I love a challenge. Or maybe I love a project.
Clear cut parameters–rules! regulations! tangible results!–propel me to tackle missions I would otherwise laugh off.
Take last week. I went off gluten. A friend told me that tennis superstar Novak Djokovic went from number 15 to number 1 in the world in only one year, and credits going gluten-free with his unstoppable rise. My friend said, “If you were off gluten, you’d have written five books already!”
When it comes to food, I happen to enjoy changing it up. I’m a carb-lover all the way, and if I could eat anything in the world and health were no issue, I’d have chicken fingers and fries and mashed potatoes for every meal. Throw in some pad thai for good measure. But I’ll try any eating plan once. I like rules (all or nothing is always easier for me than moderation) and I like seeing how different diets (hate that word, but we should call a spade a spade) make me feel. Oh, and gluten free? After a week of it and a weekend back on gluten, I can tell you it made me feel good. Less bloated, more energetic. I’m going back for a little. Screw the glute.
And, of course, a project is what finally forced me to get off my tuchus and start making friends. When I used to sit around lamenting my lack of local pals, I couldn’t quite get myself to do anything about it. I’d think about it, or complain to Mom or my long-distance BFFs, but actually asking anyone out was too daunting. Until I made a challenge: 52 first friend-dates in a year. Suddenly it felt like I had no choice. I’d set for the challenge, so I had to deliver.
I talked to my BFF Callie over the weekend who said that reading an advance copy of MWF Seeking BFF inspired her to write an email to a “friendish person” to ask her to dinner. And, when she was doing some work for a local board she sits on, she suggested that a group of them go out for drinks. She undertook the friending mission.
So for this week, lovely readers, I’m extending a challenge to you: Ask one, just one, potential BFF on a friend date. Shoot the new-in-town girl an email to see if she wants coffee. Or suggest to another local mom that your kids get together so you can hang out, too. Or invite the girl in the next cube over for a drink after work. Or maybe a friend of a friend could come over to watch one of the 48,000 season premieres this week.
It’s not a crazy mission. I’m not suggesting you take on 52 dates. Or even 2 dates. Just one. Because for most of us, the asking is the hardest part. It’s awkward, it makes us feel desperate. But it’s easier than you think! I promise. Just go for it. If it makes you feel any better, I’m going to do it too. I’ve taken a new-date break, and it’s time to get back on the wagon.
So go forth and friend! And then share with us in the comments: success stories, questions, fears. As Sharpay would say, we’re all in this together.
So…. Challenge extended. Do you accept?