When it's the middle of the week, you are already shattered and your head feels sandwiched between two very heavily burdened bookends of work, chores, work, chores, work, chores....is it any wonder they call it Hump Day? I think that's why they invented Mate Dates. Mate Dates are what they say on the tin - those dates you have with your mate - and they are massively under-done. Every time I have a mid-week mate-date I finish it off with 'we must do this more! at least every fortnight!' and then end up giving them their Christmas present in March.
The value of seeing a friend mid-week though is, as they say, priceless. Friends carry a whole different value to the others who surround us Monday-Sunday. It it is the prerogative of some other areas of our lives to sometimes cause us stress and put pressure on us, but friends do not. Friends ease that stress and help you cope with that pressure and they make you laugh while they're doing it. Or if they don't do those things, you may want to filter out some of yours...
I have rarely come away from a good old catch up with a friend not feeling refreshed, revived and in some way just lighter (and not just from the wine). The perspective one can gain from just a few hours with your phone off, a sharing platter and nothing but each others news and views is unmatched. It is easy to forget the value of Mate Dates and more importantly how refreshing they are and it is even easier to believe you don't have the time week upon week. But when the world (okay, your town) is pretty much your oyster every lunchtime, evening and weekend - there is really no excuse for not putting a regular Mate Date right up there on your list(s).
As part of my 2013 challenge to focus less on my body and more on my mind, in amongst knitting and meditating and all the other 'switch-off' activities I am trying, I have also resolved to also just have more fun. Be more silly more often. Not the organised fun I create at weekends, but just proper belly-laughing, I-don't-care-if-this-pizza-is-10,000-calories, silly fun.And that calls on the resources of Mate Dates.
Last night I had a date with my long-standing GBF with whom I have a completely unique friendship. We don't spend loads of time together and aren't even always 'close', but we both know when the shit hits the fan, we'll be there. My family have also sort of adopted him - they seem to be protective of him and care about him, so in many ways he is like an often absent brother who is a whole foot taller than me and fancies the same celebrities. Most importantly our mate dates are always such good quality and they never fail to cheer me up. I didn't need cheering up last night as it happens so it was even better.
We always go somewhere different and last night we both had our first Yo Sushi! experience - for those who haven't been before Yo Sushi! is unlike other restaurants in that you sit at a conveyor belt of food, take what you want and pay at the end! The plates are colour-coded by price so you know how much you're spending as you go along. To say it was my first time I feel we did well, consuming a grand total of 9 plates between us. Yo Sushi! have a 40% off food deal on at the moment until 25th January and you can find your nearest here.
More than the food though, the conversation was as always just the inspiration injection I needed to catapult me through to Friday no worries. We hung around long after the food was gone and found various things to giggle about. I felt really happy coming home and not just because of my productive working day - my Mate Date had given me an alcohol-free buzz and we've already planned the next one.
If you do one thing different next week? Go somewhere new with a good friend - it doesn't have to be expensive, but it will be ace.
|Marcus ate...California Roll with avocado, crabstick &mayonnaise (99kcals) (amongst other things)|
|I ate...Salmon, tuna, tamago, avocado, cucumber and masago rolls topped with sliced salmon, tuna and prawn (265 kcal) (amongst other things...)|
|We didn't eat this, but for some reason it made us laugh and I am going back to buy it on payday - it will remind me to always be silly.|