Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Way to Avoid Regrets: International Friendship Day

Kristie West’s 30-Day Challenge - - is all about showing appreciation now for the important people in your life.
I started it myself on Monday, and it’s a refreshingly painless way to begin a new (good) habit. Telling your friends what they mean to you has no downside.
It also got me thinking again about regrets: about how the grief we feel when our friends die is sometimes compounded by the sadness we feel about what we never did. We never told them how much they meant to us. We never took that trip together. We never…well, you get the idea.
An Australian group, Global Friendship, celebrates International Friendship Day on the first Sunday in August, this year on the 7th. The purpose is to take a day to recognize and appreciate the contributions your friends make to your life.
Those of us who just started Kristie’s challenge will be in the midst of it, so I thought I’d give a couple ideas for those who may be starting or considering this challenge.
1.      What have you and your friends always talked about doing? I’m going to a Cubs/Cardinals game at Wrigley Field next month with several girlfriends (all of us life-long Cardinals fans), because we decided to stop talking and do it.

2.      Are your friends on Facebook?  On August 7, post on their walls, and let them know how much you appreciate them. If you’re not comfortable with others seeing it, send them a private message.

3.      Wondering what to do with all those old photos? Scan them and post them online or email them to your friends. Be prepared to be embarrassed about hairstyles and clothes, but take the time to reminisce about where you were when the picture was taken.

4.      Want to get together but can’t afford it? Go for a walk, drive around your old neighborhood together, have a potluck. Remember that real friends don’t care about fancy things: they care about the time you spend together.
So, these are a few things to get you thinking. Even though her death was not a surprise, I remember after my friend Delle died that I had some guilt over not doing certain things together. We’d talked about several things – nothing big or complicated – but things that always got pushed aside, thinking we had time.
“We should do that sometime.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said or heard that, I’d be rich. Stop putting things off, and push a little. Find the time, make the effort, and avoid regrets later on.
For more ideas on how to celebrate your friendships, go to, and feel free to share your own ideas here.


Unknown said...

I like the idea of scanning photos. When my good friend died, I wrote a huge story on the fact that I had so many good photos of her, I felt like I had her soul in some ways. I think it does create a kind of intimacy to scan the photos we have of live friends and keep in touch. Thanks for the post! Glad to visit.

Kelley said...

Grieving the loss of a friend is one of those things that is outside some cultural line. People really don't validate the toll it takes. I'm glad to see you doing this work. It's nice to meet you.

OEBooks said...

Yes! Yes! Celebrate Life. Glad to meet your blog...and post, referred by the SheWriters' Ball.

Shelley Workinger said...

Thank you for the reminder to make time for what's really most important! I feel so often that I get to the end of the day and say, "Why did I care so much about answering all those e-mails or fixing the door when I should've finger-painted with my kids?" So it's your fault if my hands are too dirty to hop over to anyone else's blog tomorrow :)

Doreen McGettigan said...

What a great idea and it fits quite well with another challenge I am working on.
I have stopped by to visit and follow via "She Writes" Blogger Ball.
It is very nice to meet you.

Vinay said...

FRIENDSHIP DAY is an special occasion when you take some time and have a get together with your old friends.

Nancy MacMillan said...

Hi Thelma - Stopped by from the blog hop. I, too, think you're on the right path. A book on all you've learned would be great.

In reading "about you," I noticed you know a lot about charity work. I want to donate a portion of the proceeds from my book (once published) to a related charity, but I haven't a clue how. I'd love some pointers, or or direction, if you have time. Thank you in advance.

Friend Grief said...

Thank you all for stopping by.

My mantra these last couple of years has been "what are you waiting for?". We all need a reminder now and then to stop procrastinating, don't we?

John Smith said...

This blog is a great source of information which is very useful for me.
Friendship day