Am I this squishy every month? A little. However, it’s also this #LoveBlogChallenge keeping me really squishy in February. So much of what is good in life around me is full of love, but not about “in love.”

The question posed: 10 things that are better than anything except being in love

Friendship – Top Ten Perks

Today, my ten things (that aren’t things, of course) that are better than anything revolve around friendship. I made this list then put it in a randomizer; it was too hard for me to choose an order, so I defer to random. (, as a matter of fact.) Also, I am making a valiant attempt to keep this short although each subject could be its own blog. Maybe it will, someday. Let’s begin!

Tailgating and football with friends. I will always be amazed at the psychological workings behind passion for sports and teams and the comradery that accompanies this. I have a few guy friends who adopted me into their football group, and it’s led to true family friendships over time. They also have always welcomed and embraced Marcus into the football club, and kept it fun, safe, and inclusive for all of us. (Including providing lemonade or water shots at touchdowns. Go Big Red!) Also, I have girl friends who cheer and yell and gnash their teeth with me, and we laugh and almost cry together. Well, we do cry during the National Anthem. Every. Time.

Next is Chuckersize, What? You ask. The time spent writing to prompts in our writer’s group called Chuck. I love creative writing with friends, even when it’s silly. I haven’t been for a while, but these times do hold a special place in my heart and my growth as a writer and a person.

Similarly, the Table of Laughter. Now coming to a table near you! The ToL has now been Christened in homes other than mine, but the mantra is the same: good friends and maybe games. Sometimes new friends, often old friends, and the rules are: Be Yourself, let off steam, and always, always – witty banter and loud laughter.

Then, on a smaller scale, two women and two glasses. Every problem in the world can be dissected and solved when two women get some time together, just the two, on the deck, in the sitting room, or at a kitchen table (even on an island when everyone else is jet-lagged) These moments together (and often with a bottle of wine, but sometimes tea does the trick, too.) make for the connections that bind us for life. Moments to keep in our heart, make us stronger, comfort and grow.

Next, that my friends believe in me. They come out to support me when I do things that are scary, they are there when things suck, they cheer when I sing Karaoke, they tell me it’s ok to quit my job and then it’s ok when I go into the workforce again.

And through this, they tell me the truth. But not in a mean way. True friends balance honesty and brutality. They know when you need the truth and when you need to stall, because you know the truth, anyway. They sandwich your writing critiques with compliments and let you know what’s good but maybe don’t send it to an editor yet. They support you when it’s time to leave that boy…that job…you know?

Although no one likes to include grief in the better-than-anything-list, the truth is friends who share and support you during times of grief, are in fact, better than anything. You call and say, I need you, and they appear.

Sometimes even, though it didn’t feel “better” at the time, there are times you have to breath slowly, and play solitaire, in pairs. It’s the only way out, or through. Or maybe they travel the country, just to be a part of your celebrations.

Friends who deliver food, nourishment made from love or brought from takeout because you can’t leave the house, have to get to work, writing that book, caring for your mother, whatever, friends delivering food is a blessing of love every time and this sounds the same but feels different ->

Feeding friends is the best. I love to cook. I love to set out the dishes and hostess. I love to fill my home with people I care about. This is one thing from my life I’m missing right now, maybe that’s why the randomizer put it to the top, to remind me – this is something I love. I need to make the space (or rather clean off the dining room table) to fill my soul, and my friends’ tummies, with the love I want to give. So, there you go, friendship and the listly day.

What’s your top ten best things ever? Or about your friendships? Or best things this week?

Thanks to Finish the Sentance Friday for the prompt and to #LoveBlogChallenge for keeping me goin the month of Feb. You can join in, too!