Thanks so much for stopping by. It has indeed been a while, because well… Life!
Rather than apologise for the extended break between posts, I figure it’d be way more fun to sit down and fill each other in on what’s been happening like old friends with a lot to catch up on.
How’s life been treating you?
I hope that things are exciting but smooth sailing in your part of the world?
When I last wrote, Jordan and I had not long celebrated out Love Party (an event that I still clearly need to blog about, but you’re most welcome to check out some of the photos over on Instagram), and I was a week short of turning 33.
The biggest and most exciting thing to have happened since then, has definitely been our Love Party Moon, for which we spent three weeks together in Italy being disgustingly romantic everywhere we went.
In much sadder news, my Main Man of the House, we made the decision to put Felix the Guard Tiger to sleep in January, a couple of weeks short of his tenth birthday. He had been diagnosed with multiple large cancerous tumours just after New Years and we kept him comfortable, and loved him as hard as we could for the time we had together. I’m still not entirely used to being a “Two Cat Family” yet, and I miss Felix’s head boops and snuggles everyday.
One of the other major positive changes I’ve implemented in my life over the past couple of years has been a social goal I set for myself.
I realised that I was allowing myself to use introversion and my schedule as excuses for be a less than great friend, and avoiding leaving my house, and that this was having a short, and potentially lifelong impact on my mental health.
Friendships are just like any other relationship - they require work and effort from all parties in order to say healthy and functioning. While we all go through seasons when we’re genuinely busy, or overwhelmed, or unwell, we still need to make time to spend with the people we care about, and we need to show up while times are good - as well as when they’re not.
My goal wasn’t a big lofty one that I could check off and see an immediate huge result, but an ongoing one:
Each week I aim to do one social thing outside of the house with a friend other than Jordan.
See, super small fries, and low stakes right?
I don’t even have to plan a big event and have that be the thing, or attend a party or major social event that’s likely to leave me exhausted.
Sometimes the social thing is as simple as Stabs and I going to wash our cars together, or going with a friend to a doctors appointment - and then following up with brunch afterwards.
One time, another friend and I volunteered to pack emergency toiletry bags for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
We play DnD with a group of friends who’ve become Chosen Family, which is both heaps of fun, and it’s helped me learn a new skill.
Going to the movies is also a fairly obvious friend activity, but our friend Noellie invited us to go see Captain Marvel, and holy shit it was so much fun!
The whole film just made me so happy, from the soundtrack to the costume design, to the entire aesthetic of the 90’s. Most of all, I LOVED that they showed a major character gaining a facial difference as a thing that just happened and it wasn’t a big deal, nor did it spur a revenge arc where the character became a villain, and it was just so great.
Jordan has even gotten in on this in his own way as well, by setting online game nights with his friends each week, and has introduced me to new friends for Friend Dates.
We’re also super lucky to know a bunch of really cool tiny humans, so last weekend we organised a Chocolate Treasure Hunt and picnic in our local park for a few kids we know and their families. It was so much fun that we want to make it an annual thing.
The best part of keeping things low stakes has meant that I don’t feel guilty if I don’t see a friend EVERY week.
Sometimes I get sick, or work heaps, and genuinely need the time at home for rest. And because I keep in regular contact with a number of people who I love, and who love me - we notice and check in on one another when things like this happen.
The other excellent thing about this being a low stakes goal is that it’s super accessible and doesn’t have to be expensive.
As nice as a fancy brunch date, or a road trip to a regional art gallery can be, inviting people over for lunch and sharing a home cooked meal is just as lovely.
Not only are those memes about how ‘Adult friendship is just two people saying “We should catch up, when are you free?” until one of them dies’ no longer true for me, but I’m a better friend, and I have more interesting stories to share.
The positive impact this has had on my mental health is also huge, and hopefully by maintaining this for years to come, I’ll ensure that my friends and I are there for one another as we age - and at the times when we really need one another.
My current goal is to take the lessons I’ve been learning and re-learning from my social goal, and apply it to writing here.
Just in the time I’ve spent writing this post, I’ve listed another three future pieces in the notebook beside me.
I’m looking forward to sharing more of me with you all more often, and would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Until next post,