On Relationships: My Definition Of Friendship

One of the things that is always on my mind is relationships. How do they form? What causes them? What dissolves them? Why are they easier for some and not so for others? How do you maintain them? When is it best to end them? And most importantly, how do all these questions apply to me? And how can I be better at relationships?

Damn… Why did you have to start this off with so many questions? Now you got me asking them!

A lot of questions to take in, I know, which is probably why I’m going to break up this topic into parts. I’m not big on wordy blog posts. Most of you readers already know this, so why should I start now? I guess like any pop psychologist would say, “let’s start at the beginning” and discuss friendships.

Let me begin by saying that I don’t have many friends. As a matter of fact, I’ll go one step further and say I have only one friend: my best friend and wife, Claudia. The two or so others in my life are more akin to buddies and/or comrades at arms. Before anyone I know takes offense to this statement, I’ll try my best to define what a friend means to me. I’m a bit of a romantic and extremely idealistic. My escapism through TV shows and books in my childhood may have played a part in this.

Regardless, as unattainable as my ideals may seem, Claudia came into my life and fitted those parameters to a capital T. This may have also been the reason our relationship developed further, from friendship into something more. Like the movie “When Harry Met Sally” and from personal experience, I don’t think men and women can just be friends.

But Julio, What if the guy or the girl is gay and there is no possibility of any sexual attraction between them?

Ok, you got me. I was using a heterosexual-only paradigm. It’s what I know so pardon my neglect of other possibilities and/or factors. Let me elaborate on my hypothesis. If there is a possibility of any physical attraction between a party of two members, regardless of gender, who are trying to keep the relationship at a serious but platonic level; in all likelihood, that relationship will develop into something more than platonic or it will eventually break off into a relationship that is more distant.

Will you get to the point already! What is a friend to you dagnabbit?!

Without further ado, my definition of a friend is someone you can count on. Someone you can lean on for moral support when you’re down. Someone you can trust with all your secrets, who you can be completely honest with, your warts and all, without fear of judgement. Someone you trust implicitly and with whom you have your guard down because there is no ulterior motive or machinations that you need fear. Basically, what most people would call a best friend.

To me, anyone who falls short of my expectations listed above are buddies. And what is wrong with that? A buddy is someone who you choose to hang out with to have a good time. You may not trust them with your dirty laundry, but that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy their company. Buddies are OK. Just don’t have “friend-like” expectations with them right off the bat or you may be heading down the road to bitter disappointment. That doesn’t mean that a buddy can’t become a friend or a friend won’t downgrade to buddy status. People change. As people change, so do their set values and definitions of their relationships. Like life, relationships are dynamic and can be uncertain. It isn’t a math problem that can be figured out with just pure logic. Faith and trust also play a part. The volatile concoction that is a friendship is what makes it so valuable.

I feel most people overuse the word friend so much that it has lost its meaning and luster. A friend should be someone who matters in your life. Someone who holds a special place in your heart, because you get to choose who your friends are, whereas you’re born into the family you have.

This seems like a good point to end part one of my series on relationships. I’ll keep all related articles linked to each other so it’ll be easy to follow the evolution of my thought process on this topic. Stay tuned.

Related links:
On Relationships: Know When To Hold Them, Know When To Fold Them

I Look Silly On My Fitness Ball And I Don't Care

Not that long ago, a buddy of mine, Nick, posted an infographic on his Kingdeem blog about the folly of sitting on your keister all day long. Yeah I know, duh! Isn’t it obvious? Well yeah but the majority of us who work in an office setting or are at home now reading this blog are most likely doing exactly that. I’m definitely guilty of spending hours in front of my laptop, reading/writing blogs, checking emails, posting on Twitter and Facebook, watching cat videos or Hulu or Doctor Who (which reminds me I have to watch this week’s episode!), etc. So I’ve decided to do a little something about this issue I have.

Leo Laporte, podcaster extraordinaire of the TWIT network, is known for using fitness balls when doing all of his audio and video shows. In fact he’s known for popping a few of them live on-air. People have asked him why he uses a fitness ball instead of an ergonomic chair and he’ll gladly list all the benefits he sees in using one. He doesn’t believe that he loses a lot of calories sitting on one but because he’s constantly trying to maintain his balance it keeps him alert for his show recordings and he never feels lethargic.

