Tag Archives: friendship

FriendshipC

Friendship Starts with C

 

Yes, I do know how to spell. And, no, I’m not having a “senior moment.” But I did recently discover a fun list in a book (Friends of the Heart: Growing Friendships that Last Forever by Emilie Barnes and Donna Otto, p. 26) that connected friendship with the letter C. Just can’t resist sharing some of these C words with you.

Caring, Catalysts, Celebration, Cherished, Chocolate, Chumminess, Coffee,

Collegiality, Comfort,  Commonality, Communication, Concern, Connection,

Consistency, Continuity, Contribution, Counsel, Courtesy

Perhaps one of those words jumped off the page at you. I landed on the word collegiality. Word-nerd that I am, I love the way it sounds as it rolls off my tongue. And I love that I had to look up what it means because I don’t use it every day. Here is what I discovered from yourdictionary.com:

  1. the sharing of authority among colleagues
  2. the principle that authority is shared by the pope and the bishops
  3. considerate and respectful conduct among colleagues or an atmosphere, relationship, etc. characterized by this

I can’t pretend to have the expertise to address the authority shared by the pope and bishops, but I do want to muse a bit about the definition of the word collegiality as it relates to friendship. I must be all wrapped up in words because I immediately think of two of them that help clarify the meaning of collegiality by defining what it is NOT.

A collegial (considerate, respectful) relationship between friends seems to leave no room for another C word: Competitiveness.

Collegiality suggests, “Let’s build something, do something, together” rather than saying, “Let’s both do this and see who can do it faster and better.”

A collegial (considerate, respectful) relationship between friends also seems to leave no room for another C word: Control.

Collegiality suggests, “Let’s talk this through and come up with a solution we can both embrace” rather than saying, “You need to do this my way. It is the best way.”

Enough of the word-nerd musings. Let’s make this practical. What does collegiality look like in flesh-and-blood relationships?

I think back to my days of sitting at my mother’s bedside and watching her “700 friends” surround her in her last days on this earth. They did not need to prove who cared for her best. They did not demand to run the show and tell doctors and family what needed doing. They listened to Mom and tried to honor her desires. They listened to me and my brothers and tried to honor our wishes for mom in her dying days. They made dying a group effort—a beautiful, choreographed dance of sorts.

No wonder I’m drawn to that word: collegiality. I lived it.

Grateful!

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National Interdependence Day

Some of you read this when I published it a year ago, but I run it again this year because I find I need this reminder. Perhaps you do too. :-)

 

So . . . we just celebrated Independence Day. Fireworks, picnics, lots of hoopla, and lots of red, white, and blue.  Maybe a little watermelon and a burger.

As I prepared to celebrate, my word-nerd self couldn’t help mulling over the meaning of the word, independent. And then, of course, I pulled out my dictionary. Yes, the hard cover copy of my Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.

independent adj. 1. Not influenced or controlled by others; thinking or acting for oneself.  2. Not depending or contingent upon something else. 3. Not relying on another for aid or support.

Lots of that word not. Kind of makes me feel sad. And lonely. Especially when contrasted with another adjective: interdependent.

interdependent adj. mutually dependent; depending on each other

That sounds more inviting, doesn’t it? Like calling a friend during a life-storm and hearing the words, “Don’t worry. I’ve got your back.”

Perhaps we should start a national campaign to launch a new nationwide celebration day: Interdependence Day.

Are you in? 

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National Goof Off Day

I found it on the Internet so it must be true: March 22 is National Goof Off Day.

Did you celebrate? I hope so

I would be willing to best that most of you couldn’t let yourselves goof off for an entire day. Just too much to do. And too little time. Busy is good, right?

Think about how you would respond to a friend or to a spouse who said, “Hey, let’s both take the day off today and just goof around.”

My day would start with breakfast out. Probably an egg skillet. And then a large coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. A long walk. Lots of one-on-one conversation. Maybe a trip to an outlet mall. Lots of laughter. . . .

Imagine a day without an agenda. Could you do it?

John and I just talked about the idea over Friday lunch. He proposed, “On our way to see family in Ohio in a few weeks, let’s leave early, stop somewhere on the way, and just goof around.”

“Yes! Yes! Great idea.”

Any relationship benefits from goof-around time, don’t you think? Not my agenda or your agenda. No lists of errands to run or tasks to complete. No heavy topics to discuss.

So, Dear Reader, I offer you a challenge today in honor of National Goof Off Day: Set up some goof-around time with a friend or your spouse this week. Put it on your calendar just like a dentist (!) appointment.

