Learning when to cut the cord of friendship

Young women whispering behind another woman's backAs a kid we are taught “make new friends, but keep the old ones”.  Sometimes, though, new or old it becomes time to kick some people off the love train and let the friendship die down.  When the season of that friendship dies, instead of being something that gives you life it becomes draining putting your peace in chaos.  As with all relationships though, ending a friendship is tough and the difficulty involved can lead you to dragging a friendship along half dead for way too long.  So when do you finally say enough is enough when it comes to friends??  Here are some things to consider when you are deciding if the friendship is still the loving and nurturing relationship that you need it to be.

Start with you: Without questions ending some friendships should be a no brainer but more often than not you can sum up the situation with “it’s complicated”.  Perhaps you feel used or that you are not growing in the same direction, but if you put all the blame on the friend you may skip over somethings you did or failed to do that caused the rift.  By taking an honest review of yourself, who you are now, where you what to be, what you are offering as a friend you may discover that they are a shitty friend because you are one.  Even if that is not the case you may connect with some of the reasons the friendship is lingering and find a way to salvage it by doing the work.  Doing so lets you put an end to the friendship that was and get started on a friendship reborn that gives both people more of what they need.

It’s okay to love someone from afar: We can get so lost in people and their problems that we can’t see the forest from the trees.  In life it is as important to take care of ourselves as it is to take care of other people.  When being a friend becomes a life consuming duty with little appreciation or reciprocation it may be time to take a step away.  You love best when you love yourself and any friendship that cannot honor that may not truly be a friendship in the first place.

Belief your past does not have to be your future: As friendships develop at all points in our lives it can be hard to let go those that were critical in getting us to where we are today.  Honoring a friend that loved and supported us is a part of life but it cannot be the reason you put your head in the sand when destructive behavior pops up.  You cannot take away credit for the importance of a friendship in the past but sometimes the past is the past for a reason.

Trust your heart and your head: When thinking about ending a friendship your head and heart have to have a meeting of minds.  Either can be blindsided from the history of the friendship and deceive you into staying longer than you should.  Sometimes the truth is not in all the blatant facts or pulls of your heartstrings but in the quiet whisper of your soul.  Let both sides make their arguments and then trust your soul to weigh the difference.

Either get all out and or get all in: The older you get you realize no one is perfect, not your friend (or ex-friend) and certainly not you.  This certainty can lead to a straddling of the fence because you don’t want to risk the loss and find yourself without someone to fill an important role in your life.  A friendship requires a lot of you and the other person when it is done right.  If you are not willing to invest the energy or time really you are out anyway.  Time is our most valuable resource so don’t waste it where you don’t want it to go when it can bloom beautifully someplace else.

 

Pulling strength from yourself and others at the Oprah Life You Want Weekend

New Friends and Old Champagne at Life You Want WeekendWithout question the Life You Want Weekend was an awe inspiring experience for me. In planning to go I really set off to hear Oprah and all the great speakers share their insight on success and peace and inspiration with the hopes it would take seed on my own life and struggles.  True to this expectation the weekend was a great way to catalog old and new mantras and guidance.  The unexpected gift of the trip wasn’t in a gift bag or book or souvenir t-shirt, however.  It was found in the work I put in with myself and the strength I was able to pull from the people I met around me.

Crowd at Life You Want WeekendThere is always something magical that has the potential to happen when you go to an event where everyone’s intention is change for the better. Those who paid the big bucks to go to the event didn’t do it just to do something on a Saturday night, but equally seeking something that was missing the week, day or minute before they walked through the doors.  Perhaps that something missing was self-love or motivation or understanding, but it was something they wanted to grow from by the experience.  When the room is set in this desire it becomes almost like a field ripe for planting.  Within the experience we all received new ideas or repeats of forgotten ones in a personal dialogue that could speak directly to almost any situation.  That level of receptiveness spreads like wildfire and makes you more willing and enthusiastic for the change because you see that when you came missing something that you were not alone.  O Town WristbandCollectively everyone was looking and when you lose that loneliness of your personal situation it can prime you in a way to grow and change that few other scenarios can duplicate.  The people I met along the way all exuded this spirt of receptiveness and even though I came in attending the event solo I felt like I was leaving a good group of friends at the end of day two.  Meeting these strong, intelligent, giving women was a great inspiration for me to look at my own life with new eyes and to feel thankful for the blessings that connections shine through even when they are unexpected.

