Today i missed my yoga class and scolded myself once for missing it again but then that lasted only a min. I called a friend and said "Lets hit Tubbs Hill! I only have a couple of hours" So the next best thing on a sunny day in February..... I grabbed Sammy boy my beloved son, and picked up my friend on the way down to the lake for our little trek, workout. She came ready to go, walking stick in hand (really a ski pole, shes practical like that :)) We start walking and hit a sign that says "trail work ahead"....Oh no! you are not gonna stop us in this sunshine...detour....and its just fine.....we come up to my favorite little man-made bridge and stop and take a little photo ( I have a thing for bridges and paths ) (who knew?!) and of course Sammy goes across first and makes sure everything is working just fine. Keep on trekking and I think to myself, after hearing her make comments like, "I really needed this today." "I'm so happy to tears" and me saying, "I'm so happy this makes you happy" So as we continued on I was in my element and apparently hers. It is so refreshing and so much PEACE WITHIN when in nature and just five minutes from my house. We both talked about how even after so many years for both of us living in the Pacific Northwest or specifically, Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, that we both still feel LUCKY. Even though I have done this walk billions of times, It's still so nice to be with a friend that enjoys it as much as I do.I love that she stops and smells the roses ...AKA stops and takes pictures because after all, sunshine and February and a trail without snow is not usual for this time of the year. But I began to think some more about how we have our relationships of all sorts in our lives and how we feel so much closer to people who are like-minded or like the same things as we do. Not everyone is going to enjoy the nature walks or stop and "smell the roses" But you can still be an instrument in teaching what makes you feel good and what makes you who you are. You can recognize the beauty in your relationships and be thankful for friends who like some of the things you do. ....and I got to more thinking earlier this week about, FRIENDSHIPS... There was a great article posted on Elizabeth Gilbert's page about understanding our relationships we have experienced throughout our lives. It was really interesting that the article talked about how your relationships develop based on your age and life patterns, which form in your first 25 years of life. This has a lot to do with the relationships you built with your parents. Woah nelly, have you thought about that? IF you stop and think about it you realize the take you have on your relationships based on the first 25 years of your life in the friendship training part of life. For example, someone who was raped or molested as a child and how their parent took care of that or reacted to that? Not only does that leave scars on people's love life, it leaves a scar on all relationships you make throughout your life. This can be huge if not dealt with. Mainly though, it doesn't have to be something big like that to happen to you in order for one to understand their relationships in life with all people. Take someone like me, a woman from a divorced family...we tend to just look at it with our love relationships, the people we marry etc. but it affects your day-to-day relationships with co-workers and friendships also. I'm not going to navigate into this today but just want it to be something for you to think about. As time goes on after those first 25 years, friend making changes because we have less bonding time in our hectic lives and we are all just living. We start to mature( in some cases) and we build more self-respect and create higher standards and I hate to say it, EXPECTATIONS. I'll come back to that in a moment. This article that Mrs. Gilbert had posted was from a WaitbutWhy blog, they had an amazing description of each type of friend there are. I went down the list and laughed a little and could put so and so , including myself, in the allotted categories. The writing is so brilliant that it made it a fun read because it was so true!! But, back to expectations...really, we have to drop them! They just bring us distractions and take us off our "path" . Things just have to be left alone and let your life flow. I have always been a fixer, thinking I need to get it off my chest or I need to compartmentalized it so there is less anxiety about it. A lot of times when dealing with EXPECTATIONS of relationships and other life stuff, it usually has nothing to do with us! Friends are a huge blessing to us and for some people like me, they are FAMILY. Everyone is growing and trying to make themselves better, those are the friends I keep close to me. The other friends you meet along the way are also special because they are your learning tools for life. Say "thank you" when they arrive and depart, they have made you stronger!. They have made you guarded, they have made you protect your heart, but they don't MAKE YOU PRISONERS! That is when it becomes your issues, your problems. Anyways, Greet everyone you meet with a smile, treat the waitress like you want to be treated, say "good morning" to everyone on the trail. That's what I did this am because I was happy and in my element with my dog and a good friend. Life is for the living, get out and be YOU. .