Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Found It

I have feared that I lost my voice. I've been distracted lately by many things currently going on. (Why Spurs, why do you put me under a spell?) I kid. But in all seriousness I feel like I hadn't posted many Patty-quality posts. I'm back! At least I hope so.

I was reading my current issue of Glamour and came across an article called "6 Little Ways to be a Better Friend". My first thought: I'm a great friend, but I think there's always room for improvement. Then the next thought is: Hmmm, what about the friends in my life.

I've been blessed with many wonderful friendships in my life. Past and present. Each person brings their unique personality. Yet when I saw this article I thought of my best friend, Edie. Am I a good friend? And how can I be better? Sadly, when I moved back home almost 4 years ago I had to leave Edie behind. (Believe me...I tried to bring her but no luck!) Although our friendship is still strong as ever, and when I visit or she visits, it's as if nothing has changed, it was hard for me when I first moved back home.

A little history about our friendship. I was hired a year after Edie at my old school. Both January hires. She taught 3rd and I was in 5th. Our paths never crossed much, even though our school was tiny. Then in May we found out that she would be moved to 5th and my fellow teammate would go to 3rd. I was a little worried because by nature I'm a super dork and Edie seemed so prim and proper. No fun at all. Summer came and went and when we got back we found out Edie was pregnant and was due in March. Yikes...TAKS. But bottom line, our principal had her reasons for moving teachers around and Edie was there to stay. As the year went on Edie and I engaged in our own "bromance". She become a close friend. That was year one. Unfortunately, thanks to the Texas education system one 5th grade section was cut and Edie went back to 3rd. Our friendship was solid and we just became closer.

I guess to explain why I missed Edie so much I have to mention that I became a part of her family. I had Sunday dinner at her mom's with all her family. Her mom (Connie), her aunt (Ida), Edie and I had breakfast every Saturday and Sunday mornings followed by some kind of shopping. Sundays were grocery shopping day, which we did together also. I ended up renting from Ida and she became my landlord. Actually, sometimes Ida and I went out together. And during the week we sometimes went to dinner and we always had at least one weekly run to either Target or Wal-mart. All this time her son, Nathan, also came with us so he became like my family too. I attended all their family occassions such as birthdays, baptisms, and even took a day off to help with her twin brother's wedding. All in all, I felt right at home. Edie became more like a sister than a best friend. And to tell you the truth, I always consulted with Edie on things from boys to buying furniture. I could count on her to tell it the way it was.

I appreciated that Edie took me in. My dad even joked one time that Connie was going to claim me as a dependent on her income tax because I was there so much. After a couple of years of this I think I began to grow a home-sickness. Spending all this time with her family made me miss my family all that much more. So I decided to move home and I left my best friend and sister behind. We're still very much in each other's lives but it's a little different. I guess I miss her a lot right now while I'm on my house hunting adventure. She'd be right there with me, viewing every house by my side.

So back to the article. I hope you guys find these tips useful in reflecting. I know I did. (Sorry I was so long-winded, but I hadn't really talked about Edie much and she's a huge part of my life in San Antonio.)

Tip 1
Put her (or him) on your to-do list
This made me sad because I have been guilty of letting weeks go by before I call Edie or a few other out of town friends. Shame on me. But I think using a to-do list will keep us focused on what makes us healthy. Glamour recommends not letting life keep you too busy and to try to plan a weekly gathering with friends.

Tip 2
Be there in the bad times
This is hard for those of us that don't always know what to do or say. However, just being there is enough most of the time.

Tip 3
Don't over advise
Ha, I'm super bad at this one. I'm one of those say exactly what you're thinking at the time you're thinking it kinda gals. I just feel like I'd want people to be brutally honest with me so I think that's what everyone wants. It's not! Only give advice when it's requested. Otherwise, shut up.

Tip 4
Accept her weaknesses
Go to certain friends when you're looking for something in particular. If someone is too playful then go to them when you're looking for a distraction or for a fun night out on the town. But don't penalize people if you know that's how they are. Me: bad listener most of the time. But I try!

Tip 5
Be cash-conscious
Go to places that will make everyone comfortable. Don't go to ritzy places if your buddy is on a tight budget.

Tip 6
Look out for her even when she's not looking
I don't need to explain this one. Thanks Jen, for scouting out potential houses for me.


Amy said...

I have that mag also. What great tips. I think as long as you are always there for that person no matter what the miles do not mean anything. Both of my best friends live far from me. We talk all of the time and I plan on seeing both of them some time soon. But I know I can always count on them and that is what a friend is.

Anonymous said...

You know there are some friends who I value more than family. And then there are other friends where I'm so sick of "trying" that I just give up. You just gotta click. When it becomes a chore, well then that friendship has served its purpose.

jewelryandgiftsbyrebecca said...

First of all, welcome back. ;-)
I think if you worry about being a good friend you already have a head start in the friendship category.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Thanks for sharing. These are great little nuggets.

I really need to be better about my friend to-do list.

AndreaLeigh said...

i liked reading these tips. i could use some help in being a better friend sometimes.