Tag Archives: Friendship

Friendship Without Food Dates #1 and #2

24 Jan

my friends and i totally look like this when we hang out. from the girl with the popped collar on tumblr

So far my year of intentionality is going well, but wouldn’t you know it? I’m having to intentionally make an effort to make it happen. Funny how that works. 🙂

One of my stated goals for this year was to find ways to hang out with friends that don’t revolve around food, which coincidentally helps me with my goal to nurture the relationships I have. I thought this one was going to be a slam dunk, but it’s hard to think of fun things to do that don’t revolve around food! I didn’t set this goal because I’m anti-food. Far from it! I just grow tired of our collective cultural obsession with food, and how it seems like we don’t get together anymore without the interaction revolving around what we’re going to eat. What to hang out after church? Let’s grab lunch! Haven’t had time to catch up with a girlfriend for a while? Meet for coffee! Want to move that friendship with the new-ish friends in your life forward? Invite them over for dinner! What to go catch a movie? Might as well grab dinner beforehand! All in all I don’t think this focus on food is inherently bad, but since several of my goals for living intentionally this year is to focus on relationships I want them to be the focus, not where and how and when we’re going to eat.

So I had two successes this week. For my first Friendship Without Food date I met up with a friend who is fun and outdoors-ey, who loved to run before I learned how fun it could be (I believe I called her ‘stupid’ when we met and she told me she loved to run. Oh, the Lord has a sense of humor.) and who’s fairly new to the area and has many trails yet to explore. I’m blessed to live anywhere from walking distance to a ten-minute drive from three excellent trails that exist to give walkers, runners, bikers, dog walkers, and stroller-moms a place to get some exercise. Most follow some kind of creek, and are pretty freaking scenic for being in the middle of heavily populated cities. So I took my friend to a new (to her) trail. We did an easy three miles – out and back from the park to a nice bridge that does a great job as a 1.5 mile marker. Good sport that she is, we brought my raggety-taggity dogs along, and walked most of it because my pooches be lazy. The conversation was fluid and easy. We stopped to take pictures of a white heron and when I got a rock in my shoe. Our talk matched our walking pace, and wasn’t interrupted by us shoveling food into our mouths or making the “sorry, I’m chewing, but I so have a comment to make” face we women are so good at. We both felt great afterwards, as we’d gotten to be lazy and sleep in on our day off but also were active and got in our exercise. I call unequivocally successful Friendship Without Food date.

FWF date #2 was with my bff, and here’s where the water gets a little murky. We had food during our date. (Cue dramatic music: Dum dum DUMMMMM!) We had dinner with her family (and her kids, whom I adore) before settling in for one of our long catch-up nights. I’m still calling this a successful FWF date, because our interaction didn’t hinge on whether or not we ate. We would still have had a great evening had I showed up an hour later and not been around for the meal, but as it was dinner was a nice (and delicious) bonus to an evening that was about us hanging out and catching up. With really great friends you don’t need much more than their company to make it a great night.

So that’s where I’ve come to on my quest to do friendship without food: that food can still be around, so long as our time doesn’t hinge on it. Meeting for lunch to catch up doesn’t count. Going for a run and deciding to grab a bite afterwards because we’re both starving does. Going to Monterey to walk along the coast and grabbing dinner while we’re there counts. Going to Monterey because we want to have dinner at that one place we went to once and loved doesn’t. It’s a fine line, and I intend to spend the rest of this year walking it.

Do you have ideas for FWF hangouts? I’ve been trying to come up with some creative ones, and it’s tough! How do you and your friends enjoy each other’s company without food?

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Friendship (And Other Concerns)

11 Jan

Have you ever had a moment where you’ve gotten a glimpse into a simple truth from a completely random source? A funny thing happened to me the other night. Not funny “ha ha,” but funny “huh.”

photo from alison tyne photography on etsy

A few of my girlfriends decided to form an impromptu virtual book club because we’d all been tweeting about how awesome The Hunger Games are. We were sitting around discussing the books, having a great time, and decided that the club needed to keep going. For that to happen we needed another book. We were all throwing out titles of books we’d read or heard were good, and Lady D. brought up a book she’d been thinking about reading: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. And something funny happened. As soon as we heard the title, every lady at that table said with one breath “oh my gosh, yes!” No, we weren’t saying we were into reading the book (though I have read it since then, and it is very funny), we all had the same reaction because at one time or another – probably more often than we care to admit – we’ve had that fear.

To be honest, I was completely shocked. I’d thought that was my fear. I looked around the room at all these beautiful women, women who I look up to, who have struggles and fears, sure, but who always seem to have it all together. Women who have fabulous tailored wardrobes and don’t struggle to find the right balance of accessories. Women who don’t call their friends after they’ve had too much wine to say how much they love them because they’re worried that no one cares. Women who look like the type of girl who could get a handful of friends together at a moment’s notice because everyone wants to hang out with her. And they all worried that everyone was hanging out without them, like I do? Shocked.

Not long ago I decided to get some wise counsel because I was feeling insecure. I realized that, after years of work and study, I’d learned to accept love from God and I learned that I was worthy of the love of my husband. But for some reason, I still felt like having friends was a fluke. Not all the time, but sometimes, I feel like an imposter who is living someone else’s life, and as soon as I do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing people are going to realize their mistake and won’t want to be my friend any longer. It’s a horrible insecurity for a 99% secure person to have, and I needed some help to get my mind to go somewhere positive when I started feeling insecure. My wise and wonderful therapist gave me some great advice, but nothing drove the stupidity of my insecurity home more acutely than seeing all these amazing women exclaim as one because they recognized themselves in a clever book title.

On New Life Live the other day, Dr. Henry Cloud told a caller with a question about excessive worry something along the lines of “you can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from nesting in your hair.” So simple, so Philippians 4: 6-8. It’s what I did when I was learning to love God, refused to entertain the persistently knocking thoughts that said I’m not good enough for Him to love me. It’s what I did when I learned to love A, brushed away the thoughts that clung like cobwebs, saying that I didn’t deserve the love he was offering. So here are thoughts that I will work on letting fly over my head, like a nasty sea-gull that I would never dream of holding on to long enough for it to build a nest:

If people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.

It’s A that people want to hang out with, I’m just the tag-along.

My friends are hanging out and I’m not invited. Do they not like me? Are we really friends? (This one is has been especially popular lately, thanks to twitter.)

People don’t get my humor and think I’m weird.

I’m too much sometimes, I need to be more like everyone else. (That one makes me laugh when I think about it, I love being uniquely me! But it still rears its ugly head sometimes…)

If I didn’t call/text/reach out to people no one would ever hang out with me.

No one really cares.

Fly away, crazy thoughts. You make no sense, you make me sad, and in the light of day you aren’t real. I won’t let you steal my joy. I am loved by many, and even if I wasn’t, I am loved by God. And that’s more than enough.

Do you ever let thoughts you know aren’t true get you down? There’s healing in sharing, my friends. Say it out loud, and know you’re not alone.

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