Whenever we go away with this group of couples friends of ours, I spend a lot of time thinking about how grateful I am to have found these specific people, and that they want to spend as much time with Ben and I as we do with them.
They really are so special, each one of them, for different reasons. They’re somehow all so different, yet so similar in a million ways. Some of them own their own businesses, some of them are stay-at-home moms, some of them work with money, some with famous rappers, and one of them even used to be a rapper and break dancer. Some are divorced, some have been married for almost 30 years. Some have kids in preschool, while some have kids who are already pregnant with their own kids. Some drink and dance, and some haven’t had a drink since they went sober 20 years ago. Some rely heavily on God, and some don’t even believe in him.
Years ago, we used to see each other all of the time: we used to train with and compete on the same CFNE team that came in 2nd place in the world, we used to meet up for dinners and pool parties, we used to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas Day together, and we used to go to concerts together all of the time. We still do some of those things sometimes, but it’s becoming more the norm that we only see each other on these couples vacations. We barely even text or call each other in between.
While it’s really sad to think about like that, I know it’s just how the cycle of life goes. I know that kids go in and out of afternoon activities and our lives, subsequently, end up following suit. I know that job descriptions change and travel demands, subsequently, end up following suit. And, I know that kids graduate and move away to school and the radius from which we parent widens in a way that, subsequently, pulls us in directions that don’t line up with the directions our friends’ are headed at that point in time.
But, what I am consistently reassured by every time we make some weird kind of magic happen that enables us to sneak away with them a couple times a year is this: I need them.
I have so much respect for these people. They never complain about their spouse, or bicker and argue with them in front of others. They voice concerns about their kids, but they never bitch about them. They are so happy and positive. They never complain about anything, and you would never catch them gossiping about anyone. They are incredibly hard workers and put their families first. And, while they can exercise and eat pretty clean while we’re on vacation, they can also party hard…but, not too hard.
Years and years ago, Ben came up with a list of goals for us: places he wanted to travel to, things he wanted to do with our family, what he envisioned our lives like when we’re retired and our kids are all grown up. One of his goals was also to have a core group of close friends that we would grow old together with. At the time, I just loved that he would even care enough to put that on his list of life goals.
It is so clear to me now, though, why that made the list. Knowing that we are all taking on the rest of our lives together is so overwhelmingly comforting. I don’t know exactly where we’ll all be in 5, 10, and 20 years, but I know we’ll all still have each other like we do right now. That, to me, is the power of true friendship.