Growing up, were you the child with no fear who loved sleeping out of the house, or were you the child who preferred to stay home in the comfort of your own bed? For me, it was a bit of both. I loved the fun and excitement of a sleepover, especially the chance to spend uninterrupted time with my friends, but simultaneously, I definitely preferred to sleep in my own room with my own pillows. My earliest memory of a sleepover was not a particularly positive one; here's what happened:
When I was 8 years old, only a few months after moving to a new town, I was invited to a sleepover. Truth be told, I would only be going three houses down the road to a friend who lived in the same development. The night started off as a lot of fun as we got dressed up and did a number of singing and dancing routines, followed by dinner and a movie. Before we knew it, the sun had set and it was time to get ready for bed. With all the excitement and anticipation of the day, we weren’t quite ready to go to sleep, so when her her dad popped his head in the room and asked if we wanted a bedtime story, of course we said yes! This all sounded well and good, but there was one thing my friend's Dad left out about his "story," it was a ghost story. After the story had ended, all the excitement of the day came crashing down and all I wanted was to be home with my Mom and Dad sleeping in my own bed. We jumped in the car, drove the one minute up the street, and abruptly ended my first experience of a sleepover.
I know what you're all thinking right? Great story, but so what? What does my first sleepover at 8 years old have to do with my self care blog? Well, fast forward 30 years, I packed my bags, said goodbye to the hustle and bustle of my daily life, and headed out to not just a sleepover, but a full 24 hours of uninterrupted time with my very best friend.
Of course there were so many differences between my first sleepover 30 years ago and this most recent experience, but the excitement was exactly the same. I met my best friend Lindsay in college where we were roommates for three years. Lindsay now lives in Philadelphia, which is a good three hour drive from where we are in Connecticut. With a total of 6 children between us, coupled with our hectic lives, we try to talk as often as possible, but sometimes several months can fly by without us catching up, which is why getting to spend a full 24 hours together was something really special and time I will cherish forever.
I left first thing in the morning and pulled into her driveway just after midday. After dropping my stuff and a quick catch up, we headed out for an amazing lunch. After we'd eaten, we headed to the movies, followed by some time spent with her kids; it was amazing to see how much they'd grown, especially her young twins who were basically babies the last time I saw them. We went out for a sushi dinner and followed this up with Rita’s Ices for dessert. Finally, we ended the day curled up on her couch chatting and watching some TV. The next morning I got to spend more time with her kids before the two of us went to workout together, followed by some retail therapy. We were both having so much fun and loving all the clothes we were trying on that the time had gotten away from us. We totally didn’t realized how late it was and both of us needed to get back to reality. We said our goodbyes rather too quickly and headed our separate ways.
The moral of the story is that friends are so important and no matter what age you are, it’s imperative to step back from the day to day chaos of your life and let yourself act and feel like a child; whether it’s a full sleepover or even just a “play date.” As we enter our prime years, we tend to get overwhelmed with work, school, family and everything else in between, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still make time for fun with friends. In fact, it probably means we need that time more than ever as a method of rejuvenation.
Do you remember the famous quote by S E Hinton? "If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky.” The first time I heard this quote, one of the things I always wondered was why? How is that possible? Spending this week focused on friendship, with the planning and execution of my time spent with Lindsay, I think I might know the answer to that question: Friendship, like any investment, takes time; like anything else, the more you give the more you will get. If you don't make it a priority to find time for friends, friends will be hard to make and even harder to keep.
Lindsay, you're my forever friend and for that, as S E Hinton said, "I am more than lucky." Here's to the 21 years of friendship and many more years to come! I promise to always find time no matter what to invest in us!