International Friendship Day is coming up! Sunday, August 4th is the day to celebrate friendship around the world! Whether you want to celebrate an intercontinental friendship or remember fondly the years of writing to a pen pal we are on board! Our motto at WubbaNub is “Baby’s First Friend” and it’s not just a tagline for us. Friendships shape our lives in important ways, teaching us empathy and compassion for others, helping develop our sense of self and having a witness to the journeys life takes us on. Who would we be without these pivotal people? Let’s take a minute to think about the ways we can show our friends some love.
Coffee? Tea? It’s On Me!
One of the easiest ways to show a friend some unexpected love is also one of my favorites. Send them $5 in the morning on a weekday (Venmo, Cashapp, Zelle are easy and quick ways to share) with a simple note “Have your morning coffee on me! Lots of love”. It’s not about lavish spending, it’s about the surprise that someone in your life was thinking of you and wanted to do something nice for you. Whether you haven’t seen a friend in a while and want them to know you’re thinking of them or maybe they have a big meeting or job interview and you want to show support. I’ve done this a few times and every time the response has been one of surprise and gratitude, it also makes you feel good to extend some love!
Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman!
It may seem old fashioned but writing letters and cards is not just a great way to stay in touch, it’s a wonderful way to journal what is going on in your life. I’m not sure when it started, but for most of my life, I have received stationary as a gift, meaning I have boxes of cards and embossed note pads with my name on them. I’m sure it was my mothers’ doing, a woman who regularly bought cards she thought were funny or thoughtful, filed them by genre in a box so she always had something ready. E-mail is great, an easy and efficient way to stay in touch, but the brain works differently when writing freehand. You’re less likely to censor yourself to find the perfect phrasing and, therefore, maybe a bit more honest and vulnerable when writing.
Even if you don’t have boxes of cards at your house, like my hoarding mother and I, try keeping a few around that are blank inside. When a friend does something kind for you, goes out of there way to help you, or even if you just suddenly want to thank them for their friendship it’s nice to know you can grab a card when the moment strikes and write out what you’re feeling. Pop it in the mailbox the next day and know that you’re putting good out into the world. Maybe when your friend gets the letter they’re having a bad day and that small act will turn their mood around. The small acts of love and appreciation are truly what sustain friendships.
Just The Two of Us
I love a good friend date. Like any other relationship, romantic or familial, it’s important to make time for people when you can. Our lives are busy; work, kids, playdates, vacations, making time for people can feel like a chore and leave you overwhelmed. That doesn’t make you a bad friend! It makes you a person with a busy life. Start by taking the pressure off yourself, planning time with a friend doesn’t need a reservation, a flight or a credit check. Grab a bottle of rose and head to a park nearby, go see a movie together, take a boxing or dance class. It’s really about the time you spend together, and if your lives have gone in different directions finding something that is still yours together.
If you’re not in the same city (or country!) this can be more of a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Do you have a show or a movie that you and your pal bonded over? Set up a phone date and watch together! When my friend Sean defected to the West Coast one of the things I knew I would miss was his Oscar parties. Sometimes it was elaborate, with special drinks and a dress code, other times it was just he and I, watching the red carpet and making each other laugh. Turns out, the only thing that mattered was making each other laugh. So, five years after his move we still jump on messenger and share our jokes and hot takes in real-time. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting next to one another and hearing the laughter but it’s a way we connect and something important to our relationship.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the friends in your life, remember that it’s just about that: celebrating. Acknowledging your love for someone, your appreciation for them and recognizing that they’re an important person in your life is easy to do no matter time or distance. We all know how good it feels to know that you’re on someone’s mind, so this International Friendship Day pass the love on to the people who mean the most to you.