New Year’s Resolution: Deepen Friendships

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I mentioned previously that I made Tim engage in a “reflection on the past year and intentions for the upcoming year.” The thing that he brought up — that I promptly adopted — was the desire to maintain closer relationships with the people in our lives. He kept describing it as “casual friendships,” which I kept hearing as “a lot of not-that-close friends.” But what he really meant was friendships that we don’t treat as precious events, instead getting to the level of friendship where you can make casual plans the day-of or be just as happy meeting up for a single drink versus a whole big night out. I love the sound of that — don’t you?

It’s my theory that everyone wants a FRIENDS-ship. Obviously, with TV being my #1 hobby/interest, I do mean the NBC hit comedy from 1994-2004. The show follows friends across three different apartments in NYC who could just show up unannounced constantly, make fun of each other, have fights and patch things up, and it somehow it all wasn’t weird. (See also: ‘Seinfeld’; ‘Clarissa Explains It All’; I’m pretty sure ‘The Big Bang Theory’ also has this?) I’ve never had an adult FRIENDS-ship. (I sort of had those uber-close, do-everything-together friendships in elementary/middle school but realistically that’s just not the same.)

In reality I’m too afraid to not constantly have my front door locked so I will never have that type of friendship. So here are some things I’m trying to do to foster greater friendships!

  • Just send the text. If it’s been a while, don’t be afraid to send a quick “hey! been thinking about you” message.  A lot of times, I get in my head like, “It’s been too long. I’ll need to do a proper full hours-long catch-up session and right now I can’t commit to that.” But that just keeps me from catching up even longer. Just send the message now!
  • Organize a group event. If I want to start a friendship with someone and we have mutual friends, I’ll probably invite them all over for cocktails or a dinner party. That way, it’s a lower-stress environment because there are many people that we know well, and there are only one or two people we are getting to know. The biggest fear is usually that you don’t know what to talk about, and by having another party present, you can learn about them more indirectly without the pressure!
  • Invite them to what you’re already doing. This one was a bit of an “aha” moment when I decided on my New Year’s Resolutions. Because I wanted to experience more, why can’t I two-birds-one-stone it by inviting a friend along? I want to visit a couple local wineries. When I do, I’ll invite someone I know who’d enjoy it. There’s a concert coming up I’m dying to attend, or a bar I want to visit, or a workout I want to try. Add a friend and get drinks after! It’s a perfect system.

I think a lot of people struggle with keeping up friendships. In fact, I saw recently that people form an average of 400 friendships in their life but only keep 33. TBH my first thought when I heard they keep 33 was “wow, that many?” I think it’s hard to maintain pretty much all friendships. And I’m an extrovert, so I can only imagine it’s even more difficult for an introvert. Make it easy on yourself, then, and remove the pressure. And don’t forget to lock your doors, even if your friend does live nearby. This world has as many Chandlers as it does Janices.


PS: I’ve been getting a LOT of comments on my bullet journal. I’m obsessed! I got all my gear on Amazon: dot-matrix notebook | fine-point markers | stencils (MUST!) | washi tape

New Year’s Resolution: Experience More

New Year’s Eve is such an overrated holiday, right? It’s a lot of expectations for one tiny second switching from one year to the next. (Or in my case, I haven’t made it to midnight in at least three years.)

But I’m a huge sucker for New Year’s Resolutions. There’s something about the perceived “reset button” of a new year that makes me so motivated. So after forcing Tim to do “reflection and intentions” with me, I put together my New Year’s Resolutions for 2018.

Ok, I made a couple little mistakes because I’m new to my sure to be short-lived attempt at bullet journaling. But whatever, all in all it looks pretty cute, no?

So I’m starting with the one that’s most exciting to me: Experience More.

When Tim and I went on our honeymoon to Chile & Argentina, I was so inspired. First of all, I really had no idea what to expect going there. I feel like I knew what I was getting into when I first went to Paris or Rome. But Santiago? It hadn’t been on my radar as a kid the same way that the Colosseum was. And the whole trip was AMAZING. (I am pronouncing that “a-MASE-ing” because that’s how an Argentine would pronounce that word in English, and it’s impossibly charming to me.) We did so much: Interesting restaurants with local foods; in-depth winery tours learning how Mendoza vintners create their wine.

Speaking of Mendoza — best known as a massive wine region in Argentina, the size of the state of Indiana, and capital of Malbec production — something big stuck with me there. (Not just the several pounds I undoubtedly gained from consuming steak, bread, and a cumulative bottle of wine every day.) So many times throughout our trip, people assumed that we went to wineries all the time because we live near Napa & Sonoma. Spoiler alert, we totally don’t. Like twice a year maybe. And that thought totally crushed me. I put such an emphasis on traveling the world — and I don’t want that to change. But instead of throwing away a day by sitting around the house or just going to one of the restaurants down the street that aren’t special to me. It’s so easy to make the effort to go somewhere new.

As soon as we got back from our honeymoon, I made an effort to put fun things together. We went for a hike, and instead of getting Taco Bell on the way home, I put together a little charcuterie picnic and we drove to a local winery only 20 minutes away from where we hiked. It was SO GRATIFYING! We got a full tasting and took home a few bottles and still look back really fondly on that day.

When I lived in LA, I created a spreadsheet of all the places I wanted to check out, organized by neighborhood. Well, I have one for the Bay Area now, and we’ve been ticking off places pretty consistently. That’s why I love New Year’s Resolutions: They motivate action (or in my case, they motivate organization, which motivates action).

What do you want to experience this year?

PS: I’ve been getting a LOT of comments on my bullet journal. I’m obsessed! I got all my gear on Amazon: dot-matrix notebook | fine-point markers | stencils (MUST!) | washi tape