Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Road test.

Several months ago I came to the conclusion that friendships are not found, they're made. They take time, commitment, work, a willingness to give and take, some vulnerability and a lot of buy-in. Oh, wait. You already knew all this. I wrote about it right here.

I had decided to start acting more like a friend to some of the acquaintances I had collected over the years. And the amazing thing was, as soon as I made the decision, opportunities came up almost immediately for me to prove it.

Most notably: The Beach Trip.

A couple of my favorite homeschool moms asked me if I wanted to go to the beach with them in July to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays. Normally this type of thing would have caused me to take a step back. FIVE DAYS with people I hardly know?! That's way more than a cup of coffee and even that can be a bit intimidating at times.

I sometimes feel like I go through life like my dance card is already full. Like I've got all I need right here under one roof. And while that's probably true in some ways and I feel really fortunate to have such a "problem", I also know how vital friendships are to a well lived life.

I love how that fresh perspective or a great conversation can leave me feeling filled up in places I don't always think about, like parts of me I may neglect from day-to-day are being brought out into the sunshine and getting the fresh air they need to thrive. Still. It can be hard for me to bust out of my much loved rut to make time for such things.

But I had already made the decision. So I wholeheartedly said yes to the beach.

Since I signed on to the trip so long ago, we had months to plan our trip before we set off in the mini van. Only instead, we worked on becoming friends and left the planning to dumb luck and Airbnb.

I gotta say, that's the way to do it.

The trip was so silly and amazing and relaxing. Pretty much all the things you'd imagine. Like Moms Gone Wild wherein wild means not reapplying sunscreen to wet children or making sure no one drowns. We stayed at a ridiculous place on the bay with an attack cat named Jerry (or was it Courtney?) that by day two we were calling The Fat Girl Frat House. 

(The clock on our covered porch was broken...)

We drank Bushwhackers and ate terrible food, fell asleep super early and were back on the beach by 9am. We answered compelling questions like, "How many lime-a-ritas will fit in this go cup?" 

(The answer is four.) 

We did what we wanted, when we wanted to do it. No one asked if we could go home now. No one got cranky or sunburned or threw a tantrum in the middle of Rite Aid. No one had to suffer the embarrassment of their mom flailing up and down the beach as the ocean tried to take her away. 

We could just BE. It was the epitome of relaxation. And friendship. Honestly, I didn't know I had it in me. 

I'm so, so grateful that I did.

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