An Ode to Friendships

As 2017 comes to a close and I prepare for the last crappy dinner party of the year, I wanted to write a post about how thankful I am for my friendships.

There’s this saying that friendships are either for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m sure you can think of a friend who was only in your life long enough to teach you something or to show you the way {reason}. Maybe you have a friendship that lasted only while you were employed at the same place, attending the same school, or playing on the same sports team {season}. And many of us are lucky enough to have friendships that’ve lasted through it all and those friends that will stand by you no matter what {lifetime}.

As I was lamenting the end of a friendship while sitting on my therapist’s couch a while back, she told me, “Ashley, what if you still had all of the friends you’d ever made? How would you have time for all of them? You wouldn’t! And they wouldn’t all have time for you.” She’s right (as she typically is). Yes, it is sad when a friendship ends. Two-fold silver lining, though:

  1. Maybe you learned something from that friend {reason} or maybe he/she made your life better while you were together for that period of time {season}
  2. I remember all of the wonderful friendships I still have!

And with all of those wonderful friendships I have, we do some really wonderful things together. Here are some of my favorites:

Crappy Dinner Parties

My friend, Kristin, had just had a baby, and she was, well…busy. After reading an article about crappy dinner parties and missing her {lifetime} friendship, I sent her this article and tagged our {lifetime} friend Karen. “Wouldn’t this be fun?” I posted. We all fell in love with the idea, and have been having them ever since. We try for once a month, but with work and life, we don’t always fit it in.

The article suggested a few rules, and we have some, too:

  1. No saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry my house isn’t clean enough. I’m sorry I forgot the wine. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy. None of it. It’s all about us being together, and never, ever feeling bad.
  2. Everyone brings something, even if it’s a rotisserie chicken (which is my go-to!).
  3. We aren’t allowed to try too hard. Come as we are. No special trips to the grocery store for fancy food.

Brunch Club

In an article I’d read (clearly I really like reading random articles on Facebook), the author brought together all of her friends from different walks of life so that people could network and meet new friends. Not only do I love my friends, I also love brunch and trying new restaurants. So in early 2016, I married these things together and created Brunch Club!

First, I started a Facebook group with all of my girlfriends living in Chicago. Then, every other month or so, I create an event that everyone’s invited to. We’ve had as many as 10 ladies to as little as four. Whoever isn’t busy joins us. Everyone who comes has fun!

Oak Park Sleepovers

When my {lifetime} best friend moved to Oak Park (a 40-minute drive from my house), I’ll admit, I was sad. We’d had this monthly or so tradition when she lived in Chicago that I’d come over right after work and her family and I would eat dinner together. I’d stay for a few hours and play Dance Dance Revolution or put together puzzles with her sons. Then, I’d hop on the bus and go home. But, when she moved, it was too hard for me to get home from hers without a car. Earlier this year, we decided to have monthly sleepovers. After work, she drives me to her house, her family and I eat dinner, we play games, then I stay the night in their extra bedroom and take the Metra to work the next day.

Big love and thank you to all of my friends! I’m grateful for you and all of the joy you’ve brought to my life xoxo  -Ashley

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