The Happiness Project Experience - April
I have to admit, I was a bit stumped when it came to April - the month focusing on friends. That area of my life feels pretty satisfying. I have several great friends who I see on monthly (or sometimes more often). I also recognize the value of letting people go from your life, so that wasn't something I felt I needed to work on either.
Also, since my word of the year is growth, I’ve tried to incorporate meeting new people into my schedule. I haven’t done it a ton, but I’ve definitely gotten outside of my comfort zone.
I am far from perfect, and relationships are definitely not a strength of mine, but I have been blessed with fantastic friends and the time to spend with them.
My lack of perfection is evidenced by my struggle to come up with resolutions relating to my friendships. I had several ideas, but many didn’t feel right for my phase of life.
Challenged by my dear friend, Heidi, I decided to spend some time thinking about each of my most valuable friendships. I considered our similarities and differences, the things we most often discuss, and what inspires me most about each. I didn’t put this on my to-do list, but I enjoyed reflecting on important friendships, how they’ve grown over the years, and where I see them going in the future.
I found that each relationship centers on a specific topic/area of life. I don’t mean this in a bad way or to make it sound like I am putting my relationships in a box. However, this was eye-opening for me because I was able to see that I have someone to share all of my greatest passions with - and that was pretty exciting.
Since I decided not to count that as a resolution though, I knew I needed to keep thinking. So between pondering my relationships with various friends, I set out to achieve the following goals:
Join Lifestyle Business Colletive
Branch out with the friends I see on a monthly basis
Catch up with certain friends, have them over to my apartment and get dinner
Four goals seem to be a good number for me - that's what I have inadvertently set for myself each month.
First, join Lifestyle Business Collective - check! LBC is an education and community group for organizers, wedding planners, virtual assistants, and pretty much anyone else has a luxury service business and wants to grow! I’m already part of one group for organizers, Inspired Organizer, which was a huge help to me in launching my business. However, the group had already been up and running for about 3 years by the time I joined, so I always felt like I was on the outside. LBC just launched in April and so I was able to get in on the ground floor!
I wanted to join LBC for the community and resources, and I have not been disappointed. The girls are all so sweet and supportive, giving me much-needed relationships with fellow female entrepreneurs. I know these connections will get me far and I’m excited to suddenly have so many new friends!
The next goal was to read A Tribe Called Bliss: Break Through Superficial Friendships, Create Real Connections, Reach Your Highest Potential, this month. For my full review, check out my Books of April 2019 post. Basically, I did not like this book and it was a waste of time. Since it was such a failure, I decided to read another book on female friendship - Text Me When You Get Home. This book was also a disappointment, but still better than the first.
Third, I wanted to branch out with the friends I see every month. I left this kind of vague intentionally. I definitely didn’t want to force anything and the vagueness helped me to actually follow through. One friend and I decided to go shopping for work-out clothes rather than just grab coffee like we normally do. It was fun to have a goal and an adventure, and we still had plenty of time to talk as we shopped.
A second friend and I stuck to getting coffee, we had planned to maybe go for a walk as well - but the weather was never good (springs in Washington, what can I say…). However, we were still able to branch out because we got together twice instead of just once! This friend and I also decided to start scheduling our next meeting before we say goodbye so that we always have one on the calendar - that way time can’t fly by without us getting to see each other. Both the extra time together and this new scheduling method gave me a happiness boost.
Finally, my last goal was to get together with a couple that I see on a less than regular basis. The last time we got together was probably in September. Time flies and we live very busy and separate lives, but I figured that there was no better time than the month of friends to get together.
I texted each person in the couple separately, trying to set up a time to hang out. I even ran into one of them and told her to text me her schedule so that we could get together... crickets.
This didn’t technically get done in April, but I don’t consider it a failure. I tried to make this happen and did as much as I could to arrange it. Friendship, however, is a two-way street. Not being able to arrange and plan for this to happen was a bit annoying and disappointing for me. It helped to remind me, however, how much I like to be in control, and how dangerous that can be - especially when it comes to relationships.
I had to content myself with the fact that I expressed my appreciation for this relationship by trying to get together and, hopefully, started the process so that we can spend time together sometime soon.
Although April was the month of friends, I knew I would probably need a bit of a break, so I diverged from that a bit and set two additional goals for myself:
Get dresses altered
Get eyelash extensions
These are both goals that, while violating the idea behind April, still contributed to increasing my happiness. They were both on my 19 for 19 list, and so I was happy to check both of them off as I completed them. I considered trying to relate these goals to friends somehow, but I figured my time was better spent elsewhere - like with my friends.
Although a bit challenging, April was still valuable. It made me think more consciously about my friendships and how I might better develop and maintain them. I’m not sure how much of this will stick with me in the long run, but I did enjoy taking the time to be thankful for and appreciate those I love.
Until next time,