April Jeppson: Spending time with friends recharges you

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 3, 2019

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.

Kids are back in school. Routines are formed, and things are starting to become second nature for them and me. The weather is getting cooler, and I can finally wear my vest on a regular basis. This simple black vest brings me an insane amount of joy. Marie Kondo would be proud.

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This seemly basic article of clothing reminds me of my annual fall weekend with my best friend, Dusty. It was an Old Navy door buster. We had already shopped until our feet were aching, but we still needed to hit up Old Navy to see if they had jeans or a sweater or I don’t remember — but it was imperative that we swing into Old Navy.

There was this rack toward the front with these really cheap vests. Like $10 cheap. I’ve always liked vests — but they are often so bulky and impractical. I could never fit them under my coat, or they made me feel like the marshmallow man. But these were so lightweight, and they were just so perfectly cut. Flattering and on sale. It’s like a shopper’s dream! I did not go into that store looking for a vest. In fact, nowhere on my “things I need to buy this weekend” list was a vest. Although I liked the look of vests on other people, I pretty much wrote them off. Yet here I am, a year later and still madly in love with this vest I didn’t even know I needed.

Life is like that sometimes. You’re going about your day with all your routines. You have goals and dreams, and you’re pursuing them. You are becoming more of the person you hoped to be, and you have a wonderful circle of family and friends and then, bam. Just like that. Someone walks into your life. You didn’t even realize that you were missing them. You were 100% completely satisfied with your life, and now you can’t image your life without this person.

Dusty and I taught cosmetology together. Within months we were inseparable. We’ve lived over 200 miles apart for eight years now, and we still talk to each other daily. Might be an hour-long phone conversation, might just be a funny meme. If she’s off the grid camping or I’m up north with family and we can’t connect, it’s almost physically painful. OK, maybe not physically painful, but it really stinks having to wait.

We try to meet up twice a year. No kids, no husbands, no “let me send this work email real quick.” Just us, alone for an overnight trip. We might get pedicures; we always get sushi. When money’s tight, we browse the racks. When our finances are good, we Christmas or birthday shop. It really doesn’t matter if I come home empty-handed. The whole point of the trip is that I can physically see my best friend for a few hours without interruption.

I always come home super tired because just like teenagers, we stay up all night in our hotel. We get snacks, we laugh, we tell stories, we just enjoy each other. I might be tired when I get home, but my cup is full — the cup that I pour into my children, my husband, my work.

Spending time with good friends really does recharge your battery. I try to get out to lunch or dinner with friends once a week. It’s usually low-key, but that hour or two really does impact my week. Some of my favorite lunch dates are people I’ve only known for a short time. I don’t have to force it; it just comes. People that I didn’t even know a few years ago I can’t imagine not knowing.

Life is just so much fun when we stop to enjoy it. Go shopping with a friend this month. Text an old co-worker and meet up for lunch. Put on that piece of clothing that makes you smile, and take time for yourself. You deserve to have a full cup, my friend.