Making Friends: The New Year’s Resolution I Actually Kept

This year’s New Year’s resolution went beyond my usual short-lived promises to stop biting my nails or eat better. I vowed to make new friends. You wouldn’t think this would need to be a conscious effort, but it was for me.

Recognizing a Friendshift

It’s not that I didn’t have friends. It’s that these wonderful women and I, for one reason or another, were drifting apart. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; our group was being pulled in various directions. Though we would still get together sometimes and send the occasional check-in text, we were entering different stages of life. I was so busy with the kids and going back to school, I hardly made time for friends. Months went by before I felt the isolation. So, I made a resolution to make new friends (and a resolution to keep that resolution). I’m outgoing. I don’t recall ever struggling to make friends, but it had been so long since I tried. Making new friends at this point seemed almost like dating. I didn’t know where to start. I was nervous. I had become complacent and lacked the confidence to strike up a conversation. The process seemed unnatural to me.

Getting Started

First, I had to meet people. I went to every birthday party my kids were invited to and started talking to those moms. Soon, there was a regular group of moms I could expect to see, and we started getting together for outings that did not include the kids. Despite being exhausted, I scraped myself away from wine and Netflix, traded pajamas for heels modest wedges, and went out with those women. It was a natural start; I felt secure in the knowledge that even if we had nothing else in common, the conversation could default to motherhood. An added benefit was that I was getting to know the families my kids would grow up with, part of our village.

Pool party with two dear friends I met through my son’s school.

A New Interest

Soon I started looking for more ways to connect with other women. I met a mom at the playground when our boys were on the same baseball team. She wrote for New Orleans Mom and suggested I apply. I decided to go for it. When I became a contributing writer, I wasn’t expecting the instant support system that came with the job. Shortly after joining, I had a bunch of friend requests on social media and invitations for dinner and drinks. Because our group is so connected online, these friendships can be low maintenance (like a post exchanging funny stories about our kids or seeking advice) or we can kick it up a notch and throw together an impromptu playdate or girls night. Regardless, because I decided to come out of my comfort zone and join, I feel like I have support any time I need it.

My first night out with the New Orleans Mom team was so much fun! 

Just for Fun

The most recent thing I did was part NOLA bucket list, part New Year’s resolution. I joined a Mardi Gras krewe! One of my good friends rides and encouraged me to become a member. I’ve reconnected with friends from college and made new friends. I had no idea how many opportunities to meet people would come with joining a krewe. It’s not just about the parade and ball. There are numerous brunches, parties, and volunteer opportunities—plenty of occasions to mingle and make connections. Mardi Gras is still months away. I haven’t even glittered my first purse yet, but I’m already loving this experience!

My friend, Lauren, and I can’t wait to ride together this year! 

I know I’m not the only one going through a friendshift. It’s so easy to become laser-focused on taking care of everything else and forget about yourself and your relationships. I’m 10 months into my resolution and going strong. If you find yourself in need of some friends, don’t wait for them to find you. Get out there. Or call me!

Have you been there before? How did you expand your circle?

Alyson Haggerty
Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their 7 and 4 year-old boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education and is now a full-time nursing student. In her hypothetical free time, Alyson would enjoy flipping furniture, writing, and dancing. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.

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