3 Ways to be a Remarkable Friend

I want to be a better friend. It’s something I’m working on in the new year. Thankfully, I have some amazing people in my life who model how to be a true friend every day.

We can also learn a lot from people about what not to do. In this case, a story about Miss Perfect and her love of laundry. (No, really.)

Oftentimes, the problems in our friends’ lives don’t overtly stand out. Instead, there are symtoms. Smaller issues that indicate a bigger problem below the surface.

Last year I hosted a group of women from church for a luncheon. I hadn’t seen Mother Perfect in months and she asked how I was doing. I wanted to tell her about the depression, sleepless nights, and chronic pain. But all I could muster was:

“Honestly, I’m low on sleep and struggling to keep up with the house. Specifically, the laundry is killing me. I’m folding at midnight at least three days a week. It’s overwhelming.”

I try not to complain or rant to my friends. I’m generally a positive, grateful person. But that day I needed to vent to someone who would understand. My laundry was multiplying faster than a jackrabbit on a date and I couldn’t take it anymore.

Astonished, she looked at me with a furled brow and said:

“Oh, not me. I love doing the laundry! I count it as great joy to have a family to do the laundry for!”

(Is she freaking kidding me right now?) [Read more…]


3 Easy Ways to Show Gratitude

For many of us, Thanksgiving week marks the beginning of the stressful holiday season. Days riddled with anxiety and a 500% increase in our to-do lists replace what should be time spent enjoying family, friends, and being thankful.

But what does being thankful look like? Is it volunteering 40 hours in a soup kitchen? Getting expensive gifts for everyone in your life? Or do you have to sit in a room by yourself all day and meditate on your blessings? You don’t need to have that kind of time or resources to be thankful.

Here are 3 easy ways to show gratitude:

  1. Text a friend. Send a quick message to tell someone you miss them and why you’re thankful to have them in your life.
  2. Pick up the phone. Nobody calls anyone anymore. We email or text more than we should. Your voice is a gift. Call someone who needs to hear from you.
  3. Write a short note. Handwriting is the most personal way to communicate when you can’t be with a loved one in person. Pick up a pen and write a few heartfelt words. [Read more…]