I have written many times about my wonderful friends, or my extended family as I consider them. So, it is with a very heavy heart that I now write about a friendship that has waned after many years and many hurdles to overcome.
Funny, but the times of hurdles and shared stressors were a breeze compared with, what should be, a more peaceful time; a time to share a few of the things we had hoped for through all the years. But, maybe that’s the point; perhaps that was all we ever had in common.
There has been no falling out, no arguments; just a distance and a sense of being in the company of a stranger. I embrace that our personalities keep on changing, evolving and, perhaps, by the time we kick the bucket we have become more of the person we hoped to be, but, inevitably I suppose, some of our friendships will not last the course. There is no right or wrong, just different.
But it is sad, and I miss my old friend, terribly.
However, this is where loving someone comes in. Whether or not we see much of each other, or agree with each other, or share the same problems any more; if she needed me, any time, any place, I would be there.
True friends may move in and out of your life, but they will stay in your heart forever.
It’s love of course! Perhaps it should carry a health warning.
In my youth I had no selection process at all, I just loved without question and suffered the consequences, the hurt, when it came along. As I get older I have become aware of keeping the “essence” of me, my soul, safe in my relationships with others. But how can I love with the “safety” on?
Am I now going through life carrying out risk assessments before I decide to invest in loving someone or not? And for those I already love, am I taking a part of me back; holding it in safe-keeping?
Well, I still do love, very much, but with different levels of expectation. I love now in a simultaneously selfish and selfless way; selfish in that I give what I can of me, and selfless in that I give it without demand for anything in return.
The all or nothing approach to love is too exhausting and yet too limiting to be sustainable, and laden with disappointment.
I am thankfully long past the naive love of my teenage years, where I imagined all kinds of perfection in those I handed my heart to, and thank God. What a recipe for disaster. Now, I take people for what they( we) are, flawed human beings; and if those flaws are ones I can cope with, and the positive in them offsets any negative aspects, then great.
I haven’t dropped my standards. I just love those I do in a “perfectly” accepting and embracing way.
I was watching a programme on TV last week where they talked to one of the first women to use the, then new, legislation to prosecute for sexual harassment in the workplace. She was a very brave woman and her life was made a living hell during the process. At the end the interviewer asked her if she thought we were in a better place to-day. Her answer did not surprise me. As far as she could see the sexism and harassment is still as prevalent, but is now harder to prove as it is not so overt; slipping under the radar of regulation.
I started to think about those other lovely “isms”; racism, sectarianism and so on. Are we any better now than, say, the 1970’s, any more enlightened? I believe we should certainly know more about each others cultures, but apparently it does not necessarily follow that this leads to more tolerance.
Coming from a country where some used to claimed a legitimacy for murder because of religion, I believe it has changed, to an extent, but it will take a lot more than signatures on pieces of paper to remove the biases and bigotry of generations. Turn on the news at any time to see the evidence of this.
There are wonderful and inspirational examples of enlightenment within working environments and communities out there, but is this because of changes in law, or because of good people doing what good people have always done?
Maybe we are looking at a “Darwin-esque” scale of evolution before we can look at each other as human beings first, sex, colour, creed coming way, way after.
I’m laughing now thinking of Star Trek, Star Wars etc. Holy shit! How long did it take them to become so comfy with planetary aliens??
When anyone says this to me they usually then start to list off a load of stuff like having a job, a roof over your head etc,etc. This is all fine and I agree, they are important.
However I start with my friends, and I have an abundance of blessings here.
It was my turn very recently to hit some tough times and, Thank God, there they were; spiritually placing their arms around me, comforting and supporting me until I had the strength of mind and will to get back up again. If the quality of my friends equals wealth then I am rich beyond compare.
Good people are thankfully not that hard to come by, but good friends are life’s treasures; their love, support and shared memories beyond any price.
I send my love and appreciation to you all. xx
I have talked so many times about searching for a state of grace, of peace with my lot.
Now I know what it looks like. Please check this out because this man is truly inspirational.
Maybe I should be singing this line? Mmmmm, maybe not as I couldn’t carry a note in a bucket !
Anyway, I am feeling sooooooo good. Took positive steps to do something to lose a bit of weight, had a catch up with a good friend I have not seen in a while and bought a lovely new RED lipstick when I was out shopping with one of my lovely daughters. What more could a girlie (okay middle aged woman) ask for?
