There’s been one part of my life where I have been seriously letting the team down. And I have known it for a while. But I hadn’t done anything about it.
It’s my friends.
Wind back the clock to a long time ago (a long long time ago)…I LOVED school. Yep, I loved it. I didn’t mind classes but my absolute favourite thing was hanging with my friends all day. We spent so much time together and knew everything about each other. I would race home from school and pick up the phone (no mobiles back then!) to call my friends with my Mum rolling her eyes saying “what could you possibly have to talk about, you only just saw them at school”… I have no idea what we did actually talk about….but that was never a problem!
Throughout Uni, it was my friends who made me laugh, who were there when I cried. Who knew some of my secrets from nights out that, frankly, will never be discussed again, and others that were discussed over and over again. We lived in each others pockets, and even when I got a serious boyfriend…and consequently married…I still spent every day talking to them.
And then slowly, little by little, life started getting more serious and time harder to come by. Interstate living and new jobs, seperated the flock and brought new faces to the fold. Then along came the little people who we love so much but dominate every corner of our lives.
Next thing I know, I’m juggling all the different layers of my commitments in my life and I realise I haven’t spoken to my friends in days, wait weeks….cough…err….months?! OK…wait team…we need to work on this. So we made a pact to find time at least once a month for a girls catch up and an annual weekend away. There is a usually a lot of food, clearly alcohol and a hell of a lot of laughter on these occasions and they are awesome.
But, as I sat alone a few months ago when my husband was away, I realised these catch up’s haven’t replaced the day to day connection required to not only keep a friendship alive but to ensure we are supporting each other when the going might be getting a bit tough. To provide a shoulder to cry or to lean on, providing chocolate and totally subjective dodgy advice. And I realised I missed it, I missed it a lot. I knew I needed to make more of an effort, but yet it kept falling down the radar.
Until the weekend, when I completely missed the signals my good friend was sending me that she needed me. I was caught up in the usually complaining about the craziness of our lives, that I failed to notice the slight differences. I wasn’t touching base enough to realise that something wasn’t right.
And when she finally wacked me around the head enough for me to notice…I came flying over with open arms. I’m so so glad that she didn’t give up on me, on making sure that she was heard. We talked and talked and talked and talked..and it felt so good.
It was a reminder that just like my marriage, my children and my work, my friends need watering too. In the juggling of all my priorities, I need to find time…not just for the laughter, but sometimes for the tears and always for the every day stuff that might seem boring at the time but is the seed that makes a friendship truly blossom when it needs to.
I miss those school days, when my whole life revolved around my friends, it all seemed so much easier. But, while it might be a lot harder to orchestrate these days, it can be just as rewarding… maybe even more so.