Friendship is very important to me.
Many of my best memories have been with friends, and I am of the opinion that colleagues give you things that your partner or your family will never be able to give you.
For that reason, I try to regularly spend time with them.
The problem is that, as we get older, it is increasingly difficult to stay.
We are all super busy with our partner, work, children… and on top of that, in many cases we live in different cities, and that makes organizing a weekend with friends practically an impossible mission.
It seems that the only way for friendship to become a priority is to get married.
If you get married, then your colleagues are serious about it and are able to find time in their busy schedules to come see you.
I want to spend time with my friends, but I can’t get married every two by three either, so what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years –with the exception of the 2 from COVID– is celebrating my birthday.
But not the typical adult celebration that we usually do in Spain, in which you buy some cakes and your parents and uncles come to see you for a while in the afternoon and that’s it.
I’m talking about a celebration really: like the ones we used to do when we were little, when we handed out invitations at school and organized a snack with Fantas, Nocilla sandwiches and a bunny-shaped cake.
In my case, what I usually do is prepare a well-rounded plan for the weekend, reserve a cool place with plenty of food and drink in which to organize the official party (which I pay out of my own pocket), and send a personalized invitation by email to all the colleagues I would like to see.
There are always many who find it impossible to attend, because on those dates they have a company dinner or any other commitment…
But there are others who see it as an event special and important enough to catch a plane and come to spend a few days with me.
For example, this Friday December 16th was my 37th birthday, more than 15 friends got together in Prague to celebrate it and it was great:
- We did a scary escape room and both groups escaped in time
- We walked through the center of Prague at -5º degrees and we saw the astronomical clock and the Christmas stalls covered in snow
- We went to drink Pilsner Urquell on tap and eat fried cheese, tartare and other Czech delicacies at one of my favorite breweries
- We went out to dance at the Plataforma de Praga and experienced several surreal events
- We made a cheer about the World Cup final and we all watched it together at my house
…and of course, my friends sang “happy birthday” to me, I blew out the candles as tradition dictates, and we toasted with slivovice for another year of friendship.
As you can imagine, setting up this sarao took me quite a bit of time.
And I’m not going to fool you: in October-November, when it was time to start organizing everything, I was terribly lazy, because at that time I had a thousand things on my hands and they all seemed super urgent.
However, I made the effort because I knew from experience that I would be happy later, and thanks to that I have been able to spend an unrepeatable weekend with my colleagues.
So the message that I would like to convey to you today is that you take care of your friendships.
Take care of them and pamper them, because it is one of the most important things you have.
And as a challenge, I encourage you to celebrate your next birthday too.
But that you celebrate it in style.
That you work hard and organize something special, because the occasion deserves it and because it is one of the best “excuses” I know to gather all those people who love you and who are not always easy to see.
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