Monthly Musing – August 2017 – Friends

I’ve just spent the last two days in the company of a friend whom I haven’t seen nearly enough of in the last couple of
years. We have talked non-stop, mixing current topics of conversation with reminiscences, remembering our children playing together when they were tiny (and we have the photos to prove it, even though they are now both nearly out of their teens!), sharing creative ideas, eating good food and clinking glasses on more than one occasion. Even though I’ve not long returned from a holiday which restored my energy levels wonderfully, these past hours have replenished my well-being tanks in an entirely different way and I have come home buzzing with ideas, plans and good intentions.

What is it about some people that has this effect on us? Nobody walks around with a sign on their heads which says “I’d be a really good friend for you”, and sometimes even on first meeting there might be an instant connection but nothing that says that nearly twenty years later, you’ll still be in contact with someone who makes you laugh so hard that you snort your drink out of your nose in a most undignified manner. I am truly blessed that I have more than one friend in my life like this – they’re all different and they all complement different parts of me (as I hope I do for them), but they all help to make up the complete picture of my life. I wouldn’t be without any of them.

Sometimes, unfortunately, life gets in the way and friends disappear off the radar for a while. It can be hard not to take that personally, to assume that you have upset them by saying or doing something that, whilst not mentioned at the time, has later festered and caused distress, but – and here’s the lesson in my life – it’s important to remember that everybody else’s life is not governed by something that we might say or do. I have apologised for something on numerous occasions only to be told, “Oh don’t be daft, that didn’t bother me at all!” We are all legends in our own minds, imagining ourselves at the centre of the universe when in reality, other people’s lives are shaped by events and circumstances which are absolutely nothing to do with us.

I am certain that something I am here to learn in this life is patience and never is this more obvious for me than with
friendships; instead of worrying that I haven’t heard from someone for a while and that it might all be my fault, I try to step back and remember that I am just a small part of their lives, that they know where I am and that they will be back when their own circumstances allow. I hope that makes me a good friend, one that is blessing to them as they are to me rather than a burden to be dealt with along with everything else, and one with whom glass-clinking and drink-snorting is something to enjoyed for many years to come.

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14 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    What a nice post, Christine. Still, I am wondering if it is as you say. Somehow it doesn't match with what I experienced throughout my life. But that may just be me.
    I observed that being attentive and kind doesn't define "friendship" in the full. More often are there shared interests or experience which keep people together. And if life takes turns, those "friendships" may crumble. And that can hurt very very much. Does this sound freaky? – Well, if it does, don't feel criticized, Chrstine. I liked what you wrote, and that's the main thing. xxx Ingeborg 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I think there are different types of friendship, Ingeborg, and the friends that I was thinking of when I wrote this were those that are the family that you'd choose for yourselves rather than ones you might consider to be more acquaintances. I completely agree that other friendships come and go as your interests and experiences change and I think that's fine; we can't be best friends with everybody that we meet and we wouldn't necessarily want to be either 🙂 xx

  2. Julie says:

    A lovely post Christine, friendship makes the world go round and friends come in all shapes and sizes and can change your whole life when someone new comes along and there is that 'click' also some friendships falter when new experiences come into their lives. Hopefully, we learn a life lesson from these people and are enriched in many ways through knowing them.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I agree, Julie; I think we meet people when we need them in our lives and sometimes they stay with us and sometimes they move on. It doesn't mean that we can't enjoy and appreciate their company whilst they're around! xx

  3. Lenore says:

    Lovely post Christine. It's great to reconnect with 'old friends'. X

  4. Anonymous says:

    You and I think alike, Christine, that's why I love your posts so much. Recently I met up with a schoolfriend after 35! years and it was as if it was yesterday since we last spoke to each other. So many good memories and yes,there was drink-snorting here too!�� Lots of love from Elly

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That's wonderful to hear, Elly, and I'm glad you had a great time with your friend. I suspect though, that like me, you can't quite believe that you're old enough to have friends that you haven't seen for 35 years! 😉 xx

  5. Karen says:

    Wise words and so so true, it's so easy to get offended if a friend cancels an evening out or doesn't get in touch for a while but we all have such busy lives, the reality is that it's very rarely down to anything you have said or done it's just timing and other constraints. It's so lovely to have good friends that you can just click back into place with even if you don't get to see them very often. What a lovely, thought provoking post.

  6. Gillian Roe says:

    Well said. I have a handful of about five friends that are what I call "lifers" but I have had other really lovely and meaningful friendships that have come and gone, but were no less special for that. Sometimes people do just grow apart and things change, I think that's ok. Friends who make you snort drink out of your nose though – they are the best sort. 🙂 xx

  7. Amy at love made my home says:

    Very wise! I have just been very upset not so much in a friendship, but another relationship and the other person has made it clear that for their own reasons they want nothing to do with me any more, and I have of course taken it to mean that I have done something terrible. I have looked at it a little more clearly now though and can see that actually it is their issue not mine. So not quite what you are saying, but similar in that it is about taking a step back sometimes and just waiting isn't it. Good friends and good relationships will be and we can and should let the others go if they need to.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I'm sorry you've been upset, Amy, but I am sure that taking that step back will help you to gain some perspective on the situation and help you decide what – if anything – you're going to do about it xx

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