Archives for category: friends

social media

The social media acknowledgment, specifically the birthday reminders; some say this digital act is informal, heartless, and insincere. Clearly this is not the best method to use for your loved ones and those closest to you. Reach out to them, talk to them, maybe even spend the day with them when the occasion comes up. But don’t completely disregard the small act of using social media for wishing someone a happy birthday or “thinking of you.”

You never know what’s going on in someone’s life. Social media has given us the tools to keep in touch, or at least up to date, with people that we would probably otherwise lose touch with altogether.

Around the time of my birthday I had all kinds of things on my mind that had me stressed out. Some people knew about these things but most didn’t. So needless to say, I felt kind of alone at times. But I remember seeing the birthday wishes from people from all stages of my life, who are also geographically all over the world now. It didn’t take those people more than 10 seconds and zero money to write a three word post and send it off. But it meant the world to me.

Some of those people I still see and talk to on a somewhat regular basis. But for many of them, we only stay connected through social media. When I saw their posts and birthday wishes, it was so uplifting. It was more than just seeing that they were wishing me a happy birthday. It was a moment where I reminisced in my mind about how or when those people paths crossed mine. And I am a huge believer that everything happens for a reason!

Now knowing what it meant to me, I make it a point everyday to acknowledge those reminders and reach out to say a quick hello.

Don’t discount those small random acts that you may think are informal, insincere, and meaningless. You have no idea what that other person may be going through at that time and it just might mean the world to them.

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The holiday season comes upon us quicker than we always expect. One minute we are trying to figure out what character we want to be for Halloween and before we know it we are scurrying to make Thanksgiving plans and we have become the last minute shoppers trying to cross everything off our lists. It comes up fast and we see story after story of charitable giving and people without homes attending civic services to make sure everyone is included in the festivities. But we often forget about the people that get lost in between the down and out and the well to do.

There are still people out there dealing with loss and pain for a whole number of reasons. Some have lost loved one, some are losing loved ones, and some are just not able to be with the ones they love over the holidays. They appear normal, they smile, and they may not show their pain.

As you’re rushing around and wrapping your presents, don’t forget to reach out to those in the middle. A phone call, a text, an invite to dinner can make a world of difference to someone.

Also don’t forget to be grateful for what you have, however little, because there is undoubtedly someone out there with less…less to eat, less to unwrap, and less to make them smile. Be thankful when you wake up and have your family around you, that they are not hundreds of miles away, that you don’t have to be away from them for the day.

I had the opportunity to move on to new adventures years ago, but the downside is that it took me a good distance away from friends and family. It was a good choice to go, but it also means that we have to pick and choose the days we get to spend together.

The friends I have made over the years have become life family to me and I’m grateful to have each and every one of them. But even with them, my line of work has often taking me away in the middle of the night, on the weekends, and over the holidays. Fortunately I finally have enough time in where that doesn’t happen too often anymore, but when it does it makes me realized what I have.

So just a quick reminded that when uncle **** and cousin who know who start to drive you crazy, it’s still nice to have family near- by, at least for the day 😉

  
You’ll read a ton of tips this season teaching you how to be a good host. But people never talk about being a good guest. You probably won’t even appreciate that thought until you begin to host people at your house for a meal, or a weekend, or longer … 

It’s great to have company and to catch up with old friends and family. But hosting takes work, and can take a toll on someone’s sanity with the wrong types of guests. 

  1. Be on time. You can’t control your flights and traffic problems. And no one will mind a few minutes here and there. But if dinner is at 3:00, arriving at 5:30 is unacceptable. 
  2. If you are picky or need certain criteria met. Say so ahead of time or suck it up. Your host wants to cater to you and share what they have. No one likes hearing you ate before coming to dinne or refuse to eat what is being served.
  3. If you’re staying for a couple days, prepare to and offer to entertain yourself for a couple hours or even a day. Go sight seeing, go for a walk, explore the neighborhood. You host may appreciate the moment of downtime to throw in the laundry, clean up the house a bit, or just take a breath. 
  4. Do some research ahead of time and have a few ideas of things you like to do or see. There is nothing harder than trying to guess what will make people happy or keep their interest. Different people have different ideas of fun.
  5. Offer to help the host but also accept being the guest. Don’t take over their house – allow the host to host you. 
  6. Don’t treat the house like your home, but treat it like their home. No need for you to be rearranging how they keep things or to allow kids to “explore” every room. 
  7. Don’t come empty handed. If you can’t cook, bring a bottle of wine or buy an appetizer. (I personally always bring one bottle of red and one bottle of white – can’t go wrong). 
  8. Take note at how they keep their house. Leave the bathroom relatively like you found it. If you found wet towels laying on the floor, then it’s probably cool with them if you do it 😉 
  9. Read the crowd. If everyone else has left or gone to bed, check with the host and see if it’s time to go.
  10. Don’t forget to return the favor. Don’t always be the guest. Offer to to be the host once in a while – and hope your guest have read this article too! 

 “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt

The news has been inundated this week with the death of another famous person. This time, an older one – who wasn’t caught up in the spotlight and party scene. Instead, as far as we know, had a loving family, well established career, and enough fame and fortune to last several lifetimes.

We forget to see the simple lesson of this recent death: that happiness is not a product of fame and fortune. It isn’t even a product of someone else’s love or doing. Happiness is found within your own person.

It is up to you to seek and find your inner peace. Sometimes there may be medical help that is necessary or control of your vices to find it. But it remains a personal journey for you and only you to undertake. It only starts when your ready and it will only be found with your dedication. But failing to accept the challenge will not only affect you but in a ripple affect – those close to you also.

Life is short and precious and only you can choose to live it.

