Today is International Women’s Day, and I’d like to say a special thank you to all the women in my life for their friendship, love and support. Life just wouldn’t be the same without you.
We hear a lot about women being strong and invincible, but sometimes we are vulnerable, sad and lonely, and these are often the times when our friends really show their true worth.
A good friend (male or female), who sticks by you through thick and thin, and who listens without judgement when times are tough, is worth a thousand people telling you you’re amazing. I hope you have some people like this in your life to cheer you on.
I think there’s far too much emphasis on being amazing. We don’t all need to be extraordinary, sometimes just being ordinary is enough. Sometimes doing the dishes and looking after the kids and getting through the day is enough. Many people would like to think they are making a difference in the world, but they think they need to do something remarkable. I think just holding things together is remarkable enough. Just being a good friend is enough.
I love this quote…
“All you can do is face the world with quiet grace and hope you make a sliver of difference. You must trust that you being the best possible you matters somehow, that being an attentive and generous friend and citizen will prevent a thread or two of the social fabric from unravelling.”
When my mother died four years ago, I felt like I’d lost a good friend as well as a mother. She was my greatest supporter, along with my husband and kids. I used to think that this was par for the course and just part of being a mother, but I’ve since realised that not everyone has this experience. I think everyone needs a cheerleader in their lives, someone to listen to you, even when you are being unreasonable, someone to tell you to keep going when things aren’t going well.
When I was in my late fifties, my mum sent me a stanza from a poem enclosed in a birthday card. The poem about being an adventurer in the world and was scribbled out on a scrap of paper in her usual fashion. She was forever recycling bits of paper and envelopes, sometimes you even got second-hand birthday and Christmas cards.
My mum was a very unsentimental person and would frequently give away birthday and Christmas gifts within moments of receiving them, sometimes while you were still in the room, so when she sent me that scrap of a poem, I loved it because I knew it meant that she understood that I was struggling with getting older and wondering what was left for me. She wanted me to know that everything would be okay and that there were plenty of adventures yet to come.
I still miss her very much, but since she’s been gone, I’ve developed a much closer relationship with my eldest sister who lives 2,000 kilometres away on the other side of Australia. I have two older sisters and a younger brother, and we all get along really well, but my eldest sister and I have gotten much closer in the last few years. She moved out of home when I was in my early teens and we have rarely lived in the same city in the past forty years, but these days we email or message one another several times a week. We share thoughts, dreams and frustrations. We talk about our mum, swap recipes, and complain about our sore backs and stiff shoulders. We frequently make unkind comments about “stupid people”. She badgers me about whether or not I’m writing (I asked her to) and always comments on my blog posts, even when they aren’t very remarkable.
I’m grateful for all my siblings, but it’s especially wonderful to have a sister who doesn’t judge you and is interested in the most mundane aspects of your life. It makes the loss of my mother easier to bear, and I’m so glad we’ve reconnected. Here’s to you Bev!
In a previous post I mentioned a book by Emily Gould that I was planning to read called Friendship, so I thought I’d report back and say that I did read this book and it was quite different to what I expected, but very enjoyable.
Written for a target audience of thirty-somethings, it explores the friendship between two women who are caught up in their own lives and in trying to make their way in the world. They are trying to work out what they really want and what they really stand for. Ultimately it’s about the choices we all make and how much we truly value our friendships.
It’s both funny and sad in places, and it made me think a lot about my friends and whether or not I’ve been a good friend. I’m sure that I’ve probably failed on a few occasions, but the lovely thing about real friends is that forgive you when you fail and they accept you for who you are.
My friends are incredibly important to me, so if any of you are reading this blog, this message is for you. Thanks for being part of my life.
I’m not sure how this post fits with the general theme of this blog, but they say that if you want to improve your writing, you should read well-written books and this book certainly fits into that category. It’s a nice read.