Middelagedmum.com: The Importance of Friends

Dancing in formation on my wedding day

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.

Jane xx


  • Ellen says:

    Dear Jane,
    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend. Your words in the post are so good to read. Even though I follow you and Amanda from NYC, I consider you friends who I follow in your writing and the interesting things you introduce me to. Just like my friends IRL. I wish for you to have a good break to have some self care and look forward to reading more from you when you are ready to return. Best wishes, my blog friend. X

  • Very well said Jane. I wish you all the very best during this difficult time. Creativity, and how it flows is a weird thing; but be sure, it will return.

  • Sarah says:

    Dear Jane, sending love and condolences for your sad loss. Take all the time you need, your readers will be here when you return.

  • Jude says:

    Just beautifully written Jane, thank you. Being ‘professionally single’ (not by choice) I totally agree that ‘men come and go but good friends are for life’.

  • Val says:

    Thankfully I have a good handful of close, long-term friends. But I have found it very difficult when an old friend changes later in life, no longer interested in reciprocity, and focus is only on themselves and their concerns. Ah, life. Thankful for the good friends I have.

  • Sue Evans says:

    Sending bisous Jane x

  • Wendy says:

    My Blog Friend Jane,
    Self care is difficult for women, but very necessary.
    This is also an impossible time of year for anyone who is expected to create the Christmas spirit that others enjoy. You are very wise to be forthright and honest.
    The transformation of sorrow to gratitude is a complicated and painful journey. I wish you well and God speed.

  • Sheelah Fraser says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss Jane, thinking of you xx I understand how you’re feeling right now, after the loss of my Dad and, and just a few weeks after, a very old friend to cancer too, she was too young and left behind three young children, the funeral was heartbreaking. Hard to get motivation together at mo. You are so right, concentrate on those who are so special in our lives, we are so lucky to have them. Take care, S xx

  • Jane says:

    Thanks for your lovely heartfelt comments everyone.

    Lots of love

    Jane x

  • Solar says:

    I found your blog post to be helpful. Thanks, author! Solar

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