My ever changing moods seems to do a lot of talking about friends and friendships. But, that's a good thing!! The older I get, I do treasure my friends and to me, they are like family. Maybe it's because I grew up with very little family or a family in constant chaos so from a young age, I made my friends my family. Anyway, friends are important to me and that is why you will read a lot about celebrating your friends, here.
However, there seems to be a new trend and I think I must have missed the memo. The memo stating that many women of middle age all decided to go back to junior high and start the girl fighting and cattiness, all over again. Or, do I live in a frienship bubble and this has been going on for ages and ages? I don't get it and I hope that it's a trend that meets a quick demise.
I think it is hard for me to understand because first and foremost, I am not a game player. I never have been. I think I was absent on the day when they taught elementary age girls the art of game playing/manipulating/and general pot stirring. Maybe because I grew up in a neighborhood of boys and watched them interact. Boys didn't stab each other in the back or act all catty or hurt their friend's feelings. And if they did, there was a big brawl and it was over in a matter of minutes and hey...best friends, again. I learned to just be nice and walk on. I didn't learn how to go about trying to make every female you come into contact with miserable.
My train of thought, today, comes from a lot of my friends being hurt by so called friends or co-workers or family members. I have had a lot of conversations and emails, recently, from friends who were hurt by another female. I don't get it...why can't people just be friends? You don't have to be best friends forever but what happened to being friendly? Why does everything have to bring out a catfight or a snarkiness or an attitude? Having lived through junior high, I didn't know that you were expected to revisit the trenches in your mid 40s. I didn't know that so many friendships come with a new set of rules that would take a 13 year old girl to explain.
I will admit...I am not the friendship angel. I have had my part in friend breakups. But, usually because I get tired of playing their game or because I didn't have the time to praise/coddle/acknowledge every deed that they did on the 24/7 plan that they needed. It doesn't make me a bad friend and I am the first to step up to a friend in need, a friend who is down, a friend who is mad or a friend who wants to drink a cocktail with me. But, I am probably not the friend who who is going to play the new game of The 40 Year Old Woman As A Junior High Student. I am a good friend and a loyal friend and if you tell me a secret, I will take it with me to the grave. So, why can't that be the new code of conduct for the friendships of the middle age group? Why are so many women so eager to tear their friends down? Is it that hard to just be happy? Is it that hard to just be a friend? No strings, no sucking up...just pure friendship?
I have many groups of friends and many groups of women I am involved with. I cherish these women and I hope that with each friend that they have relationships with, also cherishes them. If we all stopped for one second and just got over ourselves and took a deep breath and looked at the women in front of us, maybe everyone really could just be friends. Or at least friends in your own circle. It has to start somewhere. There needs to be a new memo that goes out and reads...Women Of Their 40s Unite!! Be a friend and not a foe. Give a smile and not a snarl. Walk away instead of whining. Give a hug instead of a catfight. This is the class that needs to be taught and the memo that needs to be sent.
Be a friend who expects nothing in return. Or expect a friendship that enriches and doesn't tear down. Remember, to have friends is to be a friend. A real friend. A real, honest, nice, encouraging friend. In my ever changing moods, my wish for all of my dear friends is that they can eliminate the bad and incorporate the good in their friends. Maybe if instead of trying to duplicate junior high in our mid 40s, we should try to duplicate kindergarten in our 40s. When we learned the real lessons about how friends should be treated. Just think about it...