Friendship

I have talked about friendships in earlier posts. People-no family relationship-no obligation relationship-no reason to have a relationship other than friendship. You don’t have to have common interests, agree on everything or anything or have the same goals. Just friendship.

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Friendship is described as a mutual affection between two or more people. Sounds simple enough. There is even a website devoted to the subject of friendship:   http://friends.com.

Famous people have offered their opinions  and have much to say on the subject of  friendship :

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

and

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
Helen Keller

and

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
Aristotle

“Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.”
William Shakespeare

and from a friend to many in memory of her passing this week;

“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”
Maya Angelou

Yes, friendship……… Many do it but others don’t quite know how to get there or even seem to need the companionship of friends. Perhaps they don’t know what they are missing or might be to timid to try. I have noticed that as we age it is harder to make new friends-good friends that are not dominated by their busy lives. We often loose the friends of our school years as we  have moved on-in different directions.

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Our work acquaintances-were they really friends or simply work associates? In some instances were we just two people bound together by an eight hour day and the same scheduled lunch? It may have seemed like friendship, but despite our best efforts, we may have moved on when our paths no longer cross on a daily basis. They seemed to know us so well at the time but now, we now have little in common. Why is that??

A friendship needs to be cultivated. It needs nourishment, commitment, and that mutual affection and interest in each other. Not an unobtainable thing most certainly, but some mutual effort nonetheless.

If you don’t have friendships or a desire to make new friends-where do you go? I have met ladies at the gym and although we chat I do not see use developing a friendship outside the gym. There are many magazine articles, books, and suggestions on the web to offer some guidance and direction. My suggestions are; if you are working, cultivate a relationship outside of work to find other common interests. Kids can be a great resource when you get to know the parents of their friends.  The other parents on the soccer team, the cub scout parents, church, volunteer organizations, walking, running, dog, and common interest clubs  can be a good resource also. I have a friend that joined a community choir with the triple bonus of making friends, singing at senior centers, and doing something she loves.

For me, a friend is an important part of my life. Yes, some friends I am closer to than others, some I see more regularly, others it takes more planning. Some are an email away, down the street, or a phone call away. One thing remains constant however, they are my friends and I treasure each and every relationship. Now that I am retired and have more time to spend with these friends, I am every so thankful that we both put in that mutual effort during the very busy years of careers and raising families. I now truly feel that I am able to savor that labor of love in maintaining those relationships in a new and exciting way.  I can only encourage those of you with such busy lives not to allow these precious people to be placed on the back burner waiting for the day when life is less busy or a major life occurrence happens. Friendship might be like fine wine-turn to vinegar if left too long without savoring.

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