I talk about friendship quite regularly on this blog (you can see a couple of my other posts HERE and HERE) and I think that's because it is one of the most valuable commodities we have in life - and because there is the freedom to choose what to do with the extra time I have, I choose to invest it in those people who are special to me and hold a place in my heart.
When my kids were younger I seemed to have a lot of casual friends - the other mothers from school, the mothers of my children's friends, the people I worked with, the people I socialized with....and so on and so forth. A lot of those friendships were pleasant but they were for a specific time and as our stages of life changed, those casual friends drifted off, or moved house, or moved on to something or someone else.
You don't mourn those friendships ending - they served a purpose (that's being a bit brutal really but it's the nitty gritty of the nature of casual friendships). New friends come to replace older friends, new interests, new jobs and the circle of friends ebbs and flows with those changes. It's just a part of life and one I accept quite happily.
LONG TERM FRIENDS
What allows me to let those short term friendships run their course without being particularly bothered either way, are the deep and abiding friendships that weather all life's sunshine and storms. I look back over the fifty plus of my life and I seem to have friendships that started in every decade of them, and those friends are still a part of my life now.
I have a friend who I've known since the womb - her mum and mine were school friends who stayed in touch. Kerry and I were born within a few months of each other and we have been firm and fast friends throughout our lives. We tend to lose touch for months at a time, then see a family event on facebook and reconnect to share each other's joy or sorrow - Kerry and her mum were even at my dad's funeral a few weeks ago - a true friend.
|It's all about each other ~ Zen to Zany|
I have another friend who I've known from my first year in Primary school when we were both five. We went to school, to youth group, went to each other's weddings (she was my bridesmaid), and have followed similar ups and downs in our marriages. When we catch up, it is like no time has passed at all and we are back to the good old days.
Along with this friend, I have several more from High School and Youth Group who I've known since my teenage days. Most of our interaction is on facebook, but there are some who I see regularly and it's hard to believe that we have nearly forty years of shared history - that's a lot of water under the bridge and a lot of laughs (and a few tears) that we've shared over all those decades.
FRIENDS OF MY HEART
Finally there are the friends I've made as an adult. Along with the more transient ones, there are a few who have stuck around and who truly share my heart. I have a sister-in-law who is the sister I never had, I have another friend who has weathered more storms than she deserves, but who can still smile and boost my spirits with gales or laughter when we get together. I have a friend who moved away to the city but who still manages to fit me in for a coffee date when she returns to her old stomping grounds.
These women who know me inside and out are the friends of my heart. They know a lot of my secrets, they know my flaws and they remind me of my strengths. They play a huge part in keeping me sane and helping me smile my way through this crazy world we live in. Midlife friendships are such a blessing, they enrich our lives and allow us to share our good times and bad times with people we know will always have our back.