I hope you’ve been having a good week. I hope you’ve been treating yourself kindly. I hope you’ve shared some moments of spontaneity and laughter with people you love.
If you listened to my most recent Sunday Audio LoveGram, you know that I just spent a couple weeks in my hometown in Ohio, staying with my mom.
In that LoveGram, I talked about pausing to enjoy simple moments with people in our lives and remembering that our lives go by quickly.
Well, I certainly got to experience both of those things during a visit with my longtime, dear friend, Lisa. (Pictured above!)
Lisa and I have been friends since 1977, ever since her family moved into the house across the street from mine. That’s 44 years! (“Where has the time gone?! Can we possibly be this age?”)
Lisa’s mom still lives across the street from my own mom. And, since Lisa lives in Cleveland, just a couple hours away from our hometown, we make it a point to see one another every time I am in the area.
Of course, seeing my wonderful friend is always a huge gift. No matter what we do while together, we both get to cherish this decades-old friendship.
But, as you can see from those photos above, there is something that we’ve been doing over and again that adds some extra oomph to our time together. It is that zip-a-dee-dooh-dah element that marks our meetings in a way that makes them extra memorable.
You can probably guess what it is!
Ever since we’ve been teens, we’ve taken photos in which we are wearing our hair the same way, sporting the same clothes, or donning some funny accessory.
The very first time we did this was for that photo of us as cheerleaders. We deliberately braided our hair in the same way on opposite sides of our heads so we could mirror one another!
It’s silly, right?
But you know what else it is?
Sometimes lighthearted, “unimportant” rituals we have with people we love can exactly the thing that deepens our relationship.
Think about this for yourself.
Do you have a friend with whom you always meet at the same coffee shop? (Pre-pandemic, that is.) Do you always bake snickerdoodles with your mom and you each pop one in your mouth while it’s still burning hot? (Ouch! But also, ha-ha!) Do you and your cousin always greet one another by both belting out Bruce Springsteen’s line, “Baby we were born to run!” at the same time?
Make no mistake, these moments are gifts.
That’s right. Some of the very best gifts we give one another are experiences that help us feel close and connected.
I’m pretty certain that laughing with someone we love over an ongoing joke or sharing silly adventures are things we will remember way more than most tangible gifts.
It’s important that we start understanding this at a deeper level.
The positive energy we bring and the joys we experience with people we love are long-lasting gifts. They are touchstones.
Pause right now. Think about the people you are closest to and consider if there are rituals or habits or we-always-do-this things that can be treasured like jewels on the necklace of your relationship.
The idea is to start holding these experiences as beautiful gifts. When you share these moments with someone, be sure to pause and “put a frame around them” by saying something that expresses your joy and appreciation.
If you don’t already have rituals or zip-a-dee-doo-dah memorable moments, consider creating them.
What can you repeatedly do with your friend or family member that brings a smile to your faces? It can as simple as what my friend Lisa and I do — taking selfies when we are at TJ Maxx and trying on furry vests, neon pink faux leather coats, or Americana scarves and purses.
Will you give it a try?
Let me know! Tell me what adds some zip to your friendship!
Seek celebration — even in dark corners,