Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friendships shift and old and new mingle and some get left behind

For the last few years I have had a shift in interests and with that always comes a shift in friendships. Some lose interest in my new interests and others come to me because of my new interests. Every year for the last 42 years (minus last year as I was in Provincetown) my birthday (Halloween) brings my different friends together for my annual party. Since it is Halloween it has become a tradition to invite all my friends over for the same food and same type of cake (Hansen's) each and every year. Most actually look forward to catching up once a year. My neighborhood of course comes with their kids and my new friends mix with old ones. My old friends are always amused where and how I have found these new faces every year. This year will be no exception, but I digress.

As I tend to do when it comes to evites, I am always interested to see who makes the list. And there in lies my contemplation. In the last few weeks I have found that some relationships don't warrant the invitation anymore as the friendship has not been held up by both ends. I tend to really work at my friendships but as I have gotten older, if I am the only one doing the work, I have let those friendships lapse and there has not been any real consequences. But every once in a while, I am thrilled when we reconnect and it was like yesterday, even though it could have been 15 years ago that we spoke. This has happened this year with both losing and gaining friends and reconnection. I marvel at the ability to catch up with great friends and come to a space where we forgot what drove us apart and rejoice in the catching up and the new/old friendship.

Finding Facebook and developing friendships of the unknown and unseen, other than through words only, is an amazing growth of social media for me. When I traveled last year to meet some of the writers I have connected with on Facebook, and from it was a most remarkable experience. Some of the friendships will now stand the test of time while others were a moment in time and will be just a passing memory.

I have had a lover/friendship/friends with benefits/friends without benefits for 13 years with someone I loved on and off for the entire time. But the end of the run has come and we have not seen or talked in 7 weeks. Today a letter came for him at my house (he has his golf address at my house) and I opened it to see if it needed to be sent to him. It did so I placed it in another envelope and sent it on it's way. No note, no greeting, no nothing and this made me think how much I do or don't miss the interaction. In the beginning I waited for that call, that email, that text as there was still unfinished business, but as the weeks went on (and I have done this a few times with him for longer lengths of time than have passed to date), I began to let go. I no longer had the urge to talk to him and all the worries I had about him started to subside and I knew I could do this. I have felt healthier (other than my summer cold) and clearer of mind. My anxiety level has gone to almost zero (other than children and grandchildren issues which will be forever), I have been at peace. I have filled my time reading and taking myself out to dinner and plays and on adventures,a ll of wish he would not have loved. I am very comfortable going by myself to places. I talk to those seated next to me and I am fine. 13 years is a long time and not make decisions about the future. I knew from day one this was not "the one" but as time went on and we really, really learned so much about each other, the connection was very real. I feel a loss as I did when a friend would disappear. But in the end, if it is to be, it will be manifest as right and brilliant and joyful and shinning. The 13 years were not all of that and mostly it was me trying to make something right that wasn't. I never could adjust to what was and wished for something else not even knowing what that was to begin with.

This week cemented those feelings as I had misgivings with one and trust. Another I was an intermediary trying very hard to see all sides with feelings hurt on one person's part as I tried to explain the others points of view. Reminded me of my mediation days and how unless one looks at oneself conclusions can be reached that are misunderstood (happens with my sons, more than I would like). They think I misconstrue their words and I think they don't hear what I hear. Probably somewhere in the middle with all of us. We always straighten it out because we are family. That is not always the case when it is not family and the ties are not through blood or continuance.

So there you have it. I am in such a fabulous place. I am blessed to love my life, having very little drama and not much in the negative sense. I am blessed to have friends from all walks of life who will stand up to me, next to me and by my side. I work hard at my friendships and am rewarded everyday with kindness and love.

I met a total stranger at a documentary screening with my friend Keisha. We then went to meet them for drinks and conversation. He is an independent director in NYC. I wrote him an email telling how delightful it was to meet him and his buddies and if I got to NYC I would look him up and would look forward to meet his wife, another creative person. This is the email I received back.He is from Germany so his English is a little halting.

Hey Madge,

Sooo awesome to meet u guys. Sorry I was a bit running around the last two days. 
Please keep in touch. You are a bright shining star and keep doing what ur doing. Fun night out too. It's true though...lately I've been very frustrated with what's happening in this many political and social ways...and you are truly giving me hope. ;)

Best Wishes to you and your family. Please let me know when u are in NY!


What could be better than giving someone hope!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Madge, such a great post. Anyone who is a friend of yours -- including me -- is very lucky to have you in their life. xo

  2. Thanks Lois. I miss you and we are definitely going to set a date.

  3. I have had this topic on my mind also. Friendships come and go. I agree that life brings us changes. Social media has changed the way I see friendships, yet in my everyday life, sometimes things change.

    I think it is fabulous that you are so comfortable doing things on your own. I am proud of you!!

  4. Thanks Carol. I have gone places by myself a lot and traveling also. I like to only have to worry about me and go when I want to rather than when others want to.

  5. Hey Madge, Loved your post. Thanks for being brave and opening up for public consumption. Kate

  6. Thanks Kate for your kind comments.

  7. Very interesting topic. I guess not too many things remain static. We change, THEY change, times change and it's reflected in who we hold close, near and far.

  8. So true Valerie. Thanks for commenting and your friendship.

  9. You ain't-a-gonna git away from me that eas-a-ly. I got a freezer full of road kill and I'm a gonna send it yer way fer yer nest party. Us people here in Winters California sure does love you.

  10. Thanks Donald for all your kind words. You are not on the list for elimination.