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The Power of Friendship, Our 2018 Message to You!

written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Saturday, 30th December ,2017

Wasn’t 2017 an overly interesting year? I do not recall another year when I would rush home from work almost everyday to have dinner in front of the television to watch the news and read the newspapers.  I admit I had less time to exercise this year and vow to change that habit in 2018.  I have blamed my “tendonitis” in my right arm for not doing my usual pushups while watching the news, when honestly, I just did not want to miss a beat of the news.

How do people survive a crisis or find better solutions to their problems?  Through relationships!  I believe as long as we do not live alone on an island in the middle of a vast ocean, we will get ourselves out of chaos by leaning on the relationships around us.  Friends, families and neighbors bring meaning to our life. 

Scientists have found that people are happiest when they have good relationships.  It is not power, wealth, or external beauty that sustains our life; it is all about our interactions with others that give us true and lasting joy.  Our circle of friends in the Lady Docs Corner Cafe have proven this fact many times this year.  We have enjoyed our friendship during our gatherings, and have participated in philanthropic work through community service or money-raising sports events.  You can see the photos attached to this blog to see how much fun we had together last year.  We have Saturday bootcamps, Sunday morning walks or runs on the C&O canal followed by coffee time at a nearby coffee house, Sunday afternoon yoga, bookclub gatherings, and even a writing group which will help me shorten my blogs in a more precise way!:)

Wherever you are, do not be alone.  Form a walking group in your neighborhood, hire a yoga teacher for you and your friends, have gatherings where you can debate social issues while eating your favorite foods.

Some of us participated in the Women’s march, Climate Change March, Science March.  Some of us went to town hall meetings to express our opinions on the state of the nation.  We have managed to debate and stay as friends even when we are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  We heard each other and hopefully learned from each other’s views and made our world more balanced.

We are a remarkably diverse group of friends who protect each other in this time of turmoil.  Together, we all wish 2018 will be more peaceful.  Personally, I wish for this peace so I can have more time to go to the gym and focus on my fitness instead of slowing down the treadmill to listen more closely to the news from a nearby television.

I hope you will continue to fight for your values and beliefs.  With strong friendships, you will survive this time of trouble too.  Do not forget to exercise and have healthy eating habits.  Stress is not a good excuse to have only chocolate cake for breakfast.  Stress is not a wise excuse to sleep only 3 hours a night so you can keep up with the news.  When you feel intense stress, take some deep breaths, meditate on positive aspects about your life, whether it’s a good job, good health, or many good relationships.  Call a friend, text a sibling, invite them to walk or run or meet you somewhere for coffee.  Nobody should make you feel as if the ceiling of the world is about to crash on your head.  Like everything else in this world, nothing or nobody is permanent.  Maybe meditate on the impermanence of events, and you will survive any crisis ahead.

Happy New Year to you, and may 2018 be a year of great health which, to me, is the biggest gift of all!

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