The friendships we have as women can really make or break a girl.
When I was young, it was ingrained into me at a very young age that I was to be friends with EVERYONE. Being raised in a small town in the Midwest, everyone knew everyone AND all their business. (No joke…the stories I could tell over a few beers!) I took this lesson to heart. It wasn’t until I was in my forties and my “give a shit” meter shifted. I think with age and experiences, comes this realization that life is short and so you had better make each day a good one!
It was also around this time, that a friend told me of an elaborate dream she had. She was a lone wolf walking through the forest, deciding which of the other wolves could stay and which would be culled from the herd. We ended up having a great discussion about this idea of “culling the herd” and how it oozes itself into our lives and especially friendships.
With that idea of “culling the herd”, I am constantly reflecting to see if my herd needs culling. Currently, I am fortunate enough to have surrounded myself with a diverse and dynamic group of women.
I have an amazing herd….
AND I am a fanatic list maker. I love lists! So I thought it only fitting to make a list of the qualities that I look for and appreciate in my herd….
1. Funny. You have to a friend that makes you laugh….a lot! If you are not having fun when you are together…Cut from the herd!
2. Empathetic. You need a friend who can be empathetic and commiserate with you, especially when you first realize that your knees are starting to sag or you just found that hair on your chin that you could braid!
3. Taxi Service/Child Rescuer. Every woman needs a friend you can call in a pinch. Someone who will rush over to the school, to pick up the kids because you are running late or to your house, because you are so completely over them, they are sitting on curb…No questions asked.
4. Comforter/Cheerleader. A friend who can tell if you are in need of a pep talk or just simply a hug.
5. Mentor. A friend that you admire and want to be like when you grow up, or is “your person” you go to when are just plain stuck.
6. Truth Speaker. A friend who will tell you exactly how it is…even if you don’t want to hear it. Always.
7. Challenger. A friend who is willing to go head to head with you on a belief/idea or is able to get you to try something new, that is completely out of your comfort zone.
8. Time Traveler. A friend who is able to pick up where you left off…even when you haven’t talked or seen one another in days, weeks, or months.
9. Yes, Ma’am. A friend who will almost always say yes, to your crazy plans… even it’s being a complete jackass with you, just for the pure pleasure of making your kids laugh.
10. Loyal. Someone who has your back….when times are good, when times are rough, even when times are mundane, they ALWAYS have your back! Word!
I make a conscious choice to surround myself with people who bring me joy, comfort, happiness and love to my life. I also make a conscious choice to distance myself from those friendships that always bring stress or anxiety because frankly, life is too short. Does this sound harsh? It kind of does….but by making this choice, it has taken the pressure off “trying to be all things, to all people” for me.
For my herd and my choices, I am able to be present and committed to these friendships. I choose every day for them to be a part of my life and grateful that they choose me back.
Life is good.