A Day to Celebrate All Types of Friends

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” – Unknown

Friendship comes in all types. Aristotle said there were three categories: friendships of utility, pleasure, and goodness. What did he know? There are hundreds of types of friends!

National Friendship Day is the first Sunday in August. This year, it's the fourth. Let's take a fun look at the relationships that keep us sane, comforted, challenged, and fulfilled.

“Sometimes the messenger is as important as the message.” –me

Regularly, I find myself in a position to counsel my kids. You know, share my worldly wisdom and such. You can imagine the reaction to gems like, “If you eat healthy, drink lots of water, and get more sleep, you'll feel fantastic.”

friends boysIf you haven't been in this situation, I'll share. Motherly advice like this gets somewhere between a polite nod with a meaningful “uh-huh” and a groan emitted at a level you're not intended to hear. But you do hear it.

I'm amazed, though, by how often those words gain value when uttered by the right source. For example, when I get a text or call to talk about turning over a new, healthy leaf. Shockingly enough, it's genius when a good friend suggests increased hydration, healthy foods, and rest. I'm thrilled. My kid has a great friend who's sharing good ideas. Hopefully, the new habits stick, too.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
— Dale Carnegie

Everyone has these friends. Those who remember your birthday, bring the “get well soon” lasagne and hug you no matter the results of your interview/date/test. They know your birthdate because they asked. That baked pasta? It happened because your friend heard that you were ailing.

These friends care deeply about their friends' happiness. Here's your chance to turn the tables on them this Friendship Day. Find out how life is going for them. That's a kindness that feels as good to grant as to receive.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”
– Walter Winchell

girls friendsNone of us gets through life escaping hardship. That's okay. Supposedly it makes us stronger. Whatever. I thought I was strong enough already.

Do note, though, those challenges reveal more than inner resilience. Hard times reveal the allies who are there for the ugly times.

In short, they are the “well I guess we'll have to hide the body” friends. Always hope you won't need them and be glad you have them.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
– Albert Schweitzer

Some people have it. They are your pals who meet you for coffee and somehow transform you in thirty minutes. You sit down an average person, on an average day, feeling average at best. One latte and an earful later, you see yourself and the world in a new light. Now you're ready to conquer the universe. That spark is a treasure and we salute the friends who help make it happen.

“Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.” – Thomas J. Watson

Hardly what I expected, a dear friend recently responded to me ranting about personal frustrations by recommending a book. Getting books suggested to me is nothing new. I'm a compulsive reader and a huge fan (and former employee) of Frisco Public Library.

The surprise was that, rather than commiserate, she empowered me to empower myself. Here's a friendly nod to the squad that inspires you.

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh

I love my husband. He has been every one of these categories for me. He is my forever friend. Forever friends don't have to be romantic or even in the same ZIP code. They are your rocks. They are there. Always. They're the friends you speak to every day, or only every birthday, but every time, you remember why you matter so much to each other.

friends 1Please humor me. There's a good chance you and I haven't met. But, you invested time reading my writing. As a token of gratitude and because I love whimsy, this article has a hidden puzzle treat in it.

Did you find it? Let me know in the comments, please. (Hey you–find it yourself and check the comments later!)

So, here's to old, new, and future friends. I hope you celebrate on the 4th and I hope you and your friends also celebrate each other every day of the year.

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