Ah friendships in our twenties.... We were young and fancy free, just sorting out careers and relationships. Going out for late nights of dancing and drinks (and swinging through the McDonald's drive through on the way home), planning girls weekends and trips, and spending oodles of time together doing oodles of fun things. Friends came first a lot of the time, because not many of us had families of our own yet, and missing out was straight up just not an option. Pressure to be everywhere, and do everything, and see everyone could be heavy, and drama often ensued if you missed too many girls nights, parties or trips. Fast forward a decade, and a lot of things have changed...In your 20's there is a need to be together all the time, go out and partaaaay. Now? Give me a bottle of wine, snacks that involve cheese and comfy clothes, and I'm pitting in on your couch full of throw pillows to watch the Bachelor and talk. I'm not paying cover to yell over the music at you, I don't have the time or the patience for that. I want to hear what you have to say girl, and have a conversation about it.
In your 30's you are more intentional with your time and who you give it to, because we simply don't have enough of it. No longer do you feel (so much) the pressure to do things or go places because everyone else is, and instead you choose to spend your time with the people who mean the most. When we give our time to people, we make sure it's the ones who leave us smiling and with our cups and hearts full. As a result, friendships change. Some evolve along with you, and some fade away. You learn who your real friends are. I know who my true, ride or die friends are. I know that in these women I get the best therapy, the most support and unconditional love. These bonds have been tried and tested and will not break for anything. Nothing is off limits in conversation, and you get to the real conversation much faster than you used to, because no one has time for the bullshit. No drama mama, we are mature and have stopped taking everything so personally. People, conversations and situations are more real and less superficial. Friendships become simpler, in the best way.
One of the biggest challenges? It becomes increasingly difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time. We are all balancing schedules of work, kids, family commitments, activities, committees, classes, and #allofthethings. Trying to make plans requires group chats, Doodle Polls (if you don't know what this is, google it. #yourewelcome), and major planning months in advance. Girls weekends might happen once a year, and girls weekends when every one can make it might happen once every few years. Big nights out come few and far between . You soak up the laughs, the stories, the wine. And the hangovers now? Last. For. DAYS. I book dinner + drinks dates months in advance. Literally. Those nights keep me going through the tired, the stress, the #busybusybusy. Seeing each other is fewer and farther between, but when we do connect it's better than before, more meaningful and real.
Another major factor now? Kids. Whether you have kids or not, kids now determine most plans. Your kids, your siblings kids, your friends kids... kids run the show. They have routines and schedules, and once they hit a certain age they have #alloftheactivities. They get sick at the most inconvenient times, and plans get cancelled on a moments notice. They cause you to want to go to bed at 8pm instead of doing anything else, and they completely change your priorities. I did not have my son until I was 33, and let me tell you - I was almost always up for fun plans. Made in advance plans, spur of the moment plans, #alloftheplans. I was the one you called for after work drinks, and I would turn around in my driveway if I was already home. I would get out of my pj's, get ready again and meet you downtown at 10pm. I lived and breathed my social life and my work. Now? Don't ask me to go anywhere past 8pm because girl - I have been in my jammies since 7 and I am not changing. Asher will be up at 5:30 am and he does not care if mama was out enjoying several glasses of wine last night.
Time spent with your nearest and dearest used to be drinks, dancing, and late night girl talk. It was all day hang outs, shopping trips and big birthday celebrations. Now? It's missing out, going home at 9pm and celebrating birthdays a month late. It's Sunday brunch instead of Saturday drinks and dancing. It's FaceTime and wine instead of flying out for a weekend visit. It's buying coupon books and raffle tickets to support kids hockey and work fundraisers, and being super jazzed when you win a set of real wooden Adirondack chairs (actual true story, and I love those chairs). It's quality over quantity, and really being present when you are together. It's showing up with messy hair and sweatpants with a bottle of wine because the intent is to spend time talking and connecting. It's simplicity and unwavering support. It's connecting daily via group chats and sometimes only seeing each other in person every few years. It's tough conversations and holding each other accountable to your goals. It's changed, and it's a raw, real and beautiful thing.