My Chosen Family

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Okay, so let me be straight with you all: one of my less-strong qualities is that I am not great at keeping in touch with friends.

I wish I could tell you I check in with my friends all the time—call them, write them, etc. Sure, I do the commenting thing on Facebook or Instagram, but let’s face it—that’s not real. Social media conversations here and there are not substitutes for real relationships with your friends.

Despite my slacking in the keeping-in-touch department lately, I’ve always been quite lucky in the field of making friends.

The people I call friends are dear to me.

I love them—they are my chosen family.

And I was reminded tonight just how true that is. Below is a picture of one of my best friends, Chris—or as his mother doubly named him—“Christer.”

“Christer” is what we call him when he’s being hilariously ridiculous, which is almost all the time! And I, being the semi-lame friend that I’ve been, hadn’t seen him since his birthday back in August!

I know, I know...

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Do any of you have that one friend with whom you laugh nonstop?

When you get home from spending time with him or her your cheeks hurt from cracking up so much and you now have five more inside jokes for the next hang out?

That’s my friend, Chris. He's one of those people who loves to laugh and make others laugh. He’s super positive and fun to be around!

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To give you an ever better idea of how dear he is to me, Chris was my man of honor at my wedding!

Chris has been a friend for a good chunk of my adult years and now I almost can't remember a time when we weren’t friends.

That’s the best isn’t it? When you have people so close that you can’t imagine life without them or their friendship. I try not to take that for granted. I love my friends deeply. They are so important and have been with me through so much.

But, I digress...

For our friend-day fun, we went to a restaurant to eat, watch football and have adult beverages (that’s where my $20 went)! We got to talk, catch up, and have conversation without interruption (a rarity in my Mama world!).

Then, Chris's Mama joined us for the dinner portion of the evening. She and he usually have dinner every week on Sunday nights (which is when we were out) and I’ve known her almost as long as I’ve known him—over 10 years! She is such a funny, sweet lady.

All in all, we had a blast, y’all! I forgot how fun it is to just sit around talking without a chore, errand, schedule, or endless list of things to do running through your head. Or to not have to take care of anyone all day! I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, or that my life is always difficult. That’s not it. I just haven’t carved out much time for friends lately, or for myself.

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After dinner, we ended up coming up with a plan to meet other friends at the movies. I forgot how quickly plans change and get made on the whim when I'm with Chris! That’s one of the other things I love about him—he’s spontaneous and loves to socialize, like me! So, we went to a movie and got to see more friends! Bonus!

This amazing evening spent with friends was recharging in the best way. I needed to just hang out and be myself without any responsibilities or guilt. I now realize that I need this kind of relaxed fun more often.

I am for sure going to make the effort to connect with my family of friends again. It’s wonderful to make friendships throughout life; it's kind of like collecting pages and chapters to a book about you. Some pieces of the story only certain friends know and some pieces only others know.

It’s pretty incredible when you think about it: the time, laughter, tears, hugs, adventures, memories—our friendships all create these moments we look back on and cherish as we grow old, if we are blessed to do so.

I have such a beautiful community of friends and I am so grateful.

And I am realizing that part of showing that gratitude is being more open with my time and attention. I may not be able to hang out with everyone as often as I’d like, but I can certainly make it more than never! It has become a new goal for me.

My resolution this year was to be more open. In this case, that means being more open with my time. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Thanks for another night of great memories, laughs, and inside jokes, Christer.

Love you.

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