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Old Friends, New Friends, Tried Friends, True Friends

Posted 09-04-2012 at 09:21 AM by LookinForMayberry


Practicing gratitude has enriched my life in so many aspects, and that includes my friendships. Rather than letting my mind be over-wrought with petty concerns, I can focus on the person I am with and truly appreciate what they bring to my life. That includes my C-D friends, too.

Last night we attended a Labor Day BBQ at our friends' home, along with two other couples. We'd met one couple before, but only once. I had to practice mindfulness to not allow my mind to expect them to be anything other than fun and interesting. (I can still drift to negativity; upbringing is hard to overcome.)

They were not disappointing. All four were interested in life, enthusiastic about their experiences, and genuinely friendly and outgoing. I found myself relaxing immediately upon meeting them. Being grateful was no effort.

One couple had recently returned from a three week trip to the UK, with a brief stop in Paris. The wife wove her stories of their time spent in detail, and could've been TMI but for her absolute delight with the experience. Her joy was infectious. Her husband had a humorous way about him, and chipped in bits here and there in her story that had the rest of us laughing out loud.

The other wife just retired from her work as a cook in a local cafe, and was preparing for the 3-day walk. When asked about her future plans for retirement, she launched into an explanation of volunteer work she'd started to assist homeless through her church, as well as other organizations. We learned about a local group that teaches "clean and dry" homeless the skills to work in restaurants, and helps place them in jobs. She shared the story of a woman thrilled to be a graduate of the program and working in a popular place downtown, busing tables. I was thrilled to learn that one night a week top chefs from the region vie for the opportunity to take the day's food allotted (reaching date code, otherwise to be trash) and create gourmet meals that are sold to raise funds to help the program.

All evening, as I listened and laughed, I realized how enriched my life had been by our hosts' friendship over these past 22 years. We'd faced many trials in our lives since we first met, and still we've remained a constant to each other. I haven't always been grateful for them, and now that I am, the friendship means even more.

Funny how life can turn on just a tiny shift, isn't it? Thank goodness "shift happens"!
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