I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front lately as I’ve needed to take some time for myself – to reflect and focus on the real things in life that matter to me.
Apart from immediate family, female friends can be the most important relationships in our lives – particularly the long term friendships that have seen us through teenage angst, career hurdles, having children (or not), ongoing relationship struggles and general everyday life. The women who are always there for a glass of wine or three, who have seen you at your best and your worst and love you despite everything – are the people we rely on to tell us we are clever, funny, beautiful, and strong – and we are – because they make us strong.
With partners, parents, children and siblings we are required to take a role – and while friends might need advice, a shoulder to cry on, or practical help – they essentially see you as you – an individual, without the baggage that comes with being a family member.
I count myself very lucky when it comes to friends, I have long term friendships that have spanned many years. Friends from college, mum friends who are now simply friends, work friends, friends of friends who I now count as friends and most importantly of all, a small group of very close friends who I have know since I was a teenager. These are the friends who know me better than my family, have known my children since birth and have been there consistently over the course my adult life. We may live in different countries, or not see each other for a while, but we can always pick up where we left off and give us a few drinks, some ABC and a party situation and we can instantly turn into those carefree teenagers we were when we first met.
Sometimes friendships end for one reason or another, which can be disappointing and if like me you pride yourself on keeping friends forever, can leave you feeling like you’ve failed. But as Amanda said to me, not so long ago, when I was struggling with feeling let down by someone I considered a friend, “life is too short to spend on people who don’t make you feel good about yourself.” Sound advice, which turned out to be very liberating.
The friends who make you feel good about yourself (and hopefully vice versa) are always there supporting, loving and caring about you, and as I often say to my daughter – men may come and go, but female friends are there for life.
I recently lost one of my oldest friends to cancer. She was so brave and determined to be well, it was heartbreaking to see her loose her battle after years of treatment. A loyal and devoted friend, always there to listen, celebrate her friends successes and provide sound advice – rarely making the conversation all about her, she was also one of the most naturally stylish women I know. The last few weeks have been so very sad for all of her family and friends – and her death has made me re-evaluate what’s important in my own life.
Throughout the last nine years of writing this blog, it has provided a creative outlet and a way to share thoughts and ideas, but right now I feel uncreative and very very tired. So I will be taking a break from blogging until after Christmas to spend time at home with friends and family, doing real things in real life, hopefully to return after the holidays, full of energy and renewed enthusiasm.
Until then – give a friend you haven’t seen for ages a call, go for a walk with that friend who is having a hard time and throw an impromptu drinks party for all your favourite women. I know I will be.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.