Friendship is a huge part of living well

6 Apr

The other day, as I was looking through some of my Grandmother’s old photos and papers, I came across a newspaper clipping that made me smile, but it also made me sad.  The clipping was a picture of my Grandma and two of her best friends with a caption that read “the birthday gals celebrate 20 years!”  Grandma and her friends had been celebrating their birthdays together faithfully for the past 20 years.  Wow, that’s pretty impressive.  The editor of the local paper must have thought so too.  To think that a group of ladies could sustain a bond of friendship that stood the test of time really made me think. (And I happen to know the tradition continued for another 20 years after that newspaper article was written!)Image  It made me think about myself and my own friends.  Sure, I have friends that I have stayed in touch with for more than 25 years, but I have to admit that I have not put in the amount of time and effort that my Grandma did.  Three or four phone calls a year is hardly what I would consider a valiant effort.  When I think back about my Grandma and her friends, I realize that even as a young child, I knew her friends by name and thought of them and their families as friends.  Obviously, if I felt that familiar with her friends, my Grandma was doing considerably more than just a seasonal phone call.  I remember times when a friend was under the weather and Grandma would whip up some homemade recipe and drive right over to deliver it.  If Grandma wanted to go out to see a play, she would call to invite the friends.  If she was in the neighbourhood, Grandma would stop in, just to say hello.  While thinking of all the little things my Grandma and her friends would do with and for each other, I couldn’t help but feel woefully inadequate.  But wait a minute, Grandma was a house wife, while I work…full time.  Ok, so I do have to cut myself a little bit of slack considering I have much less available time, but is that really an excuse?  After some thought, I decided that many a modern woman would say that working full time is definitely a legitimate reason to slack off a little on some of these things.  In fact many women I have spoken to about this say that often after working all day, they really just want to flop down on the couch, and they cross their fingers that the phone does not ring.  But, these same women also admitted that they did feel lonely, a lack of connection with friends.

Ok, so I have to be realistic and admit that I will not often have the time to whip up some delightful dish to deliver to a sick friend, but, these days most people have their freezers and cupboards full of all kinds of nearly instant foods anyway.  It is not the actual food that they need, but the acknowledgement of care and friendship.  So, a flower delivery, or even just a thoughtful handwritten card might be just what she needs to know she has a friend who is thinking about her.  It would be well worth the time and effort.

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2 Responses to “Friendship is a huge part of living well”

  1. Jennifer Sawatzky May 25, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    I totally get the flop on the coucht thing at the end of the day… I feel completely anti-social from September to June!! Good to know – i’m not the only one. It would be awesome to have those kind of daily connections like Grandma!

  2. livingsimplywell May 25, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Wouldn’t that be awesome?! I’m hoping that it happens in retirement!

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