07 November 2008
What Are Friends For?
Maybe I'm getting sappy now that I've hit the big 39...
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, it seems.
I feel sorry for people who don't have friends.
Everyone needs friends, but we women, especially, thrive on friendships.
When a woman has no real friends, there is something very wrong.
I am grateful for the women in my life who hold me accountable & who encourage me. These women are my closest confidants. They are the glue that sometimes keeps me from falling apart at the seams... They can cut me deeper or lift me higher than anyone on the periphery of my life. They are gifts from God, each and every one.
When I was younger, I took a lot of my friendships for granted. Several of them fell by the wayside because I was too "busy" with life to maintain them.
Others were almost destroyed by the evil intentions and jealousies of others... by things I should have never allowed to enter in...
But as I get older, the more I value my intimate friendships.
I have many "friends," but there is only a small handful of women with whom I can spend hours talking on the phone. When something really bad happens or I have incredibly GREAT news, there are just a select few who I want to call...
And as I get older, the more I begin to realize that maintaining friendships takes real work sometimes.
Life gets busy: work, school, marriage, kids, bills, volunteering,... all these things begin to drain us of time & energy. It becomes very easy to start to take those friendships for granted.
We think, "Oh, they will always be there," but sadly, it's just not so.
Real friendships -- friendships that last -- take effort.
Calling to say hi, even when your "to do list" is a mile long. Checking in with a friend you haven't seen in a while... Remembering a friend's birthday.
Some friendships are so old & deep they can sustain a few "casualties of time..." others are not so lucky.
Offense sets in and a chasm of separation grows between you & eventually, you find you no longer have anything to talk about. That old, comfortable casualness is gone.
I fully acknowledge that there are seasons of friendships in life, but now as I draw nearer to the end of my 4th decade, I am more aware of the passing of time & opportunity in my own life.
I mourn friendships that are no longer & I regret things I coulda, woulda, shoulda done to salvage them.
To all my girl friends: I love you & I can't imagine life without you.
Thank you for being a friend.
(now banish the "Golden Girls" theme song from your brains!)