Christmas Party in February, Reflecting on Friendship

Love & Light

This past weekend I attended a Yankee Swap Christmas Party with my friend Jeff. This group of friends have know each other for almost 30 years. To me, that is simply amazing. While I have friends I’ve stayed in touch with for about 25 years, we don’t see each other regularly much less have an annual gathering. The party was delayed from December so that everyone could attend. I love that – the day was changed several times to allow all (about 40) people to come.  

Jeff and I have been friends since around 1995 when we worked together at an insurance company in Portsmouth, NH. He’s visited me in all the places I’ve lived: Bethel, Maine, Killington, Vermont, Granby, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona.

The invitation to the party came through text: “Would you be up for a scary group gathering for a few hours, meet new people?”

Ha! Attend an event with a group of people I don’t know. OMG. The invitation made me laugh and since I’m trying to do things that force me to break out of my comfort zone I replied, “Oh sure I need to have new experiences.”

The night was very fun and Jeff’s friends are pretty awesome. Everyone was very friendly. Doing what introverts do, Jeff and I sat on the sofa and played cribbage. I almost won. I rarely win against Jeff, however I was 5 points from the win when he came from behind with a great hand. 

The especially fun part of the night was the Yankee Swap. I drew #21 – a good number to pick a gift I really liked. My gift was a beautiful, heavy blanket. I loved it and kept it. But a few numbers later I lost it to a bag of gifts that contained a Love pillow, candle and lottery ticket.

I left before the food came and headed home to beat a snow storm. I got home and thought about the evening and my gift.

Here’s what I think:

I really enjoy hanging out with people my age.

I think the evening was very symbolic especially at a time in my life where I’m more reflective than normal. I’m writing more than ever, and once again, trying to figure out how all the pieces of my life fit: career, relationships, travel, adventure, faith.

I am so thankful for the friends in my life who show up, call, text, email and invite me on adventures. I’m especially thankful for my parents. 

The Yankee Swap gift was symbolic:

  • The LOVE pillow: I need more love in my life. I need to give love and be more open to love.
  • The candle: I need more light in my life – give light, be the light.
  • The (losing) Lottery Ticket: I don’t need more money or things. Having enough money is good but I have what I need.

Travel Light, Be the Light

Ironman Florida

I’m signed up! In my 9th year training and racing Ironman I was able to sign up for a race four months before race day. Amazing.

Back in the day, you had to sit online one year before race day and hope you got it; or volunteer the year before.

Ironman Florida was one of the races that sold out minutes before registration years ago; but I got in four months before.

As I start to plan my training this morning – Oops – I counted wrong. On Monday, it will be 13 weeks before race day. I better get training.

This is my first year training east of the Mississippi River. I’m excited to train in the big city of Concord where I can walk to the pool, run and bike out my door. I thought Tucson was a training mecca. I think I’m pretty lucky to live where I do and be able to train for #7 Ironman.

Off to run in 98% humidity. At least the sun isn’t out.