May the Friends We Keep Be Jolly

Here’s why you should choose your people

Bloom where you’re planted.

The inspiration for this article (in yellow on right).

I never did hear the word jolly spoken (aside from Christmas songs) until I met a dear friend who uses and embodies it. She once described herself as a “bloom where you’re planted” type. As someone who has jumped from here to there – adventure to adventure – much of my life, the phrase poked a curiosity in me. I was left contemplating it for a handful of years.

The meaning. Fast forward 5 years.

It didn’t take much effort to grasp the meaning. I just had to watch and learn. The foundation of the phrase is simple. It really just is long (and poetic) for happy. 

My friend is happy not because she has anything in particular or is anywhere specific. She just knows what it takes to stay in touch with her jolly self, and if she strays for a moment, she turns right back around and treats herself to flamenco lessons or line dancing. 


She’s extraordinary. She’s a Yale educated attorney, birthing expert and educator; mom to three artistic and happily introspective adult children; doting grandmother (of whom one is her namesake); wife extraordinaire; home chef; theatre expert and published writer; pianist; tender gardener; exemplary daughter and sister; and of course a truly sincere friend. And in fact, all that I mention is only a small taste of her many facets. But if I might make one addition–she puts loving effort into making her beautiful home a sanctuary – and it is to so many. And yet – her favorite spot is in her slow growing grass on an old rickety rustic chair that she fixes every year as the winter winds begin to warm.

We get to choose our friends.

Everyone we meet (us included) is in a web, crawling toward self-discovery, knowingly or not. No matter where we are, stuck or not, one of the greatest lessons in life, is that we get to choose who to include in our friendship circle. And it is an important choice. We meet all sorts of folks in life and friends should not just be the ones who stick around (although that’s a good plan too).

Living in a media-dictated culture can be brutal to our sense of self. To be insightful and maintain a self-made mindset and set of beliefs is plain hard. That’s why a friend like the inspiration for this article is one in a million. People are inspiring and not. They lift us up and pull us down. Our friends should inspire us, unstick us, challenge our status quo, give us reason for contemplation and growth.

I am thankful.

I thank my friend for the phrase, “bloom where you’re planted,” and for believing in and being an inspiration in this world. I am better for knowing you.

I wish you all great friendship and meaningful fellowship,