Thankful for Friendship

Gratitude is a big part of my life and my happiness.  I spend time actively thinking about what I am grateful for and find the practice lifts my mood and enhances my life. Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to write about gratitude; this year I am thankful for friendship.

I have collected friends my entire life.  I met my oldest friend in kindergarten and we have shared a 46-year friendship (and counting). I have an amazing group of friends from middle and high school who know the secrets of adolescent shenanigans; college friends who helped edit papers and now read my blog.  My friend from graduate school who I connected with on day one has remained my friend for 26 years. Friends met through my children; friends made while volunteering in my community; family members who are also friends; colleagues that became friends.

Friends are the family you choose.  And I have chosen well.  My friendships have sustained me through the hardest times in my life and added to my joy in the best times. My friends have stood by me; taken care of me; laughed with me and cried with me. Friends have challenged me to be my best self; helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel; hated my enemies.  My friends have loved my children; supported my ideas; answered my calls.  Friends have given me the benefit of the doubt; forgiven bad behavior; agreed to disagree.  My friends have championed my efforts; celebrated my successes; acknowledged my feelings. Friends have lent an ear, offered a shoulder, and provided a hug. My friends have enriched my life beyond measure.

And…my friends have made me a better mom.  Thank you for loving my children like your own.  Thank you for seeing their strengths and challenges; for celebrating their successes and supporting them when they have struggled.  Thank you for being adults they can count on; thanks for being advisors, mentors and role models.  It takes a village and I am profoundly grateful for mine.

Thank you friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!