“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
As Thanksgiving approaches, we once again consider the people that have positively impacted our lives. This year, let’s spend the time to figure out how we can incorporate appreciation throughout the rest of the year as well.
When you look at the friends you have, think about the events that occurred for your relationship to begin. Do you have friends in your life that have been a part of it for so long that you don’t really remember a time when they weren’t around? Are you still connected with those you went through high school or college with? What about new friends? What occasions have brought people into your life that you just clicked with, right off the bat?
When you thought about the preceding questions, it probably brought to mind the friends that have come into your life through a variety of circumstances. Maybe you’ve rekindled some relationships on Facebook or other social media outlets. One of my friends not only reconnected with an old boyfriend on Facebook, she ended up marrying him. You never know.
Recently I “friended” my favorite babysitter. My siblings and I were not the easiest kids on the planet to control, to say the least. I always thought that we were horrible, and yet when I brought it up in our email conversation, she did not recall any negative memories of us. It’s nice to go back to your roots and discover that people that once played an important role in your life may come back into it again.
A few years ago on New Year’s Eve, my husband and I went out to dinner with a group of friends. We had enjoyed many New Year’s Eves with this group and I invited one of my newer friends to join us. As I expected, the “newbie” fit right in and before the end of the evening, we were making plans to all get together again.
In the course of conversation, we started talking about how we all met each other. When we explored the tangled web of relationships, places and events that came together at the exact right moment to bring us together, it was quite an eye-opening experience. (There are no coincidences.) When we are open, we meet the people and have the experiences that are right for us.
With the onslaught of networking opportunities, social media outlets, ease of travel, and varieties of new experiences to have, we attract many new people into our lives. Some of these people will stay acquaintances: you’ll smile and wave at them when you see them, but you don’t spend a lot of time together. Others will become business associates, and you may build long-term, friendly, and (hopefully) profitable relationships. A small percentage of the people you meet will become dear friends. Make sure that you let these people know how much their friendship means to you and how much you appreciate them. Be grateful for those moments. More importantly, stay open for opportunities to bring others into your life that will enrich it and make it even more interesting.
If you haven’t told your friends how much you appreciate them lately, take the time today to send them a note, an email or give them a call. You’ll both feel the benefits of shared gratitude.
If you haven’t told them lately, how can you be sure your friends REALLY know how you feel about them?