Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friends

Bear with a musing post please :)

Billy remarked to me the other day "I keep losing friends".  I asked him what he meant and he said "like I used to be friends with x but I'm not anymore, and now I don't see y and z either".  He was referring partly to how he's recently changed from Joeys to Cubs and left some of the younger kids behind, and how some kids that played Auskick last year aren't playing this year, but also to how as his interests have changed, he no longer finds things in common with some kids that he used to.

It started me musing on my friendships.  I read a quote years ago that has stuck with me - "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime".  I just googled it and found out is part of a poem - you can read the entire thing here.

Are you a person who has lots of friends, or just a select few?  Pete is likely to class anyone as a friend that he's known for a small period of time - especially if they have a beer together!  I'm more particular - I only have a few people that I class as close friends; in fact I can count them on one hand.  Two of them I've never met in real life but I'm just as close to them as my real life friends.  Possibly even closer, because I tend to share more in email than face to face.  My close friends are ones that I feel like I can share anything with - it might be months before we catch up but when we do its just like we were never apart.  They are from all aspects of my life but with all of them there was a connection as soon as we started talking.  These are my lifetime friends.

I also have about half-a-dozen people that I would class as friends, but not close friends - they're mainly other homeschooling mums because that's my social circle these days :) They're ones that I seek out when we're in the same group because I enjoy their company, we might send the odd email or have the occasional get-together outside of those activities, but there's not the same level of intimacy as with my close friends.  If they moved on or we moved on, the friendship would more than likely peter out.  These are my season friends, and in some cases, my reason friends. 

Outside of that I have a lot of people I class as acquaintances.  People I know casually, chat with when we see each other, or even people I just know by sight to smile and say hi to. 

What about you?  A few or lots?

13 comments:

Stuff On My Blog said...

I'm with you.. I have acquaintances.. but VERY few real Friends. And honestly, I like it that way ;) I'm all about quality over quantity anyway hehehe

Risa said...

I think I end up with more "season" or "reason" friends, and not many long-term friends. I consider that unfortunate, as I would like more long-term friends. But then, I tend to change my interests and lifestyle as I struggle to lead "an examined life" often off the beaten path.

libby said...

I definitely don't have a lot of real-life friends these days. The ones I've made at school have started fizzling out as I become more of a homebody and neither side has maintained contact. One have one best friend - whom I've known since I was 5 (and lives an hour away). I have one good local friend but I hardly see her anymore these days either. It honestly doesn't worry me. I have LOTS of wonderful internet friends, like yourself, so I never feel lonely.

Libby

Butterfly said...

That's interesting to think about. I might need a month of reflection before I have any hope of knowing the answer! But I feel like trying. It's brave and interesting to bring this up, I reckon.

I have very little contact with any school or work friends, and none from uni. There are a handful of people who REALLY know me, or they don't know me but our minds click and we could about LTUAE (life the universe and everything) forever, even though I see some of them only once every few years.

I highly value my season and reason friends, and use most of my social energy maintaining these relationships. They're the ones who share the everyday experiences with us and understand part of where I'm at now, without needing to know where I used to be. Some of these, home ed. and online contacts, may turn out to be long-term friends ... only time will tell.

My family are the only ones I could definitely count on if my world was turned upside down. Pete, Mum, Dad, my brothers and my huge extended family who are loyal and loving, connected by elastic which stretches far and comes back close, but never breaks.

And there's my spiritual family, spirit-filled people in my church, worldwide, who I know well or am yet to meet, that's another dimension and very important to me ... we have a shared experience, and an instant bond regardless of age, job, or society.

You know you'll never get simple answers from me!
I like that your question wasn't simple.

:) Vanessa

Louise said...

I have a few close friends, some rinds, and lots of acquaintances.

jugglingpaynes said...

You've made some wonderful points here. I tend to feel like the word "friend" is tossed around a lot in the virtual world but I see friendship the way you do. Your true, in-it-for-life friends are the ones that you can just pick up with even if you haven't seen them for a while.

I would add that your friends are also people you can be quiet with. You don't feel like you need to fill the conversational lags and with meaningless chatter. On the other hand, you can tell them anything. You may even get angry with them, because you know that that won't end the relationship.

My best friend is my husband. We've known each other for twenty years and we fell in love when we first became friends. Like your son, I considered him my friend from the start! :o)

Peace and Laughter,
Cristina

Suji said...

I agree a lot with Vanessa. And this is a brave post! I'm taken aback to see how astute B is about this happening and how odd that it is something I have been thinking about a lot lately too.

Will likely post about this soon after I've really thought it out.

katepickle said...

I'm a 'few' person too...

I have a couple of very close friends - that even distance hasn't altered. A nice inner circle of close friends - though I imagine as circumstances change for us and our children grow older we all my move one. I have a great group of friends and lots of people I know, but like you, if things changed we'd move on without incident...

mum+dad=akira and linkin and elijah said...

I've never been someone who had lots of friends and like B I have wondered what I was doing to cause this.

As I have grown older and wiser though I have come to realise that it is more important to me to have a handful of friends that are like minded and who I can truly be myself around then have lots and lots of friends who I have to be a different person around.

I'm sure if I wasn't such a recluse and put some more effort into making friends then I would have more than a handful!!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Very good thoughts! I have to go, and read that poem.

I like the thought of seasonal friends - I have a number of those, and even more acquaintances, but only a few close friends, and probably only one, other than my husband, that I'd count as a lifetime friend. I feel fortunate to have her, and am always wondering if my children will find the same type of friendship in life.

Renelle said...

Wow, well I have to say my real and closest friends would have to be my family(which is quite large) who will love me regardless and a few church and bible study friends. I'm only just getting to know homeschool families but feel you can never have too many friends as long as their not high maintenance!! Always alot of acquaintances. I find that some people I naturally open up to and sometimes it takes a long time til I feel safe. Anyway I've awarded you the Sunshine Award for being an inspiring blogger so visit www.dovesrest.blogspot.com to claim your award or just to see. Blessings, Renelle

Korina said...

I know a lot of people but have hardly any long term true friends.... probably doesn't help that I have moved around a lot...... I'm all for the season friends and sometimes they become long term friends..... everyone has a reaosn for being in your life I suppose..... even if it is just to tick you off! lol
:-)

junespider said...

Great post Kez! Definitely has left me with a few things to think about. I'm of the group that has very few friends, but they are very close. Some friends I've had for many years, but most are kind of an ebb and flow thing.
I've often thought about this type of thing though,as quite a few of my close friends are the type of people that have lots and lots of friends. I've often wondered if just like in relationships, if opposites in the friendship realm was also a good thing for the most part. I shall continue to ponder.:-)