50 Thoughts: Life Doesn't Flash in Front of Your Eyes

It sits in a box at the Cubs game with you.

It might be considered redundant to write about the power and purpose of friendship after just covering the topic yesterday, except that it’s not. If you’re lucky to have friends that span nearly the entirety of your life, time with them always offers fresh perspective.

I am blessed to have husband that goes out of his way on special occasions to make them, well, special. Knowing that spending time with friends is valuable to me, he gathered a bunch together and surprised me with a Cubs game. There, in a box, were friends from high school, college and my adult life, all together.

It seemed so full circle to talk with my high school friend while my daughter was feet away, talking with hers. Does she appreciate this moment? Will she and her friend still be in touch years from now? Because to me, seeing my old friends takes me right back to those days, grabbing lunch together or stopping at the 7 – 11 for a Diet Coke run before school. Or back to Armstrong Hall and some of the crazier stunts we pulled in and around our college dorm.

There’s something so affirming when you spend time with friends — especially those with whom you share a history with — because like a calendar marks the days, friends can mark your place in time. You were there with them. At school. At work. In the neighborhood. Families are special, too — this isn’t to say that family doesn’t pull an assist or two on your quest for validation from the universe. It’s just that those first friends are the ones you with which you learn how to become and individual outside that family unit. When you are young, you are a daughter and a sister. But when you enter your teens and spend more time at school and even at work, you gradually become YOU. These friends are your crash test dummies when it comes to test driving your emerging personality.

And your friends in adulthood, particularly for those of us with scattered families, become that surrogate family — the people you trust most with your own kids, the ones your willing to ask the most intimate questions (Perimenopause. Period.), the ones you laugh and cry with, sharing bleacher seats and couch cushions, car pools and meal trains. And as these people are in my life, that means I am in theirs. Now, regardless of time and place and consequence, the universe recognizes my existence. I might stink at making pies and can’t work a sewing machine, but one of that matters. I have friends.

Two of these friends today were at my wedding. One of them helped my husband plan a surprise party on my 30th birthday. I have decades! with these people. I am full of gratitude and hopeful all these faces today, as well as those outside this day at the ballpark, will be there for decades to come.  Feeling a little like George Bailey today.

Find a friend, make a friend, hug a friend, share a friend. Life’s so much richer when your heart is full.

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister

Day 35: Girl Power Book Recommendation:Girls

Day 36: The Kids are All Right Book Recommendation: Ohio

Day 37: Banned Books Week Book Recommendation: the Banned Books list

Day 38: An Open Letter to Congress Book Recommendation: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Day 39: The Importance of Guilty Pleasures Book Recommendation: The Actress

Day 40: On Stories Never Told Book Recommendation: After Visiting Friends

Day 41: Thank You, Judge Kavanaugh Book Recommendation: Missoula

Day 42: With a Little Help from My Friends Book Recommendation: Bad Feminist

Today’s recommendation: I already recommended A Little Life which is a fantastic representation of friendship through the ages, so I’ll go with Shotgun Lovesongs, another great story that leans toward a bromance.

I blather about books. If you’d like my reviews to hit your in-box, you can sign up here. I also promise a spam-free experience —too busy reading to write and email you every day (hahaha except for right now, but we’re getting closer to the end). I am also on Facebook, trolling for friends. Because we all need more friends. More, more, more.

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