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If you’re lucky you will meet countless people throughout your life in many different settings. Some will be strictly acquaintances that you know from work or through other friends. Some will grow into true friendships, and other may grow into more.

Realistically, it is nearly impossible for all of these relationships to stay strong throughout your life. You will meet them in different setting during different times of your life. Your interests should and probably will evolve and change over time. The person you enjoyed running track with in high school, may or may not be the same person you want to be your best man. As you become more interested in your kids soccer games, your happy hour friends may stay at the bar.

No matter what the reason for the change, you should learn something about yourself in the process and not keep any negative feelings when different people take different paths. Just as you change and grow so will these people you crossed paths with. If you are very lucky, even as you both change, you will be able to hold strong with a handful of these bonds you made over the years. And if you have any control over it, you should certainly work to make that happen. As long as you presented the real you when you met, and they did the same, it should be a mutual respect to see the paths each of you take. There should be no hard feelings but only well-wishes.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a great group of guys and girls.
Our “group” started to come together when we were 3 years old. More joined as we were in kindergarten. We went through high school and on to college together. We were a part of each others weddings, divorces, children being born, and every other milestone you can think of. Yet during all that we each moved across the country, took different paths, and continue to live very different lives. Yet we never lost touch. We reunited this past weekend (as we often try to do at least once a year) with the largest number of us in years. We brought out parents, and our kids.

Even with life taking different, and not always good, courses for each of us we keep our bond of friendship strong.

Make it a point to keep in touch with those who matter to you. The phone works both ways, the internet makes things incredibly easy. There is no excuse to lose touch unless touch wants to be lost.

Remember those people who you can be true with and remember the good times you shared.

Remember when everyone you knew was a stranger to you? No? They were. Even the closest person to you was once a stranger.

People get caught in their routines of life. They rush from their car to the door and back to the car as fast as possible. They do the same thing when they get home. Who wants to bother with the neighbors ? They say they aren’t in the mood to be sociable or they don’t need to make new friends. Nothing can be further from the truth.

My life long friends were strangers at one time. We met way back when we were 4 years old. Some of my best memories were made with people who were once strangers – but we met in college or through work, some of us met having drinks at a bar or in the pool. I don’t know what I’d do without them. We have a blast together. Even your significant other was once a stranger, but one of you took a chance and talked to the other one.

I’ve heard if you grow old and can say you have 3 close friends you can consider yourself lucky. I think we should aim for a lot more than 3!

Don’t underestimate the people that cross your path. Open your kind a little and let people in. You never know what they can offer your life, or you to theirs.

You never know what memories are waiting to be made.

Almost everything we do revolves around money somehow. So the topic of money creeps up on us without us even knowing it. We can help but think about it. Sometimes we cant even help to talk about it. But where do we draw the line on details?

I grew up with very tight small circle of friends from a very young age, both boys and girls. Growing up we knew that some of us came from more money than others but it was never a big deal to us. We were happy on our bikes, playing in the woods, and sharing whatever toys we had with everyone we knew. But I saw a distinct swing as we got older…

The same group went through high school together, then on to college, and then on to life. We all followed our respective dreams and professions. Some move to other cities far away, some had kids… some even had to experience divorce. It was only then that the topic of money began to come up. Sometimes in conversation but probably more often in thought.

Different paths in different lives tend to cost more than others. People begin to have different responsibilities in life, some other than their own depending on their relationships.

As a group, we realized that we needed to be cognizant of the fact that we may all be at different financial points in our lives. When we were younger, a couple of us would make last minute crazy spring break plans, or spring for the latest concert tickets before they sold out. And anyone who didn’t join in was harped on by everyone until they gave in, so basically – resistance was futile!

But, as we grew up we have realized not everyone can make purchases on a whim. We have no doubt they would love to, if they could, but for some reason or another, they may not be able to.

We also realized that as exciting as it was to all be searching for our summer jobs in school, and then our career spots after school, it used to be cool and fun to talk about what pay we wanted or secured, and what crazy perks came with the job. But now thats not the fun part. We may have a beneficial perk handed to us while someone else struggles with a payment or other money burden.

We still enjoy each other’s company more than anything. We still make plans together. Sometimes they are to go out and sometimes its to cook at home. Either way we always have fun. We just make sure to be respectful of everyones situation and we never hesitate to help each other out however we can… but some details are better left unsaid.

Too often the holidays come around and we think it is a time for family. And to many, family means relatives, by blood or by marriage. But does it really stop there?

Over the years I have moved away from my family to reach my own personal goals. All of my family lives a plane ride away. Needless to say, I have made new friends throughout my travels, both in my new home area and on my many journeys’. And I’m proud to say that many of these new friends have become very close friends. We have had amazing adventures together, shared very good times and very bad times together.

Although there have been years that I have not been able to spend the actual holiday with my blood family, I have always been able to get back home to see them “around” the holidays. This year is the first year where I have not been able to get back to them. Even after taking a new position at work afforded my more time off, I found that I accidently planned a foreign trip pretty close to the holiday season. I made the decision to skip going home, after the trip, and for the holidays. It became costly for airfare and was going to be a lot of traveling.

My family was very understanding and thanks to modern conveniences of Facebook, speaker phone, and Skype I was still able to see their shining faces for the holiday. But the wondered what I would spend my holiday doing “all by myself.”

I found that family does not always mean blood. I ended spending my holiday with some very special people, none of which were my relatives. Some of us exchanged gifts – very well thought out gifts I must say! We all came together and made a great meal and shared some laughs. It ended up being an excellent day.

I did miss being with my blood family, but it was wonderful to see how important a close group of friends can be. Family truly does not have to be blood.

Which non-relatives did you reach out to this holiday season? Did you include those special people of your life in your holiday celebrations?