28 Day Challenge (Day 4) + OLW February: Friendship

We are never better than when we are together. We are at our best in community – we are capable of love and empathy and sweetness and connection, so much deeper than we even understand.” – Matt Nathanson

This year as part of my One Little Word (OLW) SECURE, I’m focusing on different aspects of my life and finding ways to make them more secure. Last month I focused on my body + mind. This month I’m focused on relationships – with friends and with my husband – and giving some attention to what it takes to put myself out there a little more, widen my inner circle, and cultivate friendships with people that add value to our lives.

So when I read today’s 28-day challenge prompt about finding your people, I knew this was bigger than one day. In fact, this is my focus for the month. It’s really REALLY important. And I’ll explain why.

When Your Priorities Are Elsewhere

When I first considered my OLW SECURE, I was coming off of three years of intense focus on my kids – helping Cal get a solid foundation, fighting like hell to keep him, meanwhile raising Max and his wild, adventurous soul, and, more recently, growing this amazing little Adeline, and all it took to bring her into this world.

These are not small things. They are everything. And it took every single thing I had to get them to where they are today.

And that was SO important. And SO necessary. But it came at a cost. And that cost was the focus and energy and attention that we could have been giving to other things – like friendships, activities, adventure…

And now, lately, we have found ourselves with this open gap in our social calendar. You see, we spent so long just trying to get through every day, trying to get ourselves whole again, that we didn’t have much to give anyone else. We didn’t have enough, even, for ourselves.

Friendships Make You Stronger

And we know, because we’ve been there, that friendships make you stronger. They are the cushion that softens a fall. They are the lightness when life gets heavy. They are the honest, tear-filled conversation of life and love and heartbreak that make every single day a little sweeter, a little more joyful, and a little more secure.

Because when you have friends that love you, and that you love, everything is easier. Even if you never need to make the call, knowing you have someone to call is everything.

Like, recently, when I had a job interview that required me to be somewhere, in the middle of a work day, when normally I have two kids with me and everything I’m friends with is working. I scrambled to find care, I went out well beyond my comfort because I just had to make it work.

And it did.

My friend Kate came through. She offered to take Adeline, while Max extended his preschool day, and I landed that job in a new place and started what is now my new venture.

And that would not have been possible without her. And I am forever grateful for it.

This Month in Friendships

So, now that Adeline is bigger, and life is settling, we find ourselves free from the physical and emotional burdens that have held us back for so long. And so we are free to go skating with friends. We are free to have people over for a quick meal and good conversation. Free to hang out for two hours on a Friday, because why not? Free to say YES and make it work. Free to invite people into our lives, into our hearts, into our family.

We are free.

And so this month, I am challenging myself to say YES. Say YES to every opportunity to spend time with friends. Say YES to events I would normally shirk off. Say YES to new things, new possibilities, new connections.

And I’m SO so excited about it.

 

Circle of Friends

“Circles are significant. They are a symbol that represent wholeness, unity and connection. We are surrounded by reminders of this significance. Look someone in the eye and you are peering into circular pupils. Gaze at the night sky and circular stars and a rotund moon are waiting to be noticed. A glowing orb of a sun lights our days and nourishes green growing things that help to sustain our lives. Circles remind us that we are all connected to each other.”

Part of the Challenge today was to draw a circle and physically write names in it. I am challenging myself to take it a step farther, only adding the names of friends who I physically see, or engage with in a deeper way.

“Which is why, when we unite as moms and friends, our powers are limitless. United we are better, a network of women who are in it together, interlocking and interwoven, the fastest network and the strongest safety net.”

And I want to fill that circle. And I’m going to work tirelessly, with great joy, to get there.

 

 

xoxo,

Julie

 

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For several years Ali Edwards has started her year with a word. No resolutions or promises to break, just one little word® to check back on for guidance or reflection. As she describes it, “You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. Follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.” After a challenging 2016, my choice for 2017 is to become SECURE. Each month, I’m focused on a different aspect of securing who I am, where I am, and what we’re doing. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. For more of my one little word, follow my tag one little word.

MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers, is and international organization that encourages and equips mothers of young children to realize their potential as mothers and leaders. “We’ve all been placed in this time and place in history, as the tribe of women who are raising the world. And the beauty of it is that we don’t all have to agree with one another but everyone is in and we all need each other.” This 28-day challenge is coupled with reading, a daily truth or dare, and videos and resources that allow us to connect, discuss, and dive into this topic of woman-hood and mother-hood. Come back daily, or read along in this thread, to see my posts and stories for each day.

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