#weeklysmile #81

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Some weeks it’s easy to find something to smile about and this is one of those weeks. I’m smiling about my awesome friends! You know who you are! Not so long ago, I wrote a post on friendship, although I talked mostly about the different types of friends most of us have. This week, I’m talking about my closest friends and other friends who step up to the plate and befriend you when you least expect it – and all of you know who you are!

For a couple of reasons, I’ve had to call on these friends this week and, of course, they have come through for me. I feel very lucky to have these extraordinary people in my life. I hope each and every one of them know it.

There is a point I want to address that I didn’t address in my previous post on friendship. I will only mention it here and may use the topic as material for a later post. Men and women, dear readers, can indeed be friends. Friends and nothing more. Possibly because of my career choice in the past, I have always tended to have more male friends than female friends. Both are very special to me. One of my male friends has been my friend, and a close friend, for more than 35 years. I suppose we’re a little like siblings. There are many people in the world that dispute the fact that men and women can be “only” friends. They would be wrong.

So that big smile you see on my face? That smile is because I have awesome friends. Male and female.

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#SoCS – 05/06/2017

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I have friendship on my mind today as I have recently made some new friends, revived some old and cherished friendships, and continued some very valued friendships. I’ve also lost some friends. You also never know, until it’s usually too late, when you’re dealing with fake friends.

Friendship is one of the most fulfilling interactions one can have. I feel that friendship is just as important as love or marital relationships. When I decided to live a portion of each year in Florida, I worried about losing friends here in Kentucky. I could only hope that my Kentucky friends would put up with my months’ long absences. I knew that true friends would. I have some old, cherished friends in the Kentucky and Tennessee area. I’ve also been able to revive two important friendships recently. I’m thrilled that both were able to be revived as the two pjeople with whom I’m friends were and are very important to me.

I’ve also lost two friendships. I’m sad about both, but I feel that there were perhaps reasons that the loss of these friendships happened and perhaps it was for the best. Sometimes, people just aren’t meant to be close.

It seems as we get older, we don’t see our friends as much. I know I don’t. Why? In my case, life is too busy and I’m too tired. By the time I finish with each day, I am ready to fall into bed! There are some days I have time and energy to see friends but not every day. I’m still working part-time and taking care of a house. I’m writing a book which is a massive job. Don’t you wonder how we ever had time to work full time? I know I do. I would like to spend time with each and every friend every week, but that is not to be.

I tend to make long-lasting friendships. Friendships that last a lifetime. I don’t boast hundreds of friends. I think if you have a handful of real friends in your entire life, you have been very lucky indeed.

I’ve discovered that it’s difficult to make friends at my stage in life. As you get older, I think you are less open to friendship, probably more suspicious and less accepting. In my new home in Florida, I’ve met really nice people and am starting to make friends. I’m really happy about that.

Do you ever consider the concept of fake friends? People who say they are friends but they are not. People who pretend to be friends but are anything but. People who just want to mine you for information for their gossip and they are not friends at all. Watch out for these people.

I’m thankful for all my friends. My  friends who I’ve had for a lifetime. New friends I’m just starting to get to know. There is one thing about friendship. You have to cultivate it and then shelter it and take care of it like a carefully tended plant if you want it to be successful.

Friendship, to me, is one of the most fulfilling of all relationships.

#weekendcoffeeshare 9/24/2016

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My friend, Jenn, with whom I normally have coffee on Saturday, is still out of town today. So I’d like to have coffee with you, my friends, as I did last week. I can offer you Apricot blended black tea or the coffee of your choice, chicory or regular.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to be patient with me while I tell you that a disturbing week last week has continued into a disturbing week this week, although for different reasons. I have lost a very important friendship. I surely can’t call this a highlight of the week though it has been the most of what has been on my mind. I guess it has been the lowlight. My friend was here one day and literally gone the next which causes a bit of a feeling of a panic. No sympathy needed, but thank you. It may be for the best. Whether the friendship was a good or bad thing, it is a blow whatever the case.

People can be quite cruel to one another, even those they call friends. Some people don’t seem to be able to just talk straight to their friends. That was the case here. Instead of just telling me that the friendship wasn’t working, my former friend set up this rather elaborate ruse. Though knowing my friend, and already having picked up on clues, I was able to see through the ruse quite easily once the shock wore off. It’s a hurtful world out there. Be careful who you trust.

The good news is that, in hard times, you learn who your real friends are. I had wonderful friends step to my side and I appreciate them so much.

