Friday, December 27, 2013

{Friendship Friday} Friendship recap, the 2013 version

One of the main reasons I LOVE doing a review at the end of every month, and year, is that if I don't, I can be clouded by recency or one event and base all my feelings on that instead of seeing the whole picture.

When D and I were talking about 2013 a few days ago, I said well, there are only two things that went well in 2013 - my relationship with God and support from friends, both real life and blog friends.

We'll talk about God some more in my "how did this word of the year work out for me?" post but for now I want to talk about friends.

this one was taken in Feb - look how happy I look!

Really and honestly, you guys have been truly amazing. AMAZING!!!

As I said in my thanksgiving post, more than I could ever ask or think!

I've received so much support, encouragement, emails, SMSs, comments, gifts and notes in the mail and PRAYER that I have truly felt like I wasn't alone, even though I was physically going through that crazy. I could feel the prayer cover going into the day, and I always had at least 3 - 5 people I could quickly email to say "I'm going into a meeting with him at X am; please pray for me" and I felt it.

I feel like I'm gushing but each of you who have reached out to me (especially when I couldn't reply to your notes/ emails/ SMS most of the time) I count as a partner on this journey.

Mind you, I'm not through it yet but I'm definitely on the other side of the middle, closer to the end of CrazyVille. I can feel it!

my random collage!

But let's move on.

One of my highest values is connection and I truly savour one-on-one time with my friends. I come away with a full love tank - and the extra babysitting money I pay Nanny S to wait til D gets home is worth it.

Some people feel strange about leaving their kids now and again - I'm a better mother when I'm content and it's important for our kids to see us having other interests besides just them.

(off my soapbox)

I kept my spreadsheet again this year and the numbers tell me I had exactly the same number of friend encounters as I did last year (81) although I have a suspicion quite a few of them fell through the cracks, especially the ones during the work day (friend lunches).

Names down the first column and months across the top. I colour co-ordinate it (the only way I can get Excel to work with my brain is to make things pretty) with new friends in red that year, and then I make the one on one dates purple :)

this new friend supported me so much at work - she is a tough cookie, tells me things I don't like but that help me immensely (like "you know they're never going to support you in that meeting - they're all covering their own a$$es")

Then for the interesting bits:

1. Last year I met up with 12 new friends (7 SA; 5 USA); this year I only met up with 5 SA ones. BTW< that is plenty because I'm also trying to maintain these friendships and sometimes not doing a very good job of it.

Special mention to Laura - we'd met ages ago at a photo workshop, and then tried to meet properly last year after becoming proper blog friends and that didn't work. This year we nailed it - 4 meetings this year! :)

2. Last year I had 29 one-on-one friend dates (my favourites); this year.... 37! Averaging at least 3 a month.

That's probably why I feel so supported. The doctor asked me how I'm dealing with my stress and I said, "I talk! I have an extensive support network and I make sure I reach out regularly"

Did you know there's research that people who have friends/ family support experience the effects of stress less? So talk, people :)

I'm really happy with that number, by the way.

All in all, a GREAT year of friendships.

How was this year of friendship for you?


  1. I shouldn't be surprised that you have a spreadsheet for this ;)
    But I did smile when I read that!
    Well done!

  2. You are a confirmed nerd!!!! Spreadsheet!!! I would use pictures to keep track but definitely not a spreadsheet.

    In 2013 I made some good friends and for that I'm thankful.

  3. You do an excellent job of maintaining friendships!
    Ps! Yay for being on the other side of the middle. :-)

  4. I think I actually had a good year! Well good for me :) I don't have the numbers though! Not sure if it is my pregnancy nesting instinct but the last few weeks I have this desperation to put all the things on a spreadsheet - so maybe I will start a friend one for next year!

  5. Don't you just love the spreadsheet?
    My friendship year was good although more tapered down from 2012. I'm happy how it all went down. I really need to blog 2013 recaps. But that would mean finding time to be still and think - something that is currently impossible!


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