The popular New Year’s resolution of the day is to spend more time with friends. I’m struggling to write it, and it’s not because I don’t want to, but because my brain is in too many places, and because I’ve always had so much trouble even making friends that it’s hard for me to imagine not having time to spend with them, so I’m feeling like all of my advice would be a rehash of my advice for spending more time with family. Autism is a social disorder, I had my mom buy me a self-help book on how to make friends when I was 10 or 11 and we had moved yet again and I was yet again not fitting in. That book taught me that people like confidence. What I have learned from life experience as a confident person is that people are intimidated as hell by confidence.
Anyway. The reason I’m having a hard time focusing on this one enough to write it is all of the political doings in the US just now, largely revolving around the “Muslim” travel ban, and the protests in response to it, and all of the Facebook politicians who have so many different opinions. Some make me sad, some make me mad, so far only one actually shocked me. Last night I was scrolling through Facebook posts in the bathtub and came upon a meme posted by a friend of a friend (I presume, it wasn’t posted by one of my friends so I’m guessing that’s how it showed up in my news feed) that had an angry picture of Trump and told me he was the son of a German immigrant and that Germans are good at closing their hearts to people. It felt like a slap in the face and a kick in the gut to suddenly see my own (half) nationality being lambasted with such a broad brush. By the people who oppose Trump and are therefore theoretically supposed to be against racism and against lumping groups of people together by nationality and giving them all the same traits.
So for my own catharsis I put together an album of the pure German blooded Americans in my family that have been fighting for and serving The United States literally every generation since the Revolutionary War, when we immigrated to the new world as farmers avoiding religious persecution and ended up fighting to make our country a country. We’ve served in all branches of the military, and we served in World War II, against the Nazis. You show us a Nazi to punch and we’re going to punch them. Occasionally with a torpedo or a B29 Bomber, but a punch nonetheless. So there’s some part of me that wants to focus on how to keep the friends you’ve got, rather than how to find more time to spend offending them. But, these are y’alls resolutions, not mine, so I’m going to try to pull this together.
So. Ideas for how to spend more time with your friends. Depends a lot on why you don’t have time to spend with your friends to begin with. Are you studying too much, working too much, spending all your time with your kids and needing grown up time? Whatever the answer is, finding time is a you job, you need to budget your time like you budget your money. Cover your necessities first and wants second, decide which are which, prioritize, and look for ways to cut corners by doubling up on spending time with friends while doing things you already do but with their company.
I used to have a bestfriend that lived an hour and a half north of me, we’d usually get together once a month or so, depending on the time of year and the weather, cause icy interstates suck, but since we had to travel to see each other we usually made it a whole day thing, so sure we might go get pedicures or we might watch a movie, but we also did cooking and cleaning and going to the grocery store and chasing her 5 kids around arcades or going out to eat with the whole family, and all of the daily stuff. We spent the whole day talking and everything, but it was talking while doing things. Talking while pulling weeds in the garden or hanging laundry or packing moving boxes. We didn’t have to go out to clubs, sometimes in the evening there’d be a glass of wine or a beer but it was at one of our homes. Having each other as friends that were willing to tackle the mundane tasks together meant we had extra-time available every now and then to do a day trip to some other town or a picnic and hiking or a drive-in movie after all the daily stuff was done, and we did pull off one midnight showing of Rocky Horror. So based on my personal experience I feel like the biggest thing is if you’re not feeling you’re getting enough friend time then you should talk to your friends about making that time a priority. Maybe your friends who don’t have kids are struggling to feel like you still want them around when you’re doing the family thing or vice versa. Maybe your single friends don’t want to be the third wheel and you need to leave the significant other home every fourth time or so that you see that friend so they know they still matter on a one on one basis.
Beyond helping out with the everyday monotony while socializing, which not every friend will be awesome enough to do, try to find something you can work on together for mutual benefit. Did you both make the same resolution or goal for the year? Do it together. Be gym buddies or walking partners or do go shopping together and try new recipes together or go on a diet together so you can go out to lunch together with the same restrictions so you don’t have to worry about feeling like everyone else is having to cater to you. Be travel buddies and take those day trips together or save up together for cruises or shared interest destinations like places that are supposed to be haunted or iconic landmarks or sporting events.
Make some routine time to spend with friends, even if it isn’t the same friend or group of friends everyday on that routine. Talk to your partner and agree to give each other girls night and/or guys night. If you have kids then the two of you may have to take turns, but you can also do couples nights or even just friends nights in general, so find a good babysitter that you trust. Usually the older child of a friend is gonna be your go to, but there are also agencies you can go through, and you can always ask an older neighbor or church member that may miss having kids around and be happy to take over for occasional days or evenings. Be willing to have some guys nights, girls nights, or friends nights at home. That might be a game night or a dinner party or if you’re adventurous and fun loving maybe a theme party or murder night. Have some barbecues and picnics and potlucks.
Your friends are your friends because you have SOMETHING in common that brought you together. So, make the most of that. Have play dates. Go to the dog park together. Start a book club. Start a Bible study. Have a fantasy sports league. (That can work for things other than football, right? I don’t sports so much.) Have movie nights and watch all of the great old classics or all the movies that have won an Academy Award, or all the movies that have won a Palmes d’Or. Go antiquing together. Start a knitting or quilting circle. Try a new restaurant together once a month. Explore new hobbies together. Go out and make some new friends. You should keep your old friends, but you should make new ones too. People grow in different directions and they need to have room to do that.
Anyhow. Todays daily tasks, which you have like 2 hours to do depending on your time zone or your bedtime, and therefore obviously can be carried over to tomorrow are:
Give Yourself a Facial Scrub. If you have some left over from a previous project or some store-bought then definitely go with it. Otherwise, today we’re gonna go with an Oatmeal Scrub. To make it you’ll want to mix finely ground oatmeal with honey and/or kefir, yogurt, or buttermilk. Apply to your face and scrub it gently in a circular motion. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes, then rinse it off and wash your face as usual.
Clean your Stairway if you’ve got one. Any stairway. Whether it’s to a second floor or a basement or attic or cellar, or third floor, whatever stairs you’ve got. Dust any wall art you’ve got, dust and polish the banister or railing, sweep or vacuum. If you’ve got any jackets or clothing or what have you slung over the railing get em put away or washed or hung or wherever they need to be.
Do some Core Exercises. You know what they are. Get on those crunches and other mat exercises. If you’ve got a yoga ball to do your crunches on go for it! In addition to crunches, add some oblique crunches, some planks, some side planks, and some reverse crunches.
Lastly, we’re gonna do another guided meditation and subliminal audio to soothe sinuses and relieve illness, because I’ve heard all the cleaning has kicked up some dust allergies, and I’m feeling some sinus gunk myself.
That’s it for today. Finally 🙂 I’ll see you all on Facebook VERY soon for the Question of the Day.
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.