Goal Setting at Life You Want WeekendKerline at Life You Want Weekend Me at O TownThe second gift to me was the guidance through some of the exercises to do the work in my own life to produce change. The accompanied book with the weekend went through exercises that let us explore some of our motivations and dreams.  With a clear vision of where I wanted to go and the why of my wanting to get, suddenly the road in between the present I have and the future I want felt less scary.   For me the exercises were a strong reminder of not just the reason for it all for me, my beautiful daughter, but that it was as okay for me to want the best for her as it was for me to want the best for me.  The combination of the internal work I put in on myself as well as the energy not just of the entire stadium but in the personal connections of the women I met helped me to leave the Oprah Life You Want Weekend energized, enlightened and ready for whatever troubles may come my way

Raise the MacAllan, a whiskey lovers dream

Raise The MacAllan 1First stop on a great visit to Chicago and what better way to catch up with friends than enjoying a favorite…MacAllan Whiskey. Over the years I have become a huge whiskey fan and The MacAllan is definitely one of the best of the best in the world of single malt Irish whiskeys.  While some back away from whiskey because of its strength (40% alcohol by volume), The MacAllan proves that you can indeed really enjoy all aspects of the whiskey experience.  The brand does a great job of balancing power and style with a rick flavor and a smooth finish. Raise the Macallan 4

The secret to this delicate balance for The MacAllan is their curiously small stills.  Famous enough to make the face of Irish currency these stills are proof positive that The MacAllan puts quality over quantity in every step of the process.  The small still and individual batches are just the first step in a long process that produces an exceptional spirit.  From beginning to end The MacAllan has its hand in every part of their creation process and yes this even includes sourcing barrels in which to age the spirit.  Instead of grabbing up bourbon or sherry casks The MacAllan does something unheard of, they grow the wood that makes the cast.  That’s right, when you can pick up a bottle of The MacAllan in a local store, the process of creation actually started 100 years previously when the seeds for their oak trees are first planted.  Through growing, harvesting, sherry creation, and drying the wood you are talking about a very long and very expensive quality all just to guarantee quality.  Raise The MacAllan 5Raise the MacAllan 2The MacAllan spares no expense, even small details such as allowing the wood to dry naturally in order to maximize their color and flavor which come from the wood, in bring something great to whiskey lovers everywhere.

The process truly demonstrates their craft and their passion for producing exceptional whiskeys. With only 16% of all productions ending up in bottles you can see why their finest cut becomes one of the finest whiskeys.  With such a painstaking process it’s easy to see why The MacAllan appeals to such a wide audience and is a great way to bring people together with the fun, laughter, and memories that really makes life great.

 

 

Top Golf Fun

Top Golf Fun 2For a fun spin on the game of golf, no one is doing it better than Top Golf.  Golfing has long been the mainstay sport for business transactions.  The time between holes gives time to stop and discuss matters and without some physical contact that other sports demand everyone usually shows a good amount of sportsmanship.  Thinking of taking a real celebration at a golf course is a new idea, however, and in celebrating my cousins 30th birthday I realized that you can indeed party and golf at the same time.

Top Golf Fun 3Top Golf Fun 4Top Golf offers a chance for kids and big kids, aka the adults who bring them, alike to take a whole new look at the game of golf.  Typically I steer away from golf because of the time commitment it takes to complete a round of golf.  When you factor in Houston heat and the fact that my bad form makes the game really creep by, it is a sport I usually don’t mind missing out on.  Top Golf has managed to take away the best components of both the game of golf, but also a fun night out with friends for the perfect combination to suit almost any temperament.  For those who are avid golf players you get give them a real chance to show off some skill and also share some pointers with some of the more golf game challenged.  For those who really just want to party the food and drink selections are the perfect way to start the night off with the bang.  With your time on the green limited to five shots at a time you can easily adjust your time commitment and still have a ball the rest of the time.  As some nights also feature a fun DJ you get a chance to dance, enjoy friends and share in the ups and downs that come with any sporting event.

Top Golf Fun 1No matter the skill level the great thing about sports is that they tend to bring people together.  You laugh together at your mistakes and also can all cheer together when someone makes an incredible long drive.  Between the Golfbag Fishbowls and laughing with my friends the time flew by at Top Golf for a really fun celebration of life and love.

Exploring the tradition of Afternoon Tea

Enjoying frieds at the afternoon tea at the Hotel GranducaThis past weekend I took some time away from the normal busy flow of the day to get acquainted with the old tradition of afternoon tea.  To get the mood for such a feat I put on one of my favorite hats and headed to one of the locations in Houston that embody the indulgence found in the roots of afternoon tea, the Hotel GranducaPreparing for fancy at afternoon tea at the Hotel Granduca

Heading out with some of my favorite friends usually takes us to restaurants where we go through the routine of what to eat, to drink, to share or not share, and an appraisal of the location and its patrons.  When this is the usual there is something really nice about the structure of afternoon tea.