Some good news this week has to do with my writing career. I’ve been a writer for over 15 years. Actually longer than that, but during my career as a professor, I did mostly academic writing. Then, I had a stint where I wrote only in my field of finance for a number of different outlets. Now, my writing career has morphed into an interest in fiction. I have been able to put together the first draft of a book proposal this week that I’m excited about. It will be published by Amazon.com, hopefully by the end of about two months from now. I’ll keep you up to date on my progress!

There is always something that is right around the corner when you are a homeowner. Some cracks in tile led to an investigation under the house and it seems that improper floor supports may have been used in the construction of my home. Right in the middle of my home so tile is cracking and so is the drywall in that part of the house. I’m going to have to hire a crew to come in and repair both the damage to the inside of the house and shore up the floor supports. It’s always something in the Adventures of Homeownership.

We are now past the fall equinox and summer continues to hang on in my part of the world. We’ve had many 90 degree days this year, more than any time in recent memory. Accompanied by high humidity. High humidity is not my favorite weather condition. I like to walk my little dog daily and she and I both wilt a little in high humidity. Betsy, in fact, wilts a lot. We will be happy when cooler fall days arrive. That weather is usually here by this time of year. Not this year. I live in a deciduous forest and there is no sign of the trees even starting to change color yet although other plants, such as the perennials in my garden, seem to realize that the time to go to sleep is near. You would never know it by walking outdoors or looking at the forest.

The deer do seem to have lost the velvet on their antlers. They aren’t as plentiful at the feeding troughs as they were earlier in the summer since the babies are growing up. Soon, they will vanish entirely for awhile only to return as winter comes.

I was lucky enough this week to get to see and spend some time in the city with my girlfriend. We spent an afternoon shopping, which is always fun. Retail therapy is some of the best, don’t you think? She was amazingly restrained and I was not! Then, we went to dinner at a favorite restaurant and met another friend. Even though the week had a tough start, I feel fortunate to have people around me who are supportive and who genuinely care about me.

Time to clean up these coffee cups and get some work done on the book. Thanks for having coffee with me today! #weekendcoffeeshare #amwriting #amblogging #writing #friendship #weather #livingintheforest

#weekendcoffeeshare is brought to you by DIana at Parttimemonsterblog.com

 

Friendship

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When we are young adults, most of us have many friends. We still have our friends from high school. We make friends in college. We have embarked on our careers and have work friends. We have friends from other walks of life that we have made along the way. As we go along through our lives, not all of those friends stay with us. We lose some along the way. Some become involved in their families and with their children and don’t feel they have time for friendships. Others are trying to establish demanding careers and they are lucky to get home at night in time to fall into bed, get a few hours sleep, and do it all over the next day. Some friends develop interests that are different than ours and friendships die a natural death. Others move away and the geographic distance makes maintaining friendship challenging.

As our friends change and step into their adult lives, we change too.

If we are emotionally healthy, we develop an understanding of why friends come and go and we don’t end up with any resentment toward these individuals who were our friends. As we get older, our friends tend to fall into several categories:

1. Casual Friends: These are the friends you might go to a movie with, or shopping, or even lunch. Casual friends are usually for pure social interaction. But, you aren’t going to tell them your deepest and darkest thoughts and secrets.

2. Business Friends: These are your work friends. They are people you see daily, collaborate with on projects, and may have a little social interaction with like daily lunches. It is easy to let them become at least casual friends, but these friends can become toxic due to issues like professional jealousy.

3. Intimate Friends: Don’t think sexual here. That is not what I mean by intimate friends. Intimate friends are your best friends. I am of the opinion that you have only a handful of real intimate friends in your life, though your perception may be that you have more than this. I think that is a dangerous perception. Intimate friends are those with whom you share your hopes and dreams and your deepest thoughts and feelings. You trust these friends implicitly.

4. Toxic Friends: These friends are those you make, perhaps at work, that latch onto you without knowing you well but who want to know all your deepest and darkest secrets. They may also be casual friends who are not emotionally healthy and become obsessed. The sooner you can get out of a toxic relationship, the better.

The whole discussion of friendship begs the question: Why do we need friends? Why can’t our spouse or significant other, serve as the only friend we need? The answer, I think, is simple. People need people. Not just our spouse or significant other. Women need their girlfriends. We find being around our girlfriends soothing and satisfying. We can talk to them and get things off our chests. We can listen and help them do the same. We feel needed.

In order to work, friendship has to feel right. One person can’t be a better friend than the other. There can’t be any passive-aggressive behavior or hidden agendas on either side. There has to be openness and honesty. There has to be mutual sharing and respect. Both people in a friendship have to be able to talk to the other. If we have that with our girlfriends, we have real friends. #amwriting #writing #blogging #Bestfriends!