As we know there is a celebration day for most things and today is International Friendship Day. I personally think every day we should be celebrating our friendships and I think all my friends know how important they are to me. I am a soppy soul who likes to regularly tell my friends how much I value their friendships and love them. Whilst initially some might feel a bit embarrassed I know they cherish what I say. It is important to do this for a number of reasons, including the fact that none of us knows what is around the corner or how much someone needs to know they are loved and that their thoughtful actions are noticed and not taken for granted.

I like to make a fuss on friends’ birthdays as that feels like a day that should be all about them, however not everyone likes birthdays or feels comfortable with this. This was emphasised to me last year when I took a friend out for his birthday and at first he wouldn’t let me treat him as he is so used to spoiling everyone else but no one bothers with him. Eventually I agreed to just arrange our day out but in the end he let me treat him and he said the day was one of the best days he had had. It was during a particularly difficult time for him so I felt it was even more important to remind him he is cared about and valued for being him. It is the memories we create together and the warm fuzzy feeling we give others that is the best gift we can give.

I have to admit I prefer celebrating other peoples birthdays but have learnt that friends feel the same about celebrating mine and it is a good excuse to get people together. I have loved watching friendships grow amongst my friends, so now I just enjoy it.

I love finding appropriate cards or quotes that I can send just because I am thinking of them. I am so incredibly lucky to have amazing friends who I know are there for me in times of need, who make me laugh until I cry, are willing to come to random events with me and who unconditionally support me. My friends constantly inspire me through the way they care for others, deal with illness and tough times, and consistently make the world a better place. I am also lucky to have friends who span the generations but when we are together you wouldn’t notice and I do wish more people would realise you don’t have to just be friends with your peers .

I hope you all have wonderful friends, and if for some reason you have lost touch with someone who meant a lot to you please contact them today and tell them. A few years ago I had lost touch with a couple of my mates who meant a lot to me and thought I would reach out to them and am so pleased that I did as we now regularly catch up and have such fun together. They missed me as much as I missed them and we can’t believe we let our insecurities get in the way. I even went to my first stag do with them last year as one was getting married and the 3 of us had a great weekend together, the memory of which still makes me smile.

I would love it if today you went and told as many friends as possible how much they mean to you, I know it will make you both feel great. I am off to send messages to my friends. Please also remember to treat yourself as kindly as you would a friend.

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