On Friendship

Recently, I’ve been mulling over the idea of friendship and what it means to me. We’ve all been on a roller coaster of emotions lately with the pandemic, social unrest, economic hardships. No one on earth is exempt from that, and we’re all under stress.

And I am grateful for each and every friend I have.  I am an introvert by nature and making true connections is hard for me. I can be sociable and have lots of friendly acquaintances, but my true friends are a small bunch.

I also know that our friendships are not fixed, but mutable. I like to think I’ve never stopped growing as a person. I’m always learning more about who I am, my talents, gifts, and flaws. There are so many flaws. I have made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and continued on with friendships I’ve had since my high school days and even before.

But I have also learned that sometimes we grow apart. That as we and others evolve as humans, we move in different directions. Things change and I realize  we don’t have the same ideals, the same passions, the same beliefs that drew us together in the first place. It’s sad, to let go of a friendship you’ve put a lot of effort into, but there is also a peace in releasing that which no longer serves you, or makes you happy. My husband speaks the truth when he says, “People will move in and out of your life, and that’s okay.”

That said, I would never willingly throw away a friendship I thought was salvageable. I know friendships take work and sacrifice. But if I feel the scale is out of balance, if I am the only one making an effort, then maybe it’s time to reconsider what is real. I will not tolerate contempt, or abuse, or indifference. That has no place in my world.

It does make me sad when a friendship ends. Whether it’s abrupt or I had seen it coming for some time,  it doesn’t matter: there is a presence of grief. But there are memories too, memories of good times spent laughing and enjoying each other’s company. I can carry those with me even if the person is no longer in my life.

I do know that there are still many new people I have to meet, there are many days of laughter and making new memories ahead of me. And it has happened in the past that friends I thought I had lost forever have come back, and we’re all the stronger for it. (I’m looking at you, Paula and Jodi.) Trust can be rebuilt if both parties are willing to let go of the hurtful deeds and words from the past. Sometimes time does heal wounds.

Friendship is what you put into it. Both sides need to give in order for it to work. Otherwise it’s just you alone out there, giving away kindness into the void. And kindness, while infinite, should be spent on people who want to be part of your life.

Christmas Goodies

We had a nice Christmas. It was quiet–just my husband and my parents, but we had a relaxing couple of days. We watched movies (Holiday Inn and To Catch a Thief), opened presents, and just generally enjoyed each others company.

But you want to know about the loot, right?

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This was my gift from Kosta: a Pelikan fountain pen. It is so beautiful, writes so smooth, and totally gave my inner office supply nerd a real thrill. (Yes, that kind of thrill.) I am waiting for a little sleeve I bought from Zenok Leather on Etsy so that it doesn’t get damaged rattling around in my purse. My Mom and Dad gave me monnogrammed notecards and now I want to write everyone thank you letters. So do something nice for me so I can send one, will you?

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Ignore the eggnog Frappuccino. This was one of the things I gave Kosta. For those of you who don’t know about Greek culture, this is a set of worry beads called “komboloi.” (You pronounce it Comb-BOW-loy)If you’ve ever been to Greece you will have no doubt seen mostly men fiddling with these, swinging them around their fingers, etc. Every time we go to Greece he can’t stop buying different sets. So why, you ask, another set? Because last time we were in a shop in Delphi and he was debating between a solid silver set and an amber and silver set. He chose the all silver but I think he regretted it. I found a shop on Etsy called The Beaded Garden (from Athens, no less) and found a silver and amber set. He adores them, I don’t mind mentioning.

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Since I found out just how much Kosta spend on my fountain pen (GULP) I felt I needed to get him something else. A month or so ago he saw this pair of coffee mugs on Etsy (oh how we do love Etsy!) and he could not stop laughing about them. They came from Ruddy Waters Pottery. They were a little expensive, but hello, PEN, so I bought them. He went back a few weeks ago to look at them again and saw they had sold and he was disappointed. So wasn’t he surprised when he opened these beauties:

2015-12-30 06.51.44His and Hers ugly mugs. Graciously, he is letting me use the one on the left. I call her Three-Tooth Tillie. They are our new Sunday morning mugs. Yes, we have Sunday morning mugs. We are weird. But if we ever get rich, we’ll merely be eccentric.

Did you get any goodies you want to share?