My best friend Stacey and I love to tell the story of how we met. We were both 22. She was working at my mom’s office and my mom kept saying Stacey reminded her of someone. The silly woman (love you mom) couldn’t figure out who. Until one day, it dawned on her it was me..her daughter. Mom insisted we meet even though both of us were apprehensive about a “set up”. But, curiosity got the better of us. We pulled up to the restaurant where we were meeting. We were both driving the same make, model and color of car, wearing the same exact outfit, and even looked alike. They say everyone has a twin out there somewhere, this was the day I meet mine.
Over 18 years have passed, we’ve both gotten married and had kids and life has taken us places we never dreamed. The bond stayed and only strengthened. So when I found out my family was moving from Indiana to Florida it was hard to find the words to tell her I was leaving. We made a plan over tearful goodbyes to keep our closeness. And now after three years apart we are as close as ever.
Here are my tips for maintaining a long distance friendship:
- Regular “coffee dates”- getting together for coffee is one of our things. We now still do so weekly over the phone or FaceTime. We both grab our cup after we get the kiddos off to school and focus on grown up conversation. Sometimes she will even send me photos of her travel coffee mug on the go just say wish you were here. The point is you can get creative to maintain your traditions but keep em if you love em!
- Mailbox surprises- occasionally we mail each other good old snail mail. Just to say I was thinking of you when this happened or we send words of encouragement during a challenging time. We also send fun birthday gifts or pick me ups. It doesn’t have to expensive just a thoughtful gesture to say I’m here and will continue to be.
- Set up a tradition for visits- every year for Thanksgiving she and her family come to Florida to visit. We have named this our “Friendsgiving week”. I try to go back home in the summer for our “Summer in between”. That’s the month between her birthday and mine. We look forward to these visits and we set up the same time each year to look forward to when we know we will see each again. Having a plan has been has made the distance easier.
- Use social media to your advantage- one benefit of social media is the ability to quickly check in. Post a throwback picture on your Facebook page, send a friendship quote on your Instagram and tag your friend or tweet a quick message on your Twitter. It’s easy to stay connected on the go or while you’re in the middle of the crazy mom day..aren’t they all?
We women know that our tribes are so important. We celebrate together, we grieve together, we support each other, we learn from each other, we make each other stronger and bring out the best in each other. There is a funny quote I love about friendship which says,
“Friends come and go like waves of the ocean, but the true ones stick. Like an octopus on your face.”
If you’ve found your octopus, your twin or someone you’d take a Nerf bullet for you’ve found something special indeed. Hold onto it, it’s priceless!
Guest Contributor Janet Richardson grew up in Indiana. She said goodbye to snow boots and hello to sandy toes when her family moved to Tampa Bay 3 years ago. Janet has been married for 8 years to her amazing British best friend and partner in crime. She is also blessed to be mom to an 8 year old philosopher and 6 year old diva. Janet is a crafting addict and CEO of the International house of Richardson (stay at home mom). She never met a beach, morning cup of coffee or Netflix mystery series she didn’t want to get to know better. Check out her blog Give Me the Details, where she blogs about details on everything big and small.