Tag Archives: Good Friends

You Never Know

You don’t, ever.

Things and people you thought of as “forever” can disappear in the blink of an eye, often leaving a wake of hurt and devastation, whilst some quiet, unassuming folk can offer a strong, tender pair of arms to help and shelter you just when you need it most.

The older I get the more I seem to hear myself say, “But I don’t understand,” feeling both foolish and childish simultaneously.

Life is just too short, too precious, to spread so much hurt and annoyance.

I don’t understand.

So what do you do? What can I do?

I carry on. I hurt, feel sad, can’t be assed to do stuff, but I keep carrying on. The alternative is grim.

I start, very slowly, with something or someone in my life who warms my heart, and remember why it is good to be alive, even in the crappy times.

The Best Things In Life….

are free. I agree, but how about the best things in life to give?

Throughout my adult life I have gone from being quite flush with money to not having the proverbial pot to urinate in, and everything in between.

At one of my more financially lean times a very good friend had a big birthday. The potential of a grand gesture was fairly remote, so, I spent the one thing I could on her, time.

I spent time, freely and liberally, considering what her friendship means to me and put it down on paper. It allowed me to express feelings I could never do verbally because………well, I’m not sure of the because actually.

I would cry of course (bucket loads) and so would she,( more buckets), but most probably because, as I grew up, I learned to not say, “I love you. You mean the world to me.” The reasons for this are too many and too screwed up to think about, and they don’t matter now either.

The important thing is that, long after most gifts would have passed their sell-by dates, my friend still has these words, to read again when she needs to feel the message they hold. And she does.

I still love shopping for presents, searching for that something special, hoping to please someone special, but for a gift that keeps on giving, try some love, appreciation and understanding.

Time Saving….

For what?..

I was cleaning my dishwasher earlier, remembering all the expert tips I have read on how to have the “Perfect” home and, funnily enough, bitching away as I was doing it. I reckon it took me as long to clean this bloody machine as it would have taken to wash the rotten dishes for the last week.

Anyway, it got me thinking. There are so many tips and tricks everywhere on how to save time that I got to wondering as to what we all do with this time.

Can you actually “save time”?  Doesn’t it just pass anyway? You can’t put it in a box and take it out later when you want it back again. It’s like my Weight Watchers Pro-Points; you can’t carry them over to the next day!

So make the most of it.

I prefer to take the same attitude to my time as I do with my money……spend it; spend it laughing with friends and family, reading great books, listening to heart-lifting music, watching the little birds and their antics in my back garden.

Time spent happily is time spent well.

It’s Been A Funny Old Year…….So Far

I was lying in bed, thinking back over the first eight months of this year……and wow, how things have changed. The problems I had this time last year are as nothing now beside the events that came after; the dark and dismal summer seeming like a reflection of things going on around me.

It has been life-changing, but, as with most “big things”, good can come out of the ashes. CAN.

Because, as with most things, it’s about choice isn’t it?

I was talking to one of my wonderful friends last night and she told me about a “mantra” she has started using that has helped her enormously, in fact “freeing” her to enjoy where she is here and now.

” I am here, NOT because I need to be, but because I want to be.”

I watched her face as she told me about it and she is right. She looks happier, more empowered and certainly more in charge of her own destiny than I have seen her, possibly ever.

Life does change and some of those changes stink.

So what do you do?  You choose.

Make sure it’s what you want.

Seeing Is Believing….

And enjoying, and laughing and crying and hugging and touching.

A friend has just posted a video on Facebook highlighting something I have discussed before, but feel it needs saying again and again.

100’s+ “friends” on Facebook does not an embrace or belly-laugh or memory bank deposit make!

It should be a supplement to our friendships, not the soul source or mainstay of them.

I had a brilliant non-shopping, shopping day( yes that was deliberate) with a friend of mine yesterday and we laughed again at the days out we have had in the past with her sister; experiences I will recall with warmth and pleasure to the day I die. I want many, many more days like this; many more good memories to fall back on when things get tough.

Okay, we all have busy lives, but busy doing what?

Get your priorities right!

Get off your ass and get out to SEE your friends, your family, feel the air around you and pause long enough to let it sink in, re-charging your spirit with the joy it can be to be alive.

Everyday “Heroes”

I know, I’m thinking of David Bowie too.

But funnily enough this is not about him. It’s about the everyday people who made me start writing this blog in the first place and some who, in the last twenty-four hours, came back into my life and reminded me of the people that made me want to write..

I want to tell you about SBM. (She’ll know who she is)

I met her in hospital. My daughter was very sick and I was spending a lot of time just sitting at her bedside, feeling as much use as a chocolate teapot and thinking, ” Why my girl, why her”.

