Today is Thursday, Joy Hack Day.
This morning, I was having an “I hate L.A. pity party” I get these every so often— especially now that we’re entering autumn and I’m missing Boston. So, I declared that today is my Anchor Day, and I will do everything I can to find one thing I love about L.A. So, the first thing I did was turn on the podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin (which is like a booster shot of joy) because her sister, Elizabeth lives here and when she talks about L.A., I get the sense that she truly loves this area. Even though the episode was on, gift-giving, in the intro, Gretchen mentioned an earlier episode they did on reconnecting with old friends and the potential for happiness.
I love what Gretchen says in a “Good Housekeeping” article on the same topic:
Keeping these ties strong matters to happiness because, as research shows, a great way to boost happiness in the present is to remember happy times from the past. That’s why photographs, scrapbooks, souvenirs, home movies, and other memory prompts are so precious and so worth the effort, despite our time-crunched days.
I remember listening to that episode and when I turned it off I texted a good friend in New Orleans whom I hadn’t seen in years. This dear friend was my first roommate when I moved to New Orleans, the first person to baby sit my son, my very best friend. We have this amazing picture of our kids lined up by age— there wasn’t a year in the five years we were friends in New Orleans, that one of us wasn’t pregnant.
Talk to her, reminded me of everything I loved about New Orleans.
We caught up, prayed with each other, and promised to stay in touch.A few weeks later, when she missed her flight home and was stuck L.A. last month, guess who she called for a place to stay— me!
I remembered how much I loved rekindling that friendship, so I stopped the podcast and sent my best friend from Boston, who I noticed just had a baby a quick text:
Hey! I hope this is still your number. I just wanted to say “hey” and that I miss you.
Hours later I got a text and within minutes we were on the phone talking about marriage, motherhood, faith, and transitioning well. She told me things she said she hadn’t told anyone but the minute she heard my voice she just opened up.
Man. That’s the beauty of a solid friendship. This friend and I raised our children together in Boston, while our husbands worked on their Masters. It was nearly every day once of us would send a text, “I’m going to be at the park with my kids, wanna meet up” and the other would reply, “Yes! I’ll bring the Dunkin!’
I knew how she liked her coffee— that’s friendship, y’all. True, deep everlasting friendship.
We split dinners when our husbands were working late and we didn’t want to cook: I’d bring the pasta, she’d make the meat sauce. And she was the first friend I’ve ever planned a getaway with. She was truly my best friend and a life-saver in a stressful season as a seminary widow.
Then they moved away and even living an hour away, we kept our friendship up. This time meeting at a Dunkin’ equidistant between Cambridge and Marblehead. Then driving to a park to catch up.
As we talked, I realized that I loved Boston because I loved the people. I loved the friendships and memories we made. It gave me some hope because even though I don’t have perfectly orange and red trees in my yard, I still have my sense of humor, love of coffee, and encouraging spirit. I brought me from Boston to L.A. and that’s all I need to make new friends.
But keep the old…of course.
So my Joy Hack today is to consider sending a text, messaging on Facebook, shooting off a quick email to reconnect.
Say, “hey girl, hey” to that friend who you’ve lost touch with either due to season of life or moves.
You just might end up talking for an hour and half, remembering all the reason you loved this friend, then spending the day with a goofy grin stuck on your face. You just might, like me, realize that transitioning is hard but not impossible.
See you tomorrow with my FMF with a Joy Flair.