Life Coach Magazine

I’m 38 Today, What Have I Accomplished?

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

Friends FishEyeI turned 38 this weekend, yesterday actually.  It was a wonderful evening arranged by my incredible wife.  She brought all my family and friends together and we stayed up chatting long into the night.  I woke up this morning feeling happy.  The friends had gone home and Julie was playing with her laptop on the couch.  Daisy was running through the house with a toy in her mouth and it seemed like any other day, but somehow it still felt so perfect.

I’ve been feeling a bit down the past few weeks, mostly because of work.  I felt overwhelmed because there was too much work and I wasn’t making clear progress.  Julie’s support has been incredible and I’m so happy to be married to her.  At the same time, even with her support, I wasn’t able to shake that little bit of funk that comes from being too stressed.  Yesterday’s party however shook that funk right off.

It’s All About Good Friends and Good Food (but mostly good friends)

It was something about being in the middle of friends and family who love me and support me and are all there to help me celebrate a milestone that made me realize how good my life is.  It made me remember that what matters isn’t the projects left undone or the powerpoint presentations I still need to create.  No, what matters are the people in your life.  It’s the wonderful wife, the loving family and the supportive friends.  It’s the friend who goes out with you at 1am to walk to the dog simply because it’s fun to chat while walking through empty streets.  It’s the wife who’s idea of a good time is anything that lets the two of us spend time together, even if that means putting together a 1000 piece puzzle of nothing but forest.  It’s the mother who doesn’t mind picking up your dog from daycare and who comes over just to show you how to reheat food in the oven.  These are the things that matter.

The Ties That Bind

I heard an interesting study on NPR recently.  It discussed the strength of a person’s social ties in comparison to their happiness.  I can’t seem to find the link right now so if anyone knows it, please post it in the comments.  The gist of the study was that the number of friends you have and the strength of these ties is directly correlated to your level of happiness.  I couldn’t agree more.  It’s the strong social ties, whether friends of family, that keep us sane and happy.  These are the people we turn to for support through the hard times and for company during the good times.  Without them we’re alone and I don’t think human beings were meant to be solitary animals.

Where the heck an I going with this topic anyway?  Sometimes I’m not sure but I think I’m getting there.

If there’s anything in life that should be higher priority than all other things it’s to make and maintain friends.  Family members are good but only if you maintain a level of friendship with them similar to those you would maintain with good friends.  A wife or husband is best (or long term partner if you’re the sort who doesn’t believe in marriage) but you can typically only have one of those and I think it’s important to have an extensive support structure.

I forget this sometimes and focus more on my projects than on my friends.  I spend too much time thinking about my friends’ little faults and not enough about their strengths.  I think about the one or two times they’ve made me mad instead of the hundreds of times they’ve made me happy.  These are not the things I should be thinking about.  Spending time with my wife, my family and my friends is what life is all about because it’s what makes me happy.  Everything else is just a means to that end.

Go Spend Some Time With Your Friends

Why not go spend some time with your friends?  Call them up and set something up for tonight.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a night out at the bar or a night in with some board games.  In fact, why not setup a weekly night to spend time with them?  I spend every Thursday night with my friends playing board or video games.  It’s silly, yes, but it lets us spend time hanging out.  These nights reminds me of my best friend’s stories of when he was a child and his father would take him to the weekly Sunday get together with his friends.  His father’s friends were all into country music and canoeing and they would chat for hours about these hobbies while the kids played around.  Those are the kinds of memories I want my kids to have and they’re the memories I want for myself.

So go, find your hobby and share it with your friends.  Make a regular night of it.  Trust me, those evenings are going to be some of your most cherished memories years from now.

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