See this and more inside the July issue of Military Spouse Magazine!
International Day of Friendship, a day of celebration and a time to be grateful for thriving friendships, was instituted by the United Nations to be shared together on July 30.
This year, amidst the voluntary social distancing and lock-ins resulting from the COVID-19 outbreaks, celebrating friendship in 2020 will be that much sweeter. We have become keenly aware of our need to connect and are striving to continue nurturing growth in our close relationships — despite the fact that we have not been able to be together for most of the spring.
How can we, as a military community, make this year’s International Day of Friendship special and memorable? We can be intentional to show up for each other in unique and creative ways.
A few years ago, while we were stationed at Keesler Air Force Base on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we grew friendships that truly felt more like family. We spent our days together — walking to the bus stop, sipping our morning coffee, and sharing our stories from the day to day.
We knew each other’s pain points and how to bring one another fresh encouragement. My best friend, Katie, would bring me a hot cup of Starbucks coffee when she knew that I was under stressful deadlines. Catherine would fix a meal and drop it at the door. DeLandrea, my favorite neighbor, would pop her head in to see if she could sneak my kiddos away for a while so that I could enjoy the quiet. They just showed up, sought out what I needed, and stood in the gap. We did these things for each other — we reciprocated, making sure that each one of us had our tangible and emotional needs met.
We lovingly called ourselves “The Unicorn Tribe” because most people don’t always believe that relationships like this exist. While these relationships are rare, they are certainly not make-believe.
Here’s how you can make this year special and show your gratitude for your own “Unicorn Tribe.”
Say “Thank You.” Is there a particular person, or people, who has proved themselves to be a good friend? Take a moment to thank them. Send them a card, shoot them a text, or even make a sappy post on social media. Tell them what they mean to you.
Give a gift. If you have ever taken a “Five Love Languages” quiz or read Dr. Gary Chapman, you would know that gift giving is an amazing way to say “I love you.” My friends and I send each other books. While we are super bookworms, it really is the thought that matters. So, send flowers or a thoughtful gift.
Get together (if you can). What better way to celebrate than to get together for some quality time! If you are able, grab a meal or meet up for sweets. Get some real “face time” and enjoy each other’s company.
This year’s escapades may have stolen the first act of the play, but the show is not over yet. Be intentional to love those around you and remember to reflect on gratitude as you think about the friends closest to you.