Blogger Dinner Party: Brandi's dining table....one is silver, and the other is gold! (Did you ever sing that song when you were a kid?)
The past few weeks have been particularly busy and stressful - thank you taxes, art markets, and a trip to New York! My To Do list is overflowing and I'm feeling the pressure of looming deadlines. I'm having the ol' recurring dreams of my teeth falling out (and a new one: being yanked out by a dentist - that is not going to help with my dental anxiety) and having to go back to school because I never finished my thesis. (I graduated ten years ago, *when* will these dreams stop?!) I feel like I'm behind on everything: blogging, responding to e-mails, business responsibilities, housework, thank yous, etc.
However, there's been one thing that's been keeping me sane throughout these busy weeks: friends. I typically tend to withdraw from social activity when I'm super busy, but recently I've been saying yes to every social opportunity that comes up. Being self-employed is often quite lonely and I find I'm so much more productive, inspired, and just plain happy, if I take an hour or two out of my day to chat with a friend. Meeting someone for lunch or a glass of wine leaves me with a smile on my face for the rest of the day. I know I'm not the easiest person to be around when I'm stressed out, so thanks to all my friends (and especially Larry!) for putting up with me. I owe you!
I've found that social engagements all seem to happen at once. Meet one friend for dinner and the next day, get a call or e-mail from another friend asking to meet up. Meet one blogger and realize she knows another blogger you know. Funny how that happens. I've been a regular social butterfly these past few weeks (a stark contrast to my usual hermit ways!). Between meeting up with new local friends and having some of my oldest and best childhood friends come into town, my social calendar has been packed. It is good. Really really good. I may owe 25 people an e-mail, but seeing my friends in person just feels awesome.
A glimpse of the past few weeks: There's been delicious pizza from Seventh Hill, cupcakes from Sweet Lobby, lunch at Ray's Hell Burger, and hiking around Roosevelt Island with Brandi. There's been wine and small business chatting with Jane, Steffanie, and Toya. There's been an afternoon at Pizzeria Orso with Sarah (and little Kate). There's been wine and dinner at Eat Bar with Lauren. And there was a fabulous dinner party with Karin and Kelly featuring homemade pasta by Brandi (followed by stuffing our faces with delicious Jeni's and Gifford's ice creams). And all those friends? I met through blogging. The internet is freaking amazing.
But that's not all. One of my oldest and best high school friends, Sara, was in town last month from Louisiana and we spent an entire day at her parents house talking our faces off (while she cooked up a crazy delicious pot of crawfish etouffee). A few days later Sara and I met up with another old friend, Naomi, for a morning of beignets at Bayou Bakery followed by a trip to the park. An hour after I got home, Matt, one of my closest friends from high school called and we talked on the phone for an hour. The next day, my oldest friend Sarah (my partner in crime in cutting mazes in the bushes and splatter painting the curtains) called. These friends live hundreds of miles away now. Talking to them was such a treat. And then I got to spend an entire weekend in New York with Matt (who recently reminded me that we've been friends for almost 19 years) - walking our feet off, drinking $15 cocktails, and picnicking in Central Park.
Between all these friend dates, I have failed to take photos of all of them except one. I think that violates a cardinal rule of blogging. The photos here are from Brandi's fabulous dinner party (Thank you, Brandi!) - though I still failed to get a group shot or even include Karin in the photos. (Sorry, Karin!) Anyway, I need to get better about that so I can share all the beautiful faces of the amazing people in my life.
So, thank you, friends, for buoying me through the hard times, for inspiring me, and for reminding me how important friendships are - both new and old.
Also, never underestimate the power of chatting with a friend over a glass of wine.