Over the past few months/years I’ve had many times where I’ve questioned friendship and why some work and some don’t. Recently my friend at SuperSingleMum wrote a post The Nature of Friendship where she put a quote which I’ve often used before (in my head) about friendship lasting for Life, a Season or a Reason. I think this is a very true measure of friendship and helps to explain where some have gone.
Whilst out recently with Baby Bean’s Godmothers I joked that I don’t really have friendships which last longer than 5-10 years and so they were already on the downward slope out of my life so “make the most of it” – obviously that is not how I feel about them or else I wouldn’t have asked them to play such a big part in my daughter’s life. In fact, thinking about it, if you’re reading this Mrs ELH and Mrs WAW, you are now officially my oldest friends who I actually keep in constant contact with!!
Thanks to the medium that is Facebook, I have re-established contact with old friends from Primary School, Grammar School and old work places which has been fantastic but I don’t actively see or speak to anyone from my school days. This isn’t because we have fallen out or because I can’t be bothered. It is simply because our lives have taken us in different directions and time has passed so quickly. There are a handful of friendships which I have let slip by the wayside that I am very sad about, some due to life, some to misunderstandings, some to relocation and lack of effort but I think about these people often. Technology has been a big help as now many friends are only a click of a button away but sometimes even that is hard to do. Take writing my blog, ideally when I started this my aim was to do one post every day but these can be rather sporadic. I can’t remember the last time I just sat down in an evening and just did “nothing” – I always seem to have something on the go, every night I say “tonight I’m going to have an early night” and every night I get there about 11.30pm! Not so early then!!!
I left school at 18 and went straight into full-time work, choosing not to go to University. Pretty much straight away, most of my school friendships dwindled as everyone else headed off around the country to College/University or work like me. I had the odd one or two friends who I stayed in touch with but sadly these slowly dwindled too. These are friendships which I’m sad to lose as there was no argument, no big scenes, we just kind of drifted. Many times throughout my life, contact has been regained but I’m sorry to say from my side, the contact has been allowed to slip again. In my work I’m great at prioritising and writing lists so that nothing gets missed. At home I’m not so good, I have 1001 jobs to do but they are all in my head and sometimes they get remembered but then forgotten in minutes when the phone rings or the cooker beeps. I think to myself I will do that tomorrow, next week, next month and oh no its been over a year!
Occasionally I ran into friends socially but even before I left school, many of my best friends were from outside of school anyway. After a few years I entered my first serious relationship which again changed the dynamics of my friendships, suddenly I was running a house and couldn’t afford to go out as much as I “settled down” my friends carried on with the partying and in some cases left the Country to take on new careers. From time to time we would catch up with each other but our friendships were never the same again and these are some of the friendships I really regret losing.
When that relationship broke down I had to move to a new area, make new friends, get a new job and basically start my life over. Again, my friendships as I knew them all began to change apart from the two ladies I have mentioned earlier who I still see now. One particular friendship which I regret losing at this period in my life was as close to me as a sister, when I moved away I don’t know if I was more upset at the breakdown of my relationship or at moving away from my best friend. I thought this was a friendship for life but sadly due to fallout and misunderstandings, this was not to be. We have since established contact again but I fear this friendship will never be the same again. Our lives have moved on, we live a fair distance apart and cannot spend the time together as we used to but it is a friendship I will always treasure.
Then there are the friends who I made when Baby Bean was born, initially there was a group of 7 of us who all had daughters of a similar age and so we used to spend lots of time together both at the local Children’s Centre or doing activities which we had arranged ourselves. But again, life moves on and when some returned to work part-time, the dynamics changed and I wouldn’t say that we have grown apart but we are definitely not how we used to be. As all parents know, bringing up children is a busy job and if you are a working parent too, even busier. You still need to do the housework, the shopping, catch up with family and friends – not all of whom will have been made since having your children. If you only have 2 days off a week, that’s not a lot of time to get things done AND keep up a social diary.
Now I am reaching a point in my life once again where I fear friendship dynamics are about to make a change. SuperSingleMum is about to return to work and MumtoJ is moving to the other side of the world! These are friendships that I’m very keen to hang on to but from past experience I know that this could be a tough one.
So to all my friends, past, present and future – I want you to know that I do not take on friends lightly, if you are in my life it is because you are important to me. My friends often mean as much to me as my family. If I do not see you or speak to you, it does not mean that I do not think about you. I probably think about you more than you’d imagine but always something will happen to distract me and you get pushed back in mind until the next time you crop up again. To all my friends from the past, I’m sorry if our friendship has not made it to the present but you were very important to me and I’m happy to say that your involvement in my life has made me part of who I am today – so for that I thank you. I hope that you are happy xx
What makes a friend?
Someone who you can call upon day or night and you won’t be turned away, someone who makes you laugh and/or cry, someone you would trust with your life (or your childs), someone who loves you just for being “you”!
Do you have friendships which you regret losing? Do you wish that you could find a way back? Is it ever too late? What makes a friend?