Each year for the past half-dozen years, three of my friends and I have met to celebrate our birthdays that fall within a few months of our February gathering. We usually eat lunch on the patio of a San Diego beachfront restaurant. It’s a wonderful time of reflection and catching up, and a chance to laugh at the craziness of our lives.
We met 20 years ago when we all worked for a small PR agency. Our lives are in no way the same. My son is grown and the others have kids who range from fifth grade to ninth grade. One of the foursome is single; the others married. One of us works in a corporate setting; the others own small businesses. While we only see each other one or two times a year as a quartet, we relate to each other on a visceral level.
I thought a lot about why we get along so effortlessly after our last lunch overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean on a summerlike day in the middle of winter. We are above everything kind. We share the funny and inane stories of our lives, yet no one is ever jabbing or mean. There’s an unspoken respect for what each other is going through. We worry together when a child is sick or having a difficult go of it. We scheme about finding our friend the love of her life. We dream about holding a visioning weekend that one of us will lead based on her journey of spiritual awakening. And at the same time, we can laugh till it hurts when someone reveals they spent more on a new skin care regimen than her wedding ring cost 20 years ago.
What I admire most is that we deeply care about each other, including each other’s feelings. We seem to understand our boundaries. Even though we love to laugh, no one would ever think of making fun of another. We know how to listen and offer a perspective without overdoing the advice. We never put down on our spouses or kids. Sarcasm is never used. It’s a wonderfully thoughtful group that puts each other’s feelings above their own. I love this group because of the attribute of genuine kindness we share! That makes them exactly the kind of women I want to grow old with!
Please take a moment to share with us the attributes that make your group of girlfriends special. We’d love to know!