There have been many posts/blogs on friends and friendships, I am going to add to that long list. I am very lucky to have a great group of close friends who have been together for over 40 years.
The six of us met when working for the same employer, I was just 16. Work acquaintances became work friends became friends outside of work and we have been there for each other ever since, 43 years this January. (Now you know how old I am).
Were possible we went to each other’s engagement and wedding celebrations, sometimes our children's birthday parties. More lately, we go to family funerals to show our on-going support for each other.
When a couple of the group travelled to live in Australia, others followed. When some returned to live in New Zealand the others followed. Now that one is living in the United States we regularly remain in touch and continue our long distance friendship, meeting up whenever possible.
Why does this friendship work, what makes it so strong, and how is it that each of us is still married to our same wife that we met when we all met as friends?
· We are all different. Different upbringing, different interests, different backgrounds, and different ideas. That keeps things interesting every time we meet.
· If we need a hand with anything, we know that we can reach out to any one of our friends or all of them, for help on whatever we need.
· We listen, then we ask, then we support, and finally we suggest. And we do so in that order.
· We meet regularly but not too often. We live quite separate lives and come together every so often to share a meal, tell our stories and often reminisce about the good times and the bad times.
· We share our stories and we share our ideas. Sometimes we might even share our emotions. Mostly, we laugh. Not at each other but with each other. And we never gossip.
· If we want to share, if we want to say something that is important to us, if we just want to be ourselves, we can and do so without fear of being judged or ridiculed.
· Most of all, we are honest with each other and with ourselves. When you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear and you can simply be yourself.
I am truly a lucky man.