If you measure the depth or worth of a friendship by how often we see each other or even talk, I’m not a good friend. I can’t manage to see my friends much given my work hours and theirs, whether I’m physically able to or have the energy. My best friend since we were in ninth grade in 1978-79, she’s always getting together with a book club or birthday dinners out with her colleagues each month, and hosting family dinners with all sides of her extended family. (I was going to say both sides of their family but there are many sides, which is a beautiful thing to see.) This is in addition to working full time. And she’s done this for years. I don’t know how she does it. So, 41 years of friendship and only 16 miles apart, we see each other pretty much quarterly, some years more than others.
One friend asked if she had done anything to upset me, wondering why I didn’t want to get together and do things. Actually she tried to ask me a couple times but I changed the subject and it made me physically uncomfortable. (If you’re reading this and you know it’s you, I love you and I tell this story affectionately. 😘) At a gorgeous lodge on a small, dark blue lake completely surrounded by forest, where we went each October for a three day, Presbyterian women’s retreat, my sweet friend asked if I wanted to take a canoe out. It was sunny with the crisp fall chill in the air and the tapestry of red, yellow and orange dotting the landscape between the towering evergreens. We rowed out to the middle of the lake, put our oars in, and drifted. My friend asked why I didn’t see her and talk to her as much as I had.previously. I took a deep breath and said, “It’s not you. It’s me.” I used more words than that but you get the point. I felt like I disappointed her but explained I just can’t maintain frequent conversations and contact, pointing out that I only see my friend from ninth grade a few times a year.
It’s probably weird, but when I’m not working, I’m resting. Recovering from depression apparently takes some time. Combine that with the frequent fatigue of fibromyalgia that sucks the life out of you, and my bed calls my name. Is it wrong that my favorite place in the world is my bed? My favorite time of day is if I wake up before my alarm and I have a few minutes to just lie there. Today I slept in until 11:00. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good sleep in morning.
Today I met a friend for tea. We spilled our guts for an hour plus, catching up. We covered many topics including our ongoing life stories, picking up where we left off. We hadn’t met up for more than a year and I have no idea when I’ll see her next, but I consider her one of my closest friends.
Facebook has been a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, old and new. I can check in when I feel like it, and I can do it from my bed! 😁 The outpouring of support I’ve received from my FB people, when I shared that I’ve been going through a tough time, has been like salve to a wound.
I find the value and worth of my friendships in love, honesty, encouragement, mutual moral support, and humor. If you’re my friend, it doesn’t have an expiration date if we don’t see each other, and you can stay in your sweats or pajamas!