Kristie West’s 30-Day Challenge - http://www.kristiewest.com/ - 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 http://www.friendship.com.au/, and feel free to share your own ideas here.