The Hotel Granduca provides a perfect opportunity for you to step into the old world sophistication and elegance of the time that first inspired afternoon tea.  In the courses of tea you get something that I also miss in meeting with my friends…serenity.  Assorted Ribbon Sandwiches at afternoon tea at the Hotel Granduca Himalayan Peak Parjeeling Tea at the Afternoon tea at Hotel Granduca Assorted pastries at the afternoon tea at Hotel GranducaOutside of the decision of what tea to have, everything else just slows down and rolls out automatically.  You get a chance to sip and enjoy the beautiful simplicity of tea and light bites.  When it comes to indulging less can be more. Upon serving the small snacks that make up the courses of afternoon tea, you get a chance to spoil yourself with your most wanted fresh backed scones and Devonshire clotted cream with jam or pastries and tea cookies.  Best of all you get a chance to take it slow with friends and get a great reminder of the support, laughs, and even silence that makes them good friends in the first place.

Without the noise and choices and people from a normal gathering we found that all we have is each other, sharing our lives.

On a slowed down Saturday afternoon over tea and talking about the good, bad, and ugly experiences that we call life we realized that the sharing in and of itself is enough to make for good times with great friends.Tea is served at the afternoon tea at Hotel Granduca Afternoon tea the Hotel Granduca

 

 

 

Road trips with the amigos: Texas Edition

Two pretty happy girls in the car. Concept of carefree roadtripRoad trips within reach: Summer is upon us and with that brings the need to recharge with some fun in the sun.  One of my must do’s in every summer vacation planning is a getaway with friends.   Something about my mandatory Pina colada along with a good mix of friends and relaxation takes away some of the stress of being an adult.  As a kid summer means hanging out with friends, relaxing and goofing off and bringing that in the mix as an adult brings back some of the energy and enthusiasm of being a kid.  The challenge is in the coordination and the cost that can come with getting your friends mobile for a getaway.  A key trick can be to keep the party close, but not too close to where you can’t really escape what happens on a daily basis.  Keeping your getaway options to things close enough to drive but far enough to be out of the city are key to a jam packed getaway with friends.  If you are from Houston or in the Texas area here are some fun options for your friend’s getaway.

Austin: Austin is a town that wears many hats: from college town to hill country or just plain weird.   a The range of options of fun Austin offers helps bring everyone together and then have everyone all wind down in their own way.  Few cities give you the options to take it as slow and focus on relaxing in the day with the drastic change of the jam packed night options that Austin gives.  Check out the hill country to relax but head into downtown for some of the night fun.

New Orleans: New Orleans is known as a party city that may not be for the faint of heart.  Anyplace I can get a frozen drink at the mall is a good place for me, but for those more on the conservative side New Orleans is a haven for history that can really take you away to a whole other world.  Between bayou tours, casinos and cemeteries there should be something for everyone even outside the nightlife.  Don’t forget the food!!! A requirement to handle the drinking intake but even without the drinks the food array in New Orleans provides some exceptional cuisine you are unlikely to find elsewhere in the country.

San Marcos: if your emphasis is on sun then San Marcos is the premier beach destination in Texas.  Given the size of the state it may take you as long to get there as going out of state but the trip gives a chance to do something else that is equally as fun, really enjoy a road trip with friends.  On the road in college we would load up on junk food and our favorite CDs to murder on the ride up.  Having some dedicated time to explore and talk helps you remind you that in good company getting there can be more than half the fun.

Dallas: Dallas offers a great urban escape that showcases the more metropolitan version of Texas.  There is an opportunity to take it slow at places like the Botanical Gardens but also a wide range of bars and clubs.  It gives a new spin on Texas but also provides some of the big Texas mainstays such as great food and landscape.

Lake Charles: I am not a big gambler but with the concentration of gambling and money comes accommodations to attract those gamblers.  Lake Charles has become a meca for gambling getaways and the hotels offer the music and food that comes as a part of the package even if you do not gamble.  L’Auberge is my favorite spot to getaway as the pool and food are top notch and help me to forget that I don’t gamble.  The people there are always ready to have a good time and it makes it easy for good times to roll

Wherever you getaway to time away with friends is a great way to get some concentrated love and support that makes friends invaluable to your battery recharge process.

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