"Friends are like...the icing on the cupcake of life, the hot fudge on the sundae, the whipped cream on the hot chocolate!" (me, after one two many glasses of wine circa 2010).
[I was going to incorporate this into my "Self" post, but it seemed a big enough topic to tackle on its own. Thus, you will have to suffer through one more (really, this is the last one!) "Intention".]
When I sit back and survey my life---what I've got, what I'm aiming for, and what is missing---the one area I find sorely lacking is friendship. One of the suckiest things I've noticed about my transition to "adulthood" is the waning presence of friends in my life. I know this is not universal, but it seems fairly common. In many ways, it's my fault entirely. As I added new priorities to my life, something had to give. I just didn't always have the time or energy for long catch-up calls with distant friends, and it was (and IS) hard to orchestrate outings and activities that would help me make or grow closer to local pals. I figured it was an organic part of life, but I didn't realize how much I miss and need the companionship and support of a truly close friend.
Whether its giggling incomprehensibly over an inside joke, or talking--really talking--about the deep & dark, there is nothing as satisfying and comforting as time with a real "kindred spirit". Yes, in many ways G is my best friend. I want to talk to him about things, and I enjoy his company tremendously (duh!). But we have many different interests and truly distinct ways of thinking---there are some things I want to discuss or do that he has absolutely zero interest in (and vice versa). I think it is beneficial--even crucial--to a marriage for both parties to have other people to talk to and hang out with, so that the burden for companionship isn't solely on the spouse. (and someone to turn to when your troubles happen to be ABOUT your spouse!)
There have been many times over the past few years that I've craved an evening of wine & gossip or wished for a shopping companion on a Sunday afternoon. It's not that I have no friends---I have a few really close friends from work (but we don't hang out much on the weekends due to geography and circumstances) and G & I have some couple friends that we occasionally meet for a meal or drinks. But I don't have a best friend, and I could certainly use more friends.
I'm trying to bump up friend time on my priorities list this year. I miss my kids terribly at work, but a night away once every couple of weeks isn't going to scar any of us. I want to try to plan one social outing each weekend, too, whether as a couple, a family, or on my own. I've found this blog so so eye-opening in the exploration of friendship---why its important (with research to back it up!) and how to go about making more friends [I recently got the book, too, and need to read it!] I would like to actively set about on a "friend search", but honestly, not sure that I've got the energy for it now, so I'll focus on growing the relationships I do have, and if new ones happen to come along---I'll definitely take advantage of the opportunity.
Because life can be pretty lonely when you're going through it alone.