The nurse asked me to leave as visiting was long over. Reluctantly I stood up just as a voice called over, “Don’t worry about her. I’ll watch over her for you. She’ll be okay.”

I looked across to a bed and a woman who was far from well, very far.She had more tubes and monitors around her than you could shake a stick at. She could see the doubt in my face.

” I can call a nurse if she needs one, don’t worry, and I will watch her for you.”

I believed she would and I left with more comfort than I had dared hope for.

Over the following week I got to know SBM and some of her wonderful family; all very ordinary folk, but all coping with a high level of ongoing, grinding stress that left me breathless. And how they coped?

With laughter, generosity of spirit and an open, embracing love for others. This woman is no shrinking violet and has a sense of humour that could raise a laugh in an empty room. Many times I would have been begging her to stop, my sides aching and the tears running down my face, I was laughing so much.

The thing is, if you heard her story, if you understood her circumstances and the awful loss she has suffered and ill-health she endures, you could forgive her for wanting to lock herself away and wallow in self-pity. But not a bit of it!

She raises money for charities ( having her head shaved for one when sitting upright even hurt), comforts others in times of stress and for me, well, when I couldn’t be at my daughters bedside she was, and I knew it. I will never be able to repay that peace of mind.

And there are others like SBM out there, quietly giving out such positive energy to those around them and, in my eyes, earning the title of “Hero”.

And here she goes again, popping up in my “Inbox” last night, reminding me what life, love and happinesss should be about.

Thank you.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Throughout my various blogs I have referred many times to the quote,

“Love thy neighbour, as you would love thyself.”

I have also gone over how I did not “get it”, for years, that you need to start with the second part of this before you can understand loving others.

The veracity and truth of this comes back to me so many times, that, each time it does I feel I get a better understanding than that first light-bulb moment.

Friends are wonderful and I am very blessed with mine, but until you learn to listen and respect your inner voice, your inner self, you will continue looking for answers to your problems from others. And no-one can fulfill that role, can know what is truly best for you, better than you.

The act of talking an issue over with a friend is great; quite often allowing you to hear the solution and the sense of it. It can provide a clarity and a comfort that comes with sharing and their loving support.But, ultimately, the answer was within your grasp all the time.

In being your own best friend you need the honesty that comes with this kind of relationship and also the same generosity of spirit you would show to that friend when needed.

Finding peace in being alone should not isolate you, but provide you with a strength of self-awareness and allows you to be a better friend to those you love.

I Am Choosing A Great Day To-Day

Having had some pretty stressful times lately, and with more just around the corner, I have felt a bit battered and bruised, or, more accurately, knocked down and trampled. Things that normally come as second nature to me have taken huge efforts and I have just let others slide completely.

But a couple of days ago I started to get fed up with myself. And it came down to something as simple as this. With my first cup of tea in my hand I asked myself what kind of day I WANT; not hope for or expect, but want.

On the first day all I wanted was a better day than the one before, and so it was. The next I wanted a good day, and so it was. It’s Saturday to-day and I want a great day and I will have it.

There was no fairy godmother involved in any of this and shit still happened on those days, but I also found times of happiness and contentment. The only thing different was me. I chose to be.

My head is full of “I can” and “I will”. Perhaps silly things to some, but they are the things I can control and achieve easily; quick wins.

“I will spend extra time on my hair and I will put my make-up on”

“I will wear something I love to-day.”

“I will eat something yummie and then something healthy.”  (These two don’t often have common ground for me)

I haven’t been able to change the people around me or my circumstances, but I will get back up again and get on with my life, my projects and my loving those close to me.

Being Thankful

This is going to sound a bit odd, but my husband and I are just back from visiting a very good friend, of many, many years, in hospital where he was recovering from a severe and acute illness, one that very nearly killed him, and we had the best nights craic ( that’s Northern Irish for fun and laughs).

We had both been concerned at his appearance at his mother’s funeral two weeks earlier, but did not expect to get the phone call we did from his distraught wife on Sunday morning.

We drove up to the hospital with knots in our stomachs, fearing the worst. But it was great to see him sitting up and back to his grouchy ( in a good way) form, giving us the low-down on his dramatic escape.

And maybe that’s what it was. Maybe we all (his wife, her friend, my husband and I) felt like we had escaped that gaping black hole of grief at the loss of someone we love.

It was a time to laugh at the old times, go over those old stories, when we were ALL there to enjoy them once again. It was a time to let these wonderful people know we love them and our lives have been enriched by them being part of it all. And we did.

My youngest daughter phoned while we were still there to ask about our friend and to give him her love. This guy normally pretends to be oblivious to sentiment, but not now. He lowered his head and nodded, “Oh, that’s nice”, he muttered, still looking down.

Don’t wait to tell those that are important to you how much you love them.

I am so thankful our friend is still here, so grateful of the lesson in this.