|Image credit: Google Images|
The answer is a bit obvious here, folks, I enjoy spending time with people I consider friends. But, let's get more specific -- perhaps a top 10 list is in order... well, in no particular order.
10. My boyfriend. While I don't always enjoy time spent in the daily grind with each, I can say that I truly enjoy spending time with Jed. I love doing new and different things with him. He's the ultimate travel buddy. I love watching him discover the world, and I love that I can be myself, always, around him. I love the sound of our mutual laughter and conversation.
9. My dog, Morris. How can you not include your pet on this list? My dog just brings me simple joy. Whether I am playing with him, snuggling with him or just watching him sleep from across the room, he makes me smile. He reminds me that life doesn't have to be so complicated all the time.
8. Yelpers. Wow, what a fun, diverse, united, interesting group of people they are. I haven't met a Yelper yet that I didn't like, and I'm meeting new Yelp friends all the time (if you haven't jumped head first into your local Yelp community, get on it). This collective stretches me, challenges me and pulls me out of my comfort zone; it's incredible that a group of people with only a website and a city in common get along so well and become such fast friends.
7. My sister. Ok, so we have spent the better part of our lives as mortal enemies, but something shifted over the last five years or so, and now, sister time is fun time. Usually. There is an inexplicable sisterly bond that makes time spent together like time spent with your clone. We come from exactly the same place. We don't have to explain what we mean. Sometimes a look or an act says everything. We share enough in common to have fun together, but also have just the right amount of separate interests to keep the relationship interesting.
6. "The group." There's some overlap here, as "the group" consists of three couples: Jed and I, best friend and hubby, and JB and girlfriend. These are my closest friends in the world. We get together every other week (and have been for, like, eight years) to eat dinner and catch up on our lives. These are the people I call when I'm looking for something to do. These are the people I go on vacation with. They have all been there for me in their own way, and they always support me.
5. The band. When I want to dance, this is who I look for, and they are usually playing somewhere good. One of these guys is a close friend of mine, and I totally enjoy the one-on-one time we get to spend together because this is the person I talk to about dreams -- he's living his, and I think it's inspiring. They bring out a little bit of my alter ego, and it is always a good time.
4. My dad. Oh yes, I am a Daddy's Girl. I share several traits with my father, from physical to personality, and for that I'm proud. Dad and I can chat about everything from TV shows and cooking techniques to what I'm going to do with my life. He looks out for me, and he is the number one person I go to for practical advice.
3. Auntie. She's the cool aunt. The one without kids of her own that adopts her nieces and nephews. The one who got me into golfing and skiing. The one young enough to be my friend but old enough to have been my babysitter. We share books and weekend trips. She's always interested in talking about what I have been up to and where I have been.
2. Mom. For the simple reason that she is my mother and knows me like no one else -- even when I haven't even told her about everything. Mom just knows. When I am sad or confused or upset or scared or happy, she is the person I want to be around. I may not tell her what is causing what I'm feeling, but just her being there resolves almost anything. Mom is home.
1. My best friend. I never spend enough time with this girl. I have never grown tired of spending time with her in the 16 years I've known her; I've never needed a break. I love her to pieces. Whether we are out and about, sharing a meal, tanning on the beach, or just sitting on a couch, time spent together is always time enjoyed immensely. How she sees me is how I most love to see myself, and it is probably my truest self. She never judges, always listens. She cares. And, perhaps the best part of all is that it is entirely mutual.
There are several people that I definitely could have added to this list -- so if you're reading, and you weren't mentioned, it doesn't mean anything, I promise. It is interesting to note that in all of these relationships, during all of the times I have spent with these people, there is one thread that runs through. That thread is comfort. Nothing is forced or feigned in these relationships. Conversation comes easily and naturally, and when it doesn't come at all, that is perfectly fine. Through all of these relationships I can find myself.
And that is the mark of a true friend.
Worthwhile exercise: Who do you enjoy spending time with, and why?