Friendship is a wonderful gift
Friendship means different things to different people. I’ve just returned from a fabulous and fun break with a great friend who I haven’t seen for over 20 years. She flew up from “down South” and we met half way in the vibrant cosmopolitan buzzing city of Glasgow.
The whole trip brought it home to me once again the importance of nurturing our female friendships. No matter how close you may be with your partner, there is nothing quite like sitting down with a best friend and getting down to the nitty gritty girlie subjects of “women’s stuff” as my lovely husband calls it.
This particular trip was loaded with excitement and anticipation of reawakening friendship. After all, the last time we had seen each other was in the Middle East many years ago, and so many huge life changes and shifts has happened since then.
During the train journey so many questions flew around my mind. Would there be any awkward silences? Will we get along? we are both completely different people – but then again are we really? Would we still have anything in common? Will we struggle to connect and rekindle our friendship?
All of these questions disappeared the second we saw each other. We lost ourselves in huge long awaited hugs. Linked arms and promptly went for a coffee and a natter just like old times. Before we knew it two hours had passed in what felt like minutes, both very comfortable in each others company. Our friendship had slotted right back to where it needed to be.
We started talking and didn’t stop for the whole two days. We ate dinner at a lovely Thai Restaurant, we enjoyed cocktails, we pampered ourselves all day long in the Spa, we indulged ourselves fully, and why not? We also had a quiet giggle that we were both yawning and back in the Hotel room by around 10pm at night. Both in our comfy pjs, talking and laughing again into the early hours.
It was all perfect. A time full of laughter, sharing, caring, conversation, and fun. It was like we had never been apart. This is the mark of a true friendship. When you can just pick up where you left off just as we did.
As we delved into the delicious juicy parts of each others lives and all the missed moments. It was very clear that both of us had been through a huge amount of life challenges, and changes that has shaped who we are today. Strong, empowered women flourishing beyond 40.
Gone were the younger, carefree versions of ourselves, replaced with the wisdom of life’s experiences of pleasure and pain, but most of all deep inner growth.
It felt sad to say goodbye, but actually we are just saying hello – again and how beautiful is that?
At this stage in life, we have both lost our parents and other members of family and friends. This is the cold reminder of the march of time and just how precious living each day to the full really is.
Life is short, and way too short to spend time with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. This is another benefit of being an older wiser, woman. You are much less likely to care so much about what others think of you, in the realization it is far more important what you think of yourself.
So as children flee the nest and go off to live lives of their own, or you move into the retirement years. do your best not to feel sad.
Yes, there may be an empty feeling for a little while. However, this is “your” time. Your time to reconnect with all the things you love and enjoy, reawakening your hobbies and interests again. What about learning a new language, joining some groups to extend your circle of friends, schedule fun times in the year for fun outings with your “bestie”.
One of my lovely clients who has recently retired is a wonderful example of living life to the full. She is a member of several groups, travelling to new places regularly, seeing friends often, taking good care of her health and wellness. Effectively honouring her own “me “time, and you can too.
It may seem a little scary to reach out and perhaps go to places or groups on your own. But fear is a paralyzing emotion that will keep you stuck in the same place. When you hear that little voice in your mind whispering “but what if they don’t like me” challenge it by saying “what if they do?”!! How will you know if you don’t try? Comfort zones may feel safe, but we all know that there is no growth there.
Life is full of possibilities, and you are full of potential. There are places to go, people to meet, experiences to have. So go on, make that call, face up to your fears, you will so glad you did.
As you reflect this week on aspects of your life; perhaps ask yourself if you are nurturing your friendships. Are you being a good friend? Is there someone you need to call? Why not do that today?
“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weaknesses, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds”. Aristotle – Philosopher