As you know from previous posts, I’m all about staying active wherever I can and have used a fitness ball the past few days once I found it under a pile of books and boxes. It did take some getting used to at first but now it feels kinda fun. My back has never felt better. I was definitely surprised by that because when I’ve tried to maintain my back in a straight position, in the past, I would always feel some strain (which is why it feels easier to go back into that nasty habit of slouching). But not so with a fitness ball. You straighten your back automatically and there isn’t any strain at all. I just found an article that explains this little trick and all the other benefits of using a fitness ball.

I’m definitely looking forward to podcasting on the fitness ball. I want to hear if I sound any differently. I should sound more energetic or alert if anything else.

Week 9 Of Weight Training: Lost 2.5 lbs This Time Around!

I intended on doing more walking this past week and more walking I did. This past Friday, in fact, I walked a ridiculous 2 hours and 5o minutes straight which was followed by a measly 1o minutes or so of dancing (yes 10 minutes. I was tired from all the walking! Give me a break?!). I say ridiculous because I generally walk at most 30 minutes every other day. Friday was different as I did a little sight-seeing.

Claudia and I ventured to the northern part of Manhattan, within the vicinity of Washington Heights, into Fort Tryon Park to check out the Cloisters. Claudia has gone to the Cloisters in the past for her interior design studies and her recanted tales of her experience there has made me quite curious. It was definitely a fun trip. I got to play the role of tourist and took a multitude of pictures of all the byzantine and other Middle Ages artifacts (I normally hate playing the role of tourist but I made the exception in this case). Here’s a link of all the photos I’ve took of the trip if you’re interested.

Anyway, I was more active than I’ve been in some time and the results are definitely validating my change in lifestyle. This time around I lost 2.5 lbs and now weight 230 lbs. 12 pounds in 9 weeks! It’s definitely a great feeling to know that my efforts are paying off. It also feels great to wake up in the morning and having a spring in your step. I’ve forgotten how that feels and I don’t intend on losing that anytime soon.

Cute Overload Got Me Again

One of the many blogs that I rarely get a chance to catch up on in my Google Reader is Cute Overload. Last night, while I was killing some time in between dance breaks at a party (I don’t dance much so the breaks were many), I did some catching up. I’m a sucker for cats (I have two of my own) so obviously there is a bias but this video of a mother cat calming down her kitten from its nightmare was just too adorable for me to resist. Play it down below for yourself and see if you won’t melt. Answer: if you don’t find it the least bit adorable something may be wrong with you. Then again, I may just be biased.

5 Ways To Get Important Things Done

Tony Schwartz of the Harvard Business Review wrote a pretty good article on how to organize your day and get things done. To summarize you need to:

  1. Try to get 8 hours of sleep at night. If travel or other plans get in the way and aren’t avoidable adjust and fit missing hours of sleep where you can.
  2. Workout as soon as you wake up. This will have a huge impact on the rest of your day. Workout even if you’re not up to it.
  3. Focus on the most important jobs of the day. Take a break after 90 minutes to regroup, even if it’s just a 5 minute break.
  4. Write down ideas and tasks as soon as they occur, that way you’re mind doesn’t obsess over them and you don’t accidentally forget them.
  5. Whenever you feel out of your element because of an unwanted scenario try to put a positive and empowering spin on it.

It’s funny how this makes all the sense in the world and yet you still find ways to not follow through on these plans.  I definitely go out of my way to get 8 hours of sleep every night though sometimes I go to bed later than I should, which ruins the following day when I wake up late. When I wake up late I try to catch up on the stuff that I need to get done throughout the day and then put exercise on the back-burner. While I’m running around to get things done I may have had instances where I think of an idea or something that I should do but because I’m in a rush I don’t always jot them down. When that happens I tend to forget a lot of those ideas that were never jotted on a piece of paper or my iPhone. This of course leads to a day of disarray.

Some days are definitely more productive than others. Going out for social gatherings can definitely be a hindrance on consistency. But like Tony Schwarz says in his article, “I’m human and fallible.” I do plan on finally getting this system implemented. I definitely want to set up a ritual where I exercise regularly.