Reflections on enduring friendships

As usual, the weekend passed far too quickly for me. I really look forward to the time when I don’t need to work on Saturdays so that I can have two full days with my family rather than one. This weekend it was barely half a day, as my husband worked until 4pm yesterday. Still, it doesn’t happen often, and we still managed to have our roast dinner together in the evening. However, only having that one day to spend together as a family makes it very hard for me to see my friends as I feel so guilty if I spend a Sunday with them rather than with my husband and sons. And yet, that’s more or less the only time I would get to spend a decent amount of time with, for example, my friend Maria as she works long hours through the week and, as I’ve mentioned, I work on Saturdays. I think back sometimes to our university days, when together with our other friend, Chris, we spent most of our time together. I was usually in class with one or other of them, and it was very rare for a weekday to go by when I saw neither of them. And yet now, weeks can go by without my seeing Maria due to our contrasting timetables, and months can pass without Chris and I meeting up because of his illness. And yet, when we do get together, the years seem to roll back and it’s as if we’ve not been apart. I think that is the mark of a good friendship. I am fortunate to have a few other friends like that, such as Hannah who is at university in Manchester; Jo, who has moved back up to Ceredigion and taken on the role of farmer with aspirations towards The Good Life and Heather, who lives in London with her husband and daughter and who I see very rarely. All of these people, though, are very easy to be with, and we manage to maintain our friendships even when months (or years, sometimes) go by without meetings.

Last summer, my schoolfriend Owen married Leanne, and I was honoured to be invited to the ceremony. In the evening, two more old schoolfriends, Ross and Danny, came to the reception, and we all chatted away. I felt completely at my ease with them, even though ten years had passed since I last saw them (when we left school). I don’t mind admitting that I had been very apprehensive about the reunion, worrying about the impression that I would make on them, and whether we would have all changed so much as to have nothing left to talk about. And yet it was a really good evening, I needn’t have worried and we all agreed that we really shouldn’t leave it so long to be back in touch again.

That was one of the first examples I have had of meeting up with people I was really close to some time ago and discovering that you can still be good friends, despite leading very different lives. Later that month, then, I properly sorted out my Facebook account and came back into touch with dozens of people from school who I never thought I’d hear anything of again. It was great because when I left school that was one of my regrets, that I lost touch with so many people. I left school in 1997 and most people I was friendly with didn’t have e-mail addresses while they were in school. I didn’t know anyone with mobile phones and I’d never used the internet before I went to university. All in all, it was quite difficult to keep up with many schoolfriends as we all dispersed around the country. But now that we’re all online, we’re all back in touch (in a manner of speaking) and know all the important events in each others lives due to websites like Facebook. I like it, and look forward to seeing what new communications applications and devices the next ten years will bring.

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One Response

  1. […] do things with the sole intention of having something to blog about. I write about my family, friends, experiences, work, voluntary work and other anecdotes which I’d like to share, and I […]

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