If you need an image to inspire you, maybe this (courtesy of Disney) will help:
http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/03/vintage-walt-disney-world-its-national-goof-off-day/

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Let’s . . . Together

“Let’s do it together.”

My mentor and friend Helen deVette spoke those words to me at a dark time in my life. Depression had settled over me although she didn’t know it.

“Let’s do a journaling class together for the women at the college. I can’t do it by myself. Could you help me?”

That word together bought me hope.

Pulled me out of isolation.
Reminded me I had something to offer other people.
Shouted to me that I had a team.

I just had another encounter with this fabulous word.

I just returned from a NJ visit—not exactly a warm-weather get-away, but one of my favorite destinations. Why? My friend’s kitchen sits in NJ.

Linda and I first met in college, a few years (okay, decades!) ago. While her husband dashed off to Europe to deliver a linguistics paper, the two of us sat in her sun-filled kitchen, while the homemade split-pea soup bubbled.

As I let the layers of responsibility and concern begin to peel off my back, I began to realize that depression once again lurked at my door. Winter has been cold and looong here in Illinois. And dark. My “happy” light helps. But lately I have settled into the basement sofa more and more. I know exercise, diet, and connection time would help. But oh, the sofa feels so comfortable.

So as Linda and I sat in her kitchen I found myself putting words to my inner struggle and confessing to her my need to get moving.

“Let’s do it together,” she said without hesitation.

“While you’re here I’ll show you some of my exercise videos. We can do them together. And I’m doing this online program called My Fitness Pal. It really helps me keep on track. https://www.myfitnesspal.com

So for the next few days, between soup and chocolate covered strawberries, we exercised, laughing at ourselves as we tried to keep up with the perky hosts on exercise videos or patting ourselves on the back after we shoveled ourselves out of a driveway full of 8 inches of snow.

At home now I have my copies of the exercise videos, a myfitnesspal account, and a word ringing in my head: Together.

Somehow, today, the winter feels like it just might end.

Hope.

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A Used Car Christmas Celebration

Saturday. Thought the day might end at a Christmas concert. Instead, it ended at a used car dealership. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

It all started by saying, “Yes,” something I had just read about that in Chapter Nine of Bob Goff’s book, Love Does: “I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.”

Kate had texted earlier in the week and asked, “Could I come up and stay with you to look at a car this weekend?”

“Yes! And we’re happy to help you with the car hunt.”

And so Saturday unfolded. First, a not-so-great option with a bumper issue and door handle issue and clutch issue. . . .  Then John and I and Kate regrouped, did some research, had some food (what I always recommend in times of stress), and headed to a used car dealership to look at another option.

We shook hands with the salesman and introduced ourselves. “I’m Kate. “ John and I hesitated a bit. How do we explain our role in this unfolding drama? We’re not parents. Not Aunt and Uncle. Not Grandparents. “We are Kate’s friends.”

That makes me smile.

Kate’s mom was one of my college roommates oh so many years ago. A Storm Sister. When Kate arrived here for college. John and I welcomed her into our home, complete with a nickname: “Kate the Great,” and Kate accepted our dinner invitations and wacky humor and dog who licked her toes.

And so on Saturday we found ourselves sitting together at a used car dealership. We test drove, a car, sat around a table to negotiate, had an inspection done, ate some popcorn. . . .

And I felt soul-happy.

Helping Kate seemed like just a tiny pay-it-forward to someone who befriended me years ago and gifted me with his wisdom, direction, and joy.

God.

“I see. I care. I’m doing something. I’m sending Jesus.”

Christmas.

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What Is Your Story?

So you’ve listened to me for many months now, and if you’ve read my book, Storm Sisters, you’ve heard lots of my stories.  You may be saying, “Enough already!”

Do you mind if we change things up a bit? I would like to hear YOUR stories. And I know others readers of this blog would too.

Why?

Because hearing another’s story reminds us that we have company. In our busy, disconnected, unpredictable, and often lonely world, don’t we all need that?

C. S. Lewis said it so well in his book, The Four Loves: “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .””  https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/14816053-the-four-loves

In chapter three (p. 40) of my book I write, “I have never asked for help well. I am much more comfortable helping than receiving help.” I then describe a time when I found the courage to ask for help and the surprising help-gifts my friends offered.

Did you have a similar moment? A time when you found the courage to ask another for help? If so, brave friend, would you tell us your story?

Do not include full names, just use initials. And do not include location details. Do include your hesitations, worries, motivation, challenges, joys, lessons learned, etc. And describe your friend’s reaction to your “Help” cry.

