fishingI have a long-standing posse of four dear friends I’ve known for almost as long as I can remember. These are the buddies I can always count on to be there when I need them, and we all make an effort to spend time together whenever it fits into our crazy busy schedules.

John is not part of this posse. We met because his daughter and my daughter were best friends in pre-school, and they’ve continued to be great friends – even though they ended up in different elementary schools and now have separate circles of school friends.

Thanks to our daughters, John’s family and my family have been “hanging out” at birthday parties for years. We have skied together, biked together, fished together, and camped together. But until this week, we’d only spent time together at the girls’ functions or when our families were doing something en masse. We’d never hung out as just the guys.

But one thing I’ve discovered over the past five years is that John and I have very similar values. We see the same problems in the world, and we see similar nuances to the potential solutions. We know that our thoughts and opinions have a built in self-centered bias and we try to make room for the other. We both view hard work, achievement and a life spent building something as important. I would go out of my way to help him – if he asked me to. And I assume he would do the same.

But, we don’t ask each other for help, or make plans for just the two of us, because we each already have a core group of friends. To be completely honest, he has tried. He has asked me to go on a bike ride 3 or 4 times, and every time I’ve had to take a pass.

But this week, the stars of our schedules aligned. I asked him to join me on a Labor Day Salmon fishing expedition, and on Monday we each walked home with 30 pounds of fresh salmon – if that isn’t a bonding experience, I’m not sure what is.

So much so that Wednesday he once again asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride on Friday. Yes, John, I would! We just got back, and I am one happy camper.

Making a new friend out of an old acquaintance isn’t really work, but it takes effort, especially when you both have full-time work and family obligations. I’m glad we both made that effort.