Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Recurring Theme

There are a number of topics that I know I have written quite a bit about. Pain — from broken toes, strained backs, and water polo. Life goals — how I'm not very good at setting them, or following through on them, or even remembering them. Writing — of course, 'cause that's what I do every day, and what I'm trying to figure out how to do for life.

But the subject I want to touch on today is the value of friends, especially old. Often when I am thinking about something to write about, I search old posts to make sure I'm not repeating myself. Today, though, I know that I am most definitely repeating myself. I searched the blog for posts that contained the word "friends". I got to fifty before I gave up and stopped counting. That's more than 10% of my writing!

I have a lot of friends, from the many different stages of my life and it's hard to keep in touch with them all. (That must be why facebook is so popular. As my niece said, "It's a way to communicate without actually interacting." When I repeated that to my sister, she replied, "Isn't that the same as your blog?" Which it is, I guess.)

That being said, however, in our latest trip to Europe, my honey and I had the excellent fortune to connect with some really good friends. We've known all of them for over twenty years. Two of them from International House, one I played water polo with at Berkeley, and one friend was someone my mother and stepdad met backpacking through Mexico twenty-nine years ago this summer.

Although I've written before about the special joy of hanging with old friends, I feel like I need to write about it one more time. (After all, it's been more than six months since I wrote on that topic.) I want all my friends, old and new, to know how much I appreciate their presence in my life.

Just some of the activities we enjoyed with our friends on our recent trip: eating dinner, drinking a beer, enjoying summer pie, playing croquet, meeting their children, touring museums and towns, seeing their workplaces, learning new games, marvelling at their different customs (Danish graduation rituals, I'm talking about you!), and generally just hanging out together.

I am in awe at just how comfortable these relationships continue to be. And how wonderful and welcoming our friends were. They picked us up at airports and train stations, cooked for us, welcomed us into their homes, and saw us off after our visit was over.

Our conversations ranged wide and far. We talked about our shared experiences in the past, the World Cup, Danish history, economics, American politics, the Gruffalo books, Swiss taxes, scuba diving, and the future. And I want to continue the conversations that we started, but were unable to finish due to the lack of time.

It's hard not to gush about how brilliant my friends are. But what I have realized as I have struggled with trying to express what I feel about my friends, is that the genius of all friends is how amazing they are. And that thought helps me to understand why I feel so upbeat in my life.

Yes, life can be a struggle, and my life hasn't always happened the way I wanted it to, but my wonderful family and friends have always been there for me. Sometimes right beside me, often in the background, and at times so far away I could barely see them. But no matter where they are, my friends support me in being me and figuring out life positively.

So thanks to all my friends and family for all that you do and all that you are. I love all of you!

1 comment: