“Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” – 1 Samuel 18:1
Pure, Unadulterated FUN
Seriously, give me some pure, unadulterated, wacky, senseless, unproductive, childlike fun. And some friends who I can have this effortless fun with. Lord knows I need it in my life. We all do.
Mark’s parents (my in laws), whom I refer to as my white mother (I call her Mutti) and Father, who is known to some as Stove, have a little group called ‘The Luvies.’ I know right. Cute. The Luvies, as they affectionately call themselves, are a pack of 4 couples who live all around Australia and New Zealand. They have been friends for decades. Having met through church 30 years ago in New Zealand, they bonded together and over time have built deep wells of friendship together. This was the beginning of something rare and beautiful. They all left the church at various times over the years and all moved away from each other, spread out over different nations. They have remained deeply connected and committed to one another. Not out of pressure but because they genuinely loved and cherished each other. Since the distance between them was a limiting factor, they decided to put aside time at least once a year where they would meet somewhere around the world and have a big fat fun filled adventure together.
When they come together the only thing on the agenda is Fellowship and Fun.
They have done everything from cycling through France to meeting for short stints in the Noosa Hinterlands. They are an absolute hoot to be around. It is as if the moment they are together they regress in years and become small children. Despite all four couples being highly accomplished and successful in their different pursuits at home and in life, when they are together they are completely themselves. Nothing to prove. No need to be productive.
They laugh till they cry and carry on like a bunch of teenagers.
Chalk and Cheese
The four couples are like chalk and cheese to each other. Yet somehow, they all have learned to value and love one another like family. There is John and Joy who are particularly amusing and a hoot to be around. John is an actual genius, a number’s genius with a wicked sense of humour. You can picture the type. His dry wit combined with his childlike personality makes him a bit of an enigma. An eccentric sort, but an absolute joy to be around. Speaking of Joy, his wife, Joy, is possibly the royal, un-royal person I have ever met. She is as dainty and well-mannered in her own home eating breakfast as I would be in any high class setting. She seems to unintentionally carry herself as though with the Queen herself. It is just the way she is. Than randomly, she loves to Clean! As in, she is passionate about it. So you have intelligent, eccentric John the numbers genius and posh musical Joy whom you could take to any Royal party with a side passion for cleaning (She bleaches and irons her sheets regularly). Together they make a most eccentric fun-loving couple who bring the cinnamon and nutmeg to The Luvies.
The next Luvies couple is Jeremy and Sue. Jeremy is one of those people who is both passionate and eloquent with his words. He is hot headed and has been know to let loose a well placed F bomb when the occasion and conversation calls for it. His wife, Sue, is quite the opposite, quiet and gentle. F bombs and other synonyms are not even in her vocabulary. Jeremy’s honesty is a breath of fresh air. Sue’s gentleness is as soothing as the oceans waves. They brings the Cajun spice to the Luvies.
There is Jonathan and Janene. He is the motivated event planner and engine driver of the Luvies awesome foursome. His spirit of adventure and endless energy has the Luvies going on these well-planned adventures around the globe and the other couples racing after him. His wife rounds out his rough edges with her compassionate side with her beautiful heart. When it’s their night to cook, others pale in comparison, as Janene is really a wonderful in the kitchen.
I am not sure what spice they would be. And since I am the writer I don’t have to think of one.
The final spice
Finally you have Mutti and Stove (my white parents), also known as Sandra and Steve to those who are not their children. Now Mutti is of Italian heritage. For those of you who are Italian, I need not say more. She is as big hearted and gracious as she is fun loving and outspoken. She says it like it is and uses her hands to demonstrate it. Stove is a gentle man who is sensitive and wise. I mean he is so sensitive, that in a well packed cinema if there are late comers he will look around for them to see where these complete strangers could possibly sit. He will worry until he knows that they are seated and comfortable. He is always the one serving the coffee, clearing the dishes, and really cares if he forgets the cranberry sauce for the ham at Christmas. His gentleness and humility may make one overlook the deep wells of wisdom and leadership that he possesses if you don’t pause long enough to see it in him. They bring the rosemary and the thyme to The Luvies.
Having them there makes everything Gourmet.
With such an array of spices and flavours, who can imagine this bunch of larikins, adventuring, drinking, and laughing together around the world? They cook for each other, laugh until they cry together, have the occasional little tiff, and build lasting memories together.
They. Have. So. Much. Fun.
I know for a fact that their friendship is one of the greatest joys in Mutti and Stoves lives.
If that doesn’t inspire you to put FUN into friendship I don’t know what will.
I want life-long friends like this. I want memories that are jammed packed with fun and closeness.
I think perhaps in the last decade I have taken the Fun out of my Friendships.
Friendships devoid of Fun are not Friendships at all.
Between studying for medical school, graduating and working as a doctor and simultaneously growing in leadership at church, I think I have prioritised everything else over having fun in my friendships. To a point where I don’t even know how to have fun sometimes. Without fun and memories in friendships they become boring and stale. Like any relationship really. More functional than relational.
I am determined in this next decade of my life to change this
I mean, when is the last time I planned an adventure with my girlfriends? I have been ‘too busy’! Too busy doing what? I couldn’t tell you. In truth I haven’t been too busy. No one is too busy. You can make anything happen if you value it. Trust me I work around some of most hardworking people in the world. Some of the doctors I work with do 11pm ward rounds after their all day 15 hour operation list. That’s busy. But even they, if they truly valued it, could make time for friendship and fun.
So I have no excuse.
I am going to rearrange my life to make sure I have time for fun. I am going to change. I am deeply inspired by my parents. What does this look like practically in my life? Well clearly not all of us have time and finances at this point to go adventuring around the world, Mark and I certainly don’t just yet and until we do (and we will) I am intent of planning regular affordable adventures with my beloved friends.
The first one is to my favourite place in the whole world. Burleigh. With another couple whom we are beginning to build deep wells of friendship. I want to walk in the National Park at Burleigh right next to the ocean, sit on the rocks near the ocean, and frolic on the beach. I might pretend to swim (much to cold at the moment but if the others go in I’ll dip my toes in just, to be cool). Plus that will give me an excuse to wear my onesie.
I want to go to the Burleigh Whole foods store and fill 20 different bags with one thing each from the whole foods bin. Poor girl at the cash registrar. I do it every time. She Loves It (no, she does not). I want to share nice food together at my favourite eating place and I want climb to my favourite look out.
I to share what is going on deep inside our hearts and lives and hear what is going on in theirs
It sounds simple, but it is a start. And I am excited.
Beloved, do it with us. Pick your best friends or favourite couple and plan a mini get away today, be it big or small. Start somewhere. Let’s build memories with our friends together.
We are not too busy. Nothing is more worth our time.
Until next time,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished,
The Healthy Hiccup