Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Gift of Friendship

After this week, with all its negativity, I wanted to end things on a more positive note.

I spend an inordinate amount of time on my own when I am not at work. I live, for the most part, alone, except when Mike is here during most of the winter (the goal is to change our living situation so we are together all the time but Canadian-U.S. immigration remains a logic problem for me, and right now, it is what it is, to coin {yet another} sports term).
I sometimes feel like the internet with all its social media has enabled me to become even more introverted (by choice). Now--instead of the telephone, I can email friends, they can email me, I can tweet, I can blog, I can facebook (note--facebook as a's coming people). I don't have to do alot of heavy lifting to stay in touch with my closest friends, which I love. We're all busy women, and this is a busy city, and there are jobs to do, kids to raise, husbands to connect with, houses that need cleaning, and all of this time-sucks you down to a few precious evenings a month (if you're lucky) spent connecting with your girlfriends.

Despite the challenges of the week, a busy one at work (busy but good, a nice feeling), alot of bad energy on this, my beloved blog, and some seriously extreme-heat in the weather forecast, I've had a good (great) 'friendship' week.

After a very nice weekend with lots of spontaneous plans (oxymoron I know, but there is no better type of plans than these) with my sister, who is my best friend, I talked to another close girlfriend on the phone for the first time in a while. She was driving, I was outside on my rooftop, with a helicopter seemingly circling my building, but we managed to catch up about her vacation, my MRI, summer plans, the unrelenting heat, and I know that although we haven't seen each other in a few months (shameful--we live 7 kms away from each other) when we re-connect next it will be like no time has passed. I love and miss her. She's had a rough couple of years too.

At my office, on Friday, another lovely friend called me. She gave birth to her second child in April, I had seen her the night before she went into labour. I have not seen her since she had her daughter, or sent her anything, but her call cut to the chase and we tripped over each others' words to get in our news. It was so wonderful to hear her voice. We signed off, with a commitment to make a plan with the two of us and our third cherished friend, in the very near future. I felt like a such a neglectful friend but she made it all go away. I was so so grateful.

An old friend reached out to me via email this week. Things have not been easy for her in any way in the last while, and to be on her shortlist of people that she turns to is, to me, a great honour. I count her among my long-friendships, and although we do not get to see each other very often, I think of her when I read an amazing book, when I hear an inspiring quote, and when I have what I consider an original thought (she is, to me, the most original person I've ever met).

Last night, drinks with a friend I've known since childhood, whose talent for framing conversation is unmatched, she remains someone whose opinion I give a high score to. We talked about everything. My health, her career, our apartments, the heat, our families, our other friends (in a loving way, not as gossip). As with all my nearest and dearest (I am so so lucky for this) there are no masks, no fronts, no need to hide.  Is everyone this lucky?

My NYC girlfriend (we go back to high school) and I email every single day. As fellow Older Sisters, we relate in a way that I don't to any of my other friends. Strange, huh? How much birth order imprints us? We get each other in a way that needs no explanation, no follow-up, no apology.

I have another circle of good friends who I rarely see. They are fellow runners with lots in common, or we went to public school together, or junior high, or we grew up in the same neighbourhood, or they are ex-Keggers (like me!), they are sisters of old boyfriends, they are friends-of-friends whom I wish well, and likewise.  As in--we have each others' backs. In a city this size, on a revolving planet such as this, those constellation friends are a godsend, too.

So yea--I've got the cream of the crop. I am not what anyone would describe as a social butterfly, but I love the friends I've got.
It's a great feeling.

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