catch up the latest trials and joys in each of our lives, but we’re sampling some of our town’s best new restaurants. I always leave these meetings feeling rejuvenated and excited and proud to know that three women I enjoy so much are going on to make their marks in the world in different ways. It’s empowering, inspiring, and just thrilling.

I also continue to meet my sister and Whitney regularly for meals. As a single woman who lives alone, for me these breakfasts, lunches, and dinners feel like my chance to have a family dinner. I can say anything and be myself with both of these women, and they are some of my biggest supporters. It’s just family time, and it means the world to me.

I’m feeling a little scattered today articulating my thoughts, because I’m almost ready to type “the end” on my second holiday novella (which means I’ll be adding that to the done-zo category this week). AND I also am announcing the release and revealing the cover of my third novel, which will be out this fall. You can check it out on Goodreads and add it to your “to-read” list.

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make new friends, but keep the old

Back in Girl Scouts, we used to finish every meeting by whole hands and singing:

Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other’s gold

A circle is round
It has no end
That’s how long
I want to be you friend

I haven’t thought about that in a long time. It’s been almost 20 years since I was in Girl Scouts. But it’s kind of a sweet memory. A group of friends gathering every couple of weeks to learn a new skill and finishing out the meeting by holding on to each other and singing about friendship.

I was reminded about this song and the countless times I sang it in the past while working on this post. I’ve struggled to pursue most of the goals on the personal and combined lists (I’ve said it before, and it’s still true, I’m great at planning, but not as good at follow through), but I have done a fairly good job of meeting up with friends and family at least once a week for lunch, dinner, coffee, or a drink. In fact, it’s probably closer to two or three times a week.

While I haven’t branched out and connected with as many people as I hope to during the next year, I have enjoyed each of these experiences. Some of them have been with old friends, some with new. But what each one as given me is more than nice conversation with a good soul. These meetings have reminded me of how many wonderful people I have encountered in my life. And they are friendships I’ve made at different points of time and in different ways.

This past week was a good mix of developing newer connections, reconnecting with older ones and continuing to develop ones I’ve had my whole life.

On Thursday I met a co-worker for drinks after work. We’ve only known each other a couple of years, but we are going through so many similar issues in our personal and professional lives, it’s nice to be able to talk it out with each other. On Friday I met my sister for dinner and one of my brothers for a nightcap. I’ve known both my whole life, and because of that, we can pick up anywhere and talk. On Saturday, I met a couple of former co-workers for lunch, and had a chance to catch up. We also talked at length about movies we’ve seen while swapping recent war stories.

That’s a pretty full dance card for someone like me, who loves logging hours in front of a TV watching Netflix or sitting down at a computer to write. But I enjoyed myself, which makes me realize how important it is to keep doing this. I’m so comfortable being alone, and that isn’t a bad thing, but life can be so much richer when you share it with wonderful people.