I will edit (gently, I promise!) your story, let you see it before it runs in the blog, and send you and your Storm Sister each a signed copy of my book as well as a set of handmade Storm Sister cards, designed specifically for you by my talented friend, Melody Bodger: http://www.pinterest.com/aftonrorvik/cards-by-melody-bodger/

Send your stories to http://aftonrorvik.com/contact/

So looking forward to hearing your stories. Thank you!!

Follow me on Twitter @rorvik_afton
Tweet me at #StormSisters

pizza

Wouldn’t Want to Miss This

Two slices of deep-dish pizza, nestled in a baggie, dangled from my mailbox.  My friend had brought me lunch.

What extraordinary, out-of-the-box delivery service!

Just like so many people I know. Extraordinary. Out-of-the-box. I find that I especially gravitate toward friends with some specific qualities:

  • Humor. I tend to be way too serious. Always pondering the meaning of life and the universe. I depend on John for his good humor and lighter perspective. And also on my pizza-hanging friend and others who open my eyes to the silly side of life.
  • Challenge. I can get stuck. Stuck on myself. Stuck in a specific way to do life. Stuck in the past. Stuck in worry. I have several wise friends who speak honest words to me: “I would love to see you.  . . .”
  • Wisdom.  Sometimes I simply feel inadequate. Can’t figure out this social media stuff—blogging, posting, pinning, tweeting. Oh, my! Can’t figure out how to navigate quiet spaces. Can’t figure out how to navigate empty nest. And then I ask a wise friend, “What did you do when . . . ?” My friends speak truth to me from their experience, and they also speak truth to me from their faith in God and their love of his words as written in the Bible.

What about you? What draws you into friendship?

And thank you, wise friends, for joining this ongoing conversation.

Follow me on Twitter @rorvik_afton
Tweet me at #StormSisters

Sept29

“But I’m Afraid”

Public speaking. Heights. Snakes.

Maybe these fears top your list as they do mine. Or not.

True confession: friendship sometimes takes a place on my Top Ten Fears list. Ironic, I know, because I just wrote a book about friendship.

Let me explain.

On any given day, a million, or at least three or so, questions come to mind that give me pause as I consider connecting with flesh and blood people.

  • Time. Can I/should I interrupt my day with its self-imposed goals for conversation? Deadlines and commitments matter, don’t they? More than conversation?
  • Energy. Do I have enough zip in my tank to build into someone else’s life today? I’m weary and out of gas myself more days than I would like to admit.
  • Tidiness. I like order, structure, predictability. Can I/should I push aside the tidiness of my day for the sake of building a relationship today?

So . . . I wrestle.

What about you? What makes you hesitate about jumping into friendship? (Next week we’ll talk about what draws us into friendships.)

And thank you, wise friends, for joining this ongoing conversation. 

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Times They are A-Changin’

Every September it happens. Kids go back to school. Students arrive back at the college where John works. Days begin to shorten. The temperature starts to drop.

And I struggle.

Back to a quiet house. Back to ???

Some Septembers I have had a place to go, an office. Other Septembers I have had a big freelance editing project. Or a book deadline.

This year? Quiet.

So, as I wrestle with the “What next?” I’ve decided to talk about it. To you. And also to friends over coffee or lunch or a walk around the block. When someone asks, “How are you?” I respond honestly, “I’m in this odd place at the moment. Between things.”

In the admitting comes a sense of release, a letting go of sorting this out by myself.

Over breakfast this morning (ok, guess I’m doing a lot of eating out!), friends laughed with me as we brainstormed some out-of-the-box ideas for what’s next.

Back home now nothing appears different. Still quiet. But I carry with me the laughter and concern of those friends. And I feel carried by connection.

I wonder, would I feel this way, if I had decided to stay mum over breakfast this morning or just talk about the great and wonderful parts of my life or just stay home and skip breakfast?

What do you think?

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National Interdependence Day?

So . . . we just celebrated Independence Day. Fireworks, picnics, lots of hoopla, and lots of red, white, and blue.  Maybe a little watermelon and a burger.

As I prepared to celebrate, my word-nerd self couldn’t help mulling over the meaning of the word, independent. And then, of course, I pulled out my dictionary. Yes, the hard cover copy of my Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.

independent adj. 1. Not influenced or controlled by others; thinking or acting for oneself.  2. Not depending or contingent upon something else. 3. Not relying on another for aid or support.

Lots of that word not. Kind of makes me feel sad. And lonely. Especially when contrasted with another adjective: interdependent.

interdependent adj. mutually dependent; depending on each other

That sounds more inviting, doesn’t it? Like calling a friend during a life-storm and hearing the words, “Don’t worry. I’ve got your back.”

Perhaps we should start a national campaign to launch a new nationwide celebration day: Interdependence Day.

Are you in?