Sunday, June 10, 2012

30 Days of Joy: Day 10-Friends

I am so excited!  Today my husband and I are joining a group of friends for a late afternoon/early evening get-together.  These friends are truly special in our lives!  We often connect on Facebook, but we rarely can find a mutual time to come together as a group.  Once in a while, we have a large gathering at someone's home; this is just a small group of us sharing our joy in being friends.

When I look back 5 years, my husband and I did not have very many friends-acquaintances-yes-not friends.  I moved around so much when I was young that I don't have friends that I have known for a long time.  There are some friends from college that I have kept in touch with at Christmas but rarely see.  With the advent of Facebook, more of us are connecting through a class website that we share.  It is great fun finding out what they are all doing now, discovering the wit and wisdom in their posts, and seeing pictures of their families.  This reconnecting has been a recent outcome of being on Facebook.  Before that, we were busy with work and family; as a result, we had few friends.

I know!  It sounds kind of sad.  We were busy, had each other, but we were lonely at times.  I had a few close friends from work, and they are wonderful!  I am still close to them even after retirement.  However, it's nice to have friends who don't have anything to do with your work life.  Also, these were my friends-not my husband's.    As our children got older, went off to school, and developed their own circle of friends, we now had more time on our hands for socializing.  That was when something magical happened in our lives!

Since I was an HR Director who listened to people all day long, I was not a fan of talk radio.  When I was done with work, I wanted music to listen to on my way home.  However, my husband wasn't with people all day long and liked the company of talk radio as he drove in his car.  That is when he discovered a radio station filled with talented, entertaining, interesting people.  One of the things that this station had was a chat room where listeners could interact with the talent and with one another.  Since he is a techie anyway, he started conversing with others on this site.   Everyone chose a name/personae to use that provided some protection.  As time elapsed, many of the same people would interact with each other.  As my husband spent more time in this endeavor, I asked him what was going on.  His response, "I'm trying to find us some friends!"

Needless to say, I was surprised and a little concerned about this undertaking.  Who were these people? They started putting pictures of themselves on the site; my husband put a reflection from the rear view mirror of his car of his eyes with sunglasses.  He was being careful and giving nothing away!   Soon after that everyone was starting to get curious about one another.  So, a few of them decided to meet for dinner at Big Bowl.  My husband wanted to join them.  I cautiously encouraged him to go. After all, I was curious about these people too, and this was a public place.  He could always leave if he felt uncomfortable.  However, I did not want to go with him.  I didn't have an online friendship with them like he did.  So, I waited at home wondering where this was going to lead us.

This night was the beginning!  Rather than being uncomfortable, a lot of connections were made that night.  It went so well that they decided to have a few parties at a restaurant one of them owned where more people could gather and spouses could join in.  This was my introduction to this fabulous group of people!  There are all ages, occupations, and interests, but they all have such a wonderful joy of life.  Out of this, we have made very close friends who love, care for, and support one another.  The chat room at the radio station closed down several years ago, and we all migrated to Facebook.

Many of us used to drop in at the restaurant for a glass of wine and always found others from the group there to talk with.  While we are happy for her, our friend decided to sell the restaurant so we no longer have this as a gathering place.  As a result, it has been more challenging to find ways to see each other.  Small groups of us try to get together from time to time.  Larger group events happen occasionally-certainly not often enough.

Tonight will be one of those times that a smaller group of us get together.  We will all keep looking for ways to bring everyone together in the near future, because there is such joy in spending time with each other.  When I look at our lives now, we are truly blessed with the joy of good friends.  Many of these friends have become very close; I know that they would be there for us if we ever needed them as we would be there for them.  Our lives have been changed!  We laugh, because we have a more active social life than our children now.  I hope that you have found some time to spend with friends this lovely weekend, and that you are always on the lookout for finding joy in others!

Have you found your joy today?

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