• Keeping Friends

February 29, 2008 – Make Time for Friends Day

February 24, 2008 | By | 5 Replies Continue Reading

I hereby proclaim February 29th, 2008 as the first Make Time for Friends Day. There are no
commercial aspects to the day that you need to worry about. You don’t have to
buy cards, send gifts or spend money. You have received the gift of extra time
and are free to use it wisely. Let me suggest how:

At various times in our lives, we have more or less time and
need for our female friends. Women who are single, divorced, widowed, or
retired tend to have more discretionary time than women who are involved in
marriage, child-rearing or heavily invested in their careers. Of course, most
research looks at groups and talks about averages rather than individuals so
these trends certainly don’t apply to every woman. There are many women who are
married, raising their brood, or working—who are wise enough to make female
friendships a priority in their lives.

However, looking at the trends, you might easily ask: How
will women have any friends when they get divorced, become widowed, or decide
to retire, if they don’t make efforts to maintain those friendships beforehand?
You are absolutely correct in posing that question because research suggests
that single women who forgo marriage are more likely to retain their close friendships
over the long haul. In a recent post on her blog on the The Huffington Post, social psychologist Bella DePaulo and
author of Singled Out states that based on scientific research on loneliness in
later life, “…No group is likely to be less lonely in their senior years than
women who have always been single.”

I think I have one answer to reconcile the gap for those at-risk: This year,
2008, is a leap or intercalary year. That means that an extra day has been
added to the calendar, Friday the 29th, to synchronize the calendar year with
the solar year.

This extra day is a perfect time for Make Time for Friends Day. All you very busy multi-tasking women
(me among them), take out your Blackberry, Palm, or conventional paper daybook
or calendar and give yourself that extra day, February 29th, to catch up with
one or more female friends—old or new— who you’ve not had time to be with.

Take the leap and do it now! Think about the significance of
friendships to your well-being, physical, emotional, and spiritual—and give
yourself the gift of time with friends. My suspicion is that you may decide
that one day every four years isn’t enough—and that it may become a habit.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Irene, this is an excellent idea. Please let me lend your our support from two sources. One being my blog, Its Different For Girls, and the other from Singelringen, for which I am the agent for North America. I will post about “Make Time for Friends Day” on a couple of the Singelringen Social Networks as well as my blog. I think that Singelringen and your project are in excellent alignment. Many women who wear Singelringen, including Bella DePaulo, know that they do not need a man to make their lives complete. But friends are important to all of us. We cannot live full lives alone. One of the most important aspects of knowing yourself and enjoying life is having rich friendships.

  2. Jackie Dishner says:

    Hi Irene,

    Jackie here, from FreelanceSuccess.com. I wanted to say I love your blog. I found a few posts I am printing out. I think they will be useful to the ladies I teach empowerment classes to at Homeward Bound–a homeless shelter in Phoenix, Ariz. Last week, we discussed toxic friendships and creating safe boundaries. Since we can barely touch the surface in an hour and a half, I think your “Twenty Questions” post from December 4, 2007, will give them more to think about when trying to spot those patterns of negativity.

    If you’d like to share blog links, I’d love to add yours to my “Friends” list. Take a look at my blog–it discusses a spiritual life navigation system I call BIKE–it’s mental, not metal–and let me know if that would be okay.

    Thanks again, and I’ll see you at FLX.

    All my best,
    Jackie Dishner

  3. Bobbi says:

    Thanks Irene. I’m new to reading blogs and especially to commenting. I plan on starting my own blog soon since I write for a living and enjoy words in all their glory. So I’m learning about the whole blog thing . You’re the first response I’ve gotten so far to my baby steps into commenting. Thanks, I’ll be back. ~Bobbi

  4. Irene says:

    Thanks for your lovely post, Bobbi. I love your idea about Friday lunches—I think I’ll start mine on February 29th!
    I hope you’ll visit here again.

  5. Bobbi says:

    I recently discovered you and I’m glad I did. I thought it was me, this need for but difficulty in maintaining friendships. When I was single, I definitely had more time to work on them. With kids, husband, career, house maintenance and the recent addition of caretaker to parents, it’s a constant juggle to add in friends. Usually we do things as couples. But women don’t talk the same when they’re out with their significant others. I’ve instituted Fridays as a time to schedule friend lunches, just like a client meeting. Two years ago I decided to start sending December holiday gifts to all my women friends. It was my joy and I didn’t care if I got one back. My oldest and dearest friend who lives across country and I exchange snail mailed Valentine, Halloween, etc cards. And I checked my calendar…yep, got lunch down on the 29th already. Thanks for the reminder. I’m realizing that it’s too lonely to wait till I retire to enjoy friends. Thanks.

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