Oh, except the ladies at the make-up counter were absolutely brilliant and we had a real hoot while spending some( not too much) money. And, also had a lot of laughs with some lovely people at the slimming club. And, found some common ground with the lady in the coffee shop…………..You getting the picture?
I wanted to have a good day to-day and I DID. It could have gone the other way at several of points throughout the day, but I chose the positive and the calm. I am writing this down as much for my benefit as anyone else. Hopefully the next time my shoulders slump due to the weight of the world pressing down on me I will think of this lovely day and cast the blackness aside.
Choose your mood.
It’s all about perspective isn’t it. I had been feeling a bit out of sorts all day, tense and stressing about things way outside my control, when I had a call from a good friend.
My friend was bringing me up to date with a fairly big “issue” in their life and it has been an on-going situation for quite some time now, one still without resolution. Suddenly, my own problems melted away, put firmly back where they belong, into the ” Do Not Bother Even With” box.
I am ashamed it took another’s misfortune to make me see this, but I have spent a lot of time on my own this last week and I have become isolated from the lives of those I love and care about. I desperately needed some “Me Time”, some peace and to catch up on sleep. But perhaps I have been greedy. It’s hard to know when you have had too much of a good thing, but maybe when it starts to cause more angst than relief, you have reached your limit.
I am now looking forward to getting back to the everyday stresses of life, with less time for navel-gazing and worrying about the ifs, buts and maybes of life.
As my sadly deceased father-in-law used to say, “If your Granny had a “wotsit” she’d be your Grandad”.
A friend of mine recently sent me the following quote.
You will not be the same after the storms of life:
You will be stronger, wiser and more alive than ever before.
What a lovely thought and something to hang on to through those tough times. I believe the first line to be completely and undeniably true.
Sadly, I question the second. I believe you are different, but as for “stronger” that depends on your definition of the word. Sometimes, to prevent future “storms”, or just to protect our souls, we create shields around ourselves, keeping others at a distance; all in an effort to ensure calm seas in our lives. When you have suffered terribly isn’t it natural to try your best to make sure it never happens again? But is that strength, or a loss of innocence and of trust?
However, I now think of some of the people I have mentioned throughout my various blogs, and I look back to the quote. Truly, Mr McGill must have met some of them when he wrote this; he must have known the amazing “strength” they all have in common, listened to their wisdom and been buoyed by the amount of life in them.
They have survived the storms, but, more importantly, retained their humanity and compassion; remaining open to those storms yet to come.
I met a really wonderful young woman yesterday through the course of my job and I can’t tell you how much I admire her.
Immediately I found her to be very professional, very on-the-ball and very easy to talk to. After we had dealt with most of the “work” stuff we started to just chat. As we talked about Christmas I discovered she really has had a year from hell, with the loss of one parent in January and the illness of the other now. On top of that she is covering another persons sick-leave in her job, meaning a lot more travelling than usual.
At no point did she have a “poor me” thing going on, though God knows I could have understood if she did. She called it for what it was, ” A Shit Year”, and yes, it had knocked seven bells out of her, but then she went on quickly to talk about the positives; she had recently moved house which meant she now lives opposite her sick parent, how she loves the opportunities the travel in her work has brought her, and her great husband and how much support he has given, ( she met him while volunteering for a support group for a chronic illness, one she has suffered from since the age of nine).
This wonderful woman chose to take a positive perspective wherever she could and accepted the awful things she could not change, no matter how much she may have wanted to. Quite inspirational !
I hope she reads this and I hope I can be more like her. Well done CE.
How many times have you heard someone say, ” Well it’s just common decency….”
What do you think? How commonly do you find “decency” in your daily life?
I’m very lucky. I think I meet decency on a pretty regular basis but, sadly, not as much as perhaps I could. It seems to have gone out of fashion a bit; perhaps a bit “soft” now. How tragic that shock/horror have taken over and what will that mean for society?
That’s not difficult to answer when you look around. And yet…….
Now and again I see the green shoots of a return to the standards I remember from years gone by and, funnily enough, from the very age group you may have thought guilty of trashing the idea of “decency”. Perhaps the “shock factor” has become as boring and old hat as anything else given time. Perhaps young ones are looking at Miley’s “Twerking” and thinking “Oh, that’s so yesterday love. Get over it !”
A good friend of mine places being “decent” to one another, whether in business or private, above almost anything else and I’m inclined to agree. You don’t have to love or even like a person to behave decently towards them and wouldn’t that make for a better society, a decent one!