Last week, I had lunch with a friend whose husband is ill. She is now his full time care taker. I listened to how her days are filled with caring for someone else around the clock. I asked her if she has any time for herself, and she said that everyone keeps asking her what she is doing for her. I responded by saying that we are sitting having lunch together, and that is something. I read an article about how self care sometimes can actually be the thing that gives us even more stress, because there is this pressure to cut out time for ourselves, and sometimes the circumstances of the timing in our lives doesn't allow much time for crocheting, sushi making, or silent retreats, just to name a few.
I have many things I would like to try. I have many classes I would like to take. I have many movies I would like to see, but while my free time is filled up, I want to concentrate on how to spend what time I do have wisely. I have been reading up a lot lately on relationship drama on elementary and middle school between girls, and our school even held a workshop for parents on the subject. After learning tools to support my daughter with difficulty in her friendships, I began to look at some of mine. I thought about the language I learned to give my daughter to use, and realized that I don't have these tools in my arsenal for myself. I have relationships with some people, that drain me, and I don't deal with them well, or sometimes, I don't deal with them at all.
I went away for the night with two long time friends this week. We were away together for less than 24 hours, but it was so refreshing. The three of us have known each other for so long. We have all gone through so much, and have a level of comfort with each other that only comes with time. We talked about how our circles of people in our day to day lives has changed, making it harder to see one another as much. We made up for lost time, and covered a lot of ground in this visit though. I value the friendship with these two women so much, that it was hard not to see that a good friend should really make you feel a certain way when you are with them. I came home evaluating other relationships, and that in conjunction with the tools for how to deal with friendship hiccups, made me feel well aware of the contrast between friends that fill me up, and friends that deplete me.
No one friend is going to be everything to me. I have friends that make me laugh. I have friends that I always learn something new from. I have friends whose drive inspires me. I have friends who know how to party. I have friends who are incredible artists. I have friends who only fall into one of these categories, and some who fit into all. When other elements to friends show up, that don't make it a comfort to be around, I need to take pause. Just like I am learning tools to fill up my daughter's arsenal, I need to fill up mine a bit too.