This one is for my friend Cathy, from the Goodies Philosophy file. She is an old friend who was in town this past weekend, an event which many awaited with anticipation. We go way back to a group of work friends, but now she lives in another country. So her annual visits are a pretty big deal.
What can I say? Some people just have the spark, and you always want them to be around. This particular friend comes to you, but makes you feel at home with effortlessly prepared homemade food. She takes pleasure in being pleasant, rolling with everyone’s jokes and making them feel very clever. Gives you something of hers and says you’ll get her back later on. Suggesting bike rides in the brisk fall, or dragging you on a pub run on a winter morning. A girl for all occasions, as Homer would have put it.
Sure, these visits result in boozy parties with off-color jokes – I didn’t say she’s Pollyanna. But that’s part of the fun of course.
The point of all of this is that my friend has cultivated loveliness as a lifestyle. She has unlimited energy for getting to know many people and developing friendships with them through curiosity and generosity. Every time I see her over the years, as our social circles evolve and broaden, her visits gather more diverse groups of people. She could probably spend all of her vacation days having very enjoyable visits with friends all around the world, if she wanted to.
I’m inspired by my friend from a financial/lifestyle perspective because her immense friend circle ensures endless cheap and fun vacation options. But she got to this point by prioritizing friendship and good times, which is itself admirable. Taking the opportunity to have laughs with people, be generous, teach things, learn things – these are all cultivated in a happy life. Hey Cathy, next time, your place!