My resolution to write a daily blog has failed spectacularly, but I’m good at failure. I’m just going to pick myself up as if it never happened and write another one. This one on Friendship.
I live a life of singleness and am pretty lacking in expensive assets – having a car, clothing, some knick knacks and books, but that’s pretty much it. I rent and share a house with someone else. I live in the smallest space I’ve ever lived in, which has required me to reduce my possessions to those that fit the little area I take up. It means that I can travel – which I love – and that I don’t have to fret about maintaining a house and grounds. But my real life and passions are on a different level, ones that only those close to me would really see and understand.
And I have always valued and cherished my friends. Not having a partner means that I rely upon them to be my sounding board, family, and companions in life, and in return, I offer the same. I have never felt particularly lonely, although I am often alone – it’s a very different thing. As I grow older, the complex levels of ‘friendship’ stack up, with a close band of old and easy friendships, a wider circle of comfortable relationships, and a constantly growing and changing circumference of ‘common interest’ friendships.
Despite what theories there are out there about extroverts, and the number of friendships they can maintain, the fact of the matter is that most people have but a few really close, easy friends, with whom they can be themselves.
With all the recent trauma in my world lately, with the death of my mother, I have REALLY appreciated the friends I have from all of these circles, but particularly my closest friends. Yes, it does make a difference to have someone ask how you are and tell you they are praying for you. Yes, it matters that some faces who love you, look back at you when you give your Mum’s eulogy, and support you on the day. And yes, I feel humbled, grateful, and very blessed to have experienced so many truly caring people lately.
It reminds me to BE a good friend as much as I can as well. I have been the recipient of selfless generosity and kindness, without reward. And that old adage about ‘to have friends, you must be one,’ rings true at such a time. My own experience is that it is possible for even old friendships to get richer and deeper, and become so much more. Many is the time I do something foolish, or goofy, and come home feeling disappointed in myself, and find that the friend I was with hardly noticed or completely overlooked it. At my age there really is no room for taking offence at what a friend, let alone an acquaintance, might say. Years ago I learnt the truth of the statement that ‘very few people set out to deliberately hurt you.’ Yes, it’s great to have friends when times are good, and you want to party and have fun. But I speak from experience now, when I say that it is even more crucial to have them when the chasms in life open up and you fall down into one.
Okay – enough. I’m rambling now. Treasure your friends.