Forever friends – and top tips for keeping them
I have to say I am a lucky woman. I have friends I do not deserve. Why? Because I have spent the past 20 years putting work, clients and then more work before the people who are important to me. It is not that I do not think about them – but I have not spent enough time with them.
The shake up for me was my mother’s funeral. Having been a once sociable and talkative woman, she spent the last ten years of her life shutting people out. So when I stood to do her eulogy I looked out over a diminished group of elderly women who had not seen her in years. They came for the memory and for respect, but not because they were in her friendship group. It made me cry more than the words of remembrance I said. I vowed that day, I would do better.
So in the past year, I have been digging out my friends. It has taken time and effort – but they are out there to be discovered. Yesterday, I eventually sat down and had a glass of wine with a wonderful friend who I last saw when I was 25. Annoyingly, she is still as beautiful, slim and lovely as she ever was while I sat in good light to hide the age lines. I was nervous about seeing her – then I realised what friendship is. It is a cord of liking that stretches through the years. After a 3 minute precis of our life, Kate and I were chatting and laughing just as we did all those years ago. It was exactly the same when I would come home from University and meet up with Sassita Two. We just started the conversation where we had finished it six months before. A true friends is like a pair of old slippers. No matter how old and how neglected they are, you put them on and they feel right.
But this is no excuse for neglect. Your friends are your safety net when life is not good. They buoy you up, they listen, they advise and they do not judge. They like you when you have been too busy and forgive you when you get it wrong. They are there when others float though your life and disappear. They make you laugh at the latest disaster and tut when your partner is an arse. True friends are forever.
The trouble is that when people are so very true to you, they are easy to take for granted. But neglect them and you miss so much. In the thirty years I have not seen the beautiful Kate she has had adventures, kids and set up a business designing gorgeous jewellery for people who just love their dogs. Actually – Christmas gift alert. If you have a friend who loves their dog and wants to carry a memory of them all the time, then take a look at http://www.kateholmesdesign.com Each piece is hand-casted and hand-finished in pure silver. Things of real beauty.
So what are the top tips for keeping in touch with your friends?
- Keep in contact and make it regular. Just a call, a card, an e-mail – anything to make sure you know what is happening with them
- Make time for them – when you are at the end of your days you will not be thinking about the clients – you will be asking for your friends
- Prioritise. There have been too many times when my friends needed me and I was locked in a client project. What was more important in the end? My friends.
- Keep a log – if you have not talked in four months it is time to call. Yes time passes quickly. So does life and there is a lot to miss.
- Finally – give your friends the love you want from them. It always comes back in double.