Friday, October 09, 2015

The circle of friendship

When did you last meet up with old classmates?  Do you even stay connected?  In our hectic lifestyle it can be all too easy to lose touch.

But I have to tell you, I am so glad I have made that effort to keep in touch with long-time friends, because when you do get together, it’s like switching back the clock.

This was our summer of reunions – not just family ones - but with “old” friends.  I say “old” because we’ve known them for 60 + years.   

Frankly it was wonderful and left me with a warm glow – because these are people who really know you the best and the longest.  In fact truth be, they also have the dirt on you and all the antics you pulled off when you were a teenager or young adult. Our kids would likely be shocked.

What amazed me is how we just picked up where we left off. Soon we were reminiscing about past fun times together, catching up on the latest escapades of our adult children and sharing some great moments of laughter.  

Why does that happen?  I think part of it is our shared history, roots and values. We grew up in similar surroundings.  We enjoy and have the same dry British sense of humour and while we have pursued different careers and have different interests, that common thread keeps us tied together. And while we may now be Canadian, I suspect we often look at life through British eyes. 

However, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you have just grown apart. Sometimes the differences are too wide to bridge the gap, and sometimes people have changed.  You no longer share  their values or take on life, and that’s too bad.  But that can be true of any friendship, old or new.

The key is to surround yourself with friends who get you.  Warts and all. Friends who are there in good times and bad.  As you get older and lose your parents and older family members, it is these friends who become your family.  Your chosen family.  Choose them well. 

A few weeks ago we decided on the spur of the moment to phone some good friends in Vancouver. Not because we were coming out and wanted to stay with them, but just to check in and say "hi." It was lovely to reconnect with them.  We need to do that more often. 

This Thanksgiving, reach out and stay in touch. Phone or email someone today. I ‘d love that warm feeling to spread.

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