An overlooked treasure

September is winding down and with all the chaos this month has brought for me I've neglected to write this post. In case you didn't know, September is International Women's Friendship Month. 

What started as just a day of celebration has grown into a month of celebration. Kappa Delta Sorority created this day in 1999. Ten years later, it became a month long celebration. 

To quote the IWFM website
Ask any woman--there's something special about her friendships with other women. Our female friends know us better than anyone else. They are there to listen, to console, and to encourage. They are our loudest cheerleaders and our most compassionate confidantes. Our women friends come in a wide variety--sister, mother, neighbor, childhood playmate, college roommate. We make connections at the playground, the workplace, the gym, and over the proverbial back fence.

The friendship among women can easily be overlooked because true friends are always there for each other. It can be overlooked because most women are social creatures and when looking at a glance, there is no shortage of friends for them. At times it seems these friendships can be taken for granted. They shouldn't be but alas they are. 

For me, this is an important month that serves more as reminder to go out of my way to appreciate the friendships I have already established and perhaps step out of my comfort zone to attempt to initiate a new friendship. 

I've always been a social person although as I get older my social butterfly personality has calmed. I've moved all over the Midwest creating friendships in each location I've resided. It is painful each time I've moved to leave behind those friends. Especially as I get older because I just don't want to have to start from scratch again finding new friends and inserting myself into established social circles. From my experience, the older you get, the harder it is. I also have an irrational worry of imposing or being a burden on people so I tend not to initiate get-togethers. Speaking of, I really need to get a book club set up because I miss my previous book club. A LOT!

With each move it is hard to maintain those friendships. Thankfully, email, text messages, social media, etc. help immensely. I remember the days when I went to diabetic camp and we had to be legit pen pals. How exciting it was to receive a letter in the mail. A wonderful friend, who by the way is a TWO-time Ironman finisher, and I have recreated that and randomly send each other little notes here and there. You are welcome United States Postal Service. 

I'm beginning to ramble about how friendships change as life changes. As you move away from friends, it becomes so much easier to neglect or forget about the friendships you've already established. And that is how this month serves as a great reminder. It reminds me appreciate my friends who I don't see on a routine basis. It reminds me to reach out and at least say hi. The really strong friendships are the ones where it doesn't matter how much time goes between communicating because it always seems as if you just talked the day before. 

As I scramble to send small notes to my friends across the country (although I'm confident I won't get to everyone even though I love them all), to at least say hi, I encourage you to do the same. Even if your friends are just across town, it doesn't hurt to randomly send a text or to call and say hi. Perhaps see if they want to grab a drink or go get your nails done. Sometimes that small hi can be the highlight of their day, especially if life has been so busy you haven't had a chance to talk lately. 


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