At a recent sales presentation, I referred to my business partner, Ray, as my brother. The clients asked whether we had a family business, so I had to explain my meaning.
My parents blessed me with an older sister. Some might say I was a gift to her since I came along second, but in truth, having each other is a mutual blessing. We got along fairly well as children and teens. As adults, however, our bond is greater. Without my sister, there’s no telling how many checks I would’ve bounced my freshman year of college. I would not have had a place to live when my first marriage dis-solved. I wouldn’t have learned about the joy of Caribbean beaches. She shares my history, knows my secrets, supports my dreams and calms my fears. If anyone has ever had my back, it’s her.
Well out in the real world, I don’t have the luxury of seeing my sister every day. We live an hour apart, have jobs and families that require our attention, and do our best to keep in touch through technology and frequent visits.
But I do see my coworkers every day. We spend 50 hours and six days a week together. We talk. We know each other’s families. We eat meals together and have often celebrated birthdays and other holidays together, simply because we were working together. We are as much family as any group of people can be. We have been brought together by both circumstance and by choice.
Like any family, we get annoyed by each other. Everyone has habits that at least one of us wishes would go away. There’s whistling, whining and worry. We fuss at each other, and we tattletale just like little kids. We slam doors and go silent.
But the next day, we come back. Yes, it’s a job and everyone needs to get paid. But for most of us, we love this business and we love each other. We talk about plans for the future and fears for the present. After a few days or a week off, we miss each other.
In other jobs, I’ve had some incredible sup-port systems – people who became the only reason to even go in to work that day. When my office was downtown, shared with two other businesses, I became the house mother to the three shops. The guys who owned the other businesses called me their work wife. I handled light bulbs and paper towel needs for the shop. We each used our skills to support the others.
With all these family connections to those we work with, it’s no wonder I referred to Ray as my brother. It was an easy sentence and felt completely natural. Like my sister, he has my back. So that’s what I explained to the clients.
According to social media, I have over 1,600 friends. But the ones I would (and have) call on in an emergency aren’t even on Facebook. Your “real” friends, your circle of trust, are the few who really know you and love you anyway. They are the ones who will call you out when you’re wrong and fight for you when you’re right. Those relationships are the ones worth working hard to keep.
So, I ask you to consider your friends, especially if you do not have a sibling by family connection, and think of those who would be easy to introduce as a sister or brother. Thank them. Praise them.
Celebrate the relationship that has withstood time, distance, differences of opinions and any other obstacles. Think of those who you have gotten angry with, but loved anyway. Think of those who have risked your friendship by being honest with you when you weren’t being honest with yourself.
This column is meant for you to think of those friends; the family we have chosen for ourselves. Find your brother from another mother. Claim that sister that your parents didn’t give you. A crisis will often reveal these relationships to you, so take time now, before the crisis, to reach out. Time goes by quickly, and an opportunity can be gone in an instant. Make the call. Stop by for the visit.
A friend who has become a brother or sister deserves a little celebration. Revelry, by definition, is a noisy affair. So let’s make some noise for those families we create for ourselves.
Holly Lynch is the owner of The Season Events, a full service catering, event planning and design company.
*The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.