We used to work in a pediatric clinic that basically had summer goof-off hours for the staff. The faculty didn’t care who was there, who wasn’t and how long each of us were actually there. Why would they? They didn’t pay our salaries. All they cared was that at least one of us manned the office phones and covered the front desk in case of an emergency.
Wow, that was a long time ago… You know what else was a long time ago? The last time I saw my friend Rosa. I had not realized how much time has passed since the last time I saw her. Really?!? Has it been that many years?
Friends Come and Go
Funny how “friends” come and go as time passes… I must say, my separation from my husband, or perhaps how that separation occurred, has slimmed down my friends group big time! Well right off the bat I lost most of my in-laws. Since I have almost no family close to me, this hurt a lot at first. Of course they would pick Team Soon-To-Be-Ex-Husband, as if were a Twilight competition… I would remind myself – He’s their family despite how miserably he talks about all of them. A part of me expected that, but it still took time to get to a place where I no longer felt hurt because of this.
What I didn’t expect were my friends that pulled away… Some said they did because they didn’t want to get sucked into the drama. (The irony was, I turned to my friends to get me into a different head space, one away from the drama! They were usually the ones asking questions or voicing their opinions…) Other friends just disappeared and faded to black without any notice, except for the occasional “like” on a Facebook photo or post. Only a handful stuck it out and stayed around. Those are the ones I am grateful for.
Tonight I packed up my kid and drove to see Rosa… A few Facebook texts during the week and we made arrangements to meet up. When we saw each other, it was like no time had passed at all! We hugged and laughed… We joked about things that had happened to us since we last saw each other… and we played the “remember when” game… She introduced me to 2 new friends tonight, both of whom had heard so much of our past adventures through her. We were all immediately laughing as we told stories back and forth. It was a beautiful energy and we were all able to share it tonight.
Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.
-Dr. Wayne Dyer
Want to live a long, happy and healthy life? Get a good support system. A team of good friends can trump any antidepressant on the market! Studies show that good, healthy friendships can decrease depression, lower the risk of heart disease, and reduce stress and anxiety. For real!!!
There’s even a study that shows women with breast cancer have a higher rate of survival when they have more support from their friends than those with little or no support. I’m not kidding.
Beware the Emotional Vampires
I know I mentioned losing some of my friends… Yup, it bothered me but one thing I didn’t do was run and try to mend broken fences. Be very careful before you try to recover the loss… Not all friendships are good friendships! This is something only you can decide. But you do have to realize that some may be better off left in the past.
I’m sure you know that person you call and not 30 seconds into the conversation you wish you had never dialed their number. Once in a while is ok. But some friends are like this every time. What’s worse is when your positive friends tell you how toxic another friend is but you keep letting them suck the color out of your day. Again, only you can decide how to proceed with these friendships, but do consider the impact they have on your health, stress and anxiety as they drag you down.
Try to establish friendships that make your life better. They may not be present every single day… But you’ll know in your heart, when they show up, you will have a good day.
And yes, Rosa dyed my hair a bunch of different colors that summer, including blonde. And yes… My hair did turn green, Grinch green, in the ladies room of the pediatric clinic. I wore a baseball cap to work every day for a week before she dyed my hair brown again! But I’m glad it happened. It’s one of those stories that will forever make us laugh together…
What mess have you gotten into with your good friends that will make you laugh no matter how much time passes? Feel free to share in the comments below!