Sunday, January 30, 2011

All That We Let In*

One of my goals for the year is to connect more with family and friends.

I set myself this goal because over the last few years of this illness, I have been unable to maintain my previous level of socialising and there have been a number of consequences for this:
  • Friends have given up on me because I was unable to maintain my level of involvement in their life. So they have simply gone away (with the requisite unfriending on facebook!)
  • Others have simply not kept in touch, but are happy to catch up when our paths cross
  • Others initially made attempts to keep in touch, but this contact dropped off as time wore on
  • THEN, there are the friends who have been able to accept my illness and it's limitations. This has resulted in ongoing and deepening friendships. 
This time for me has been one of learning who my friends really are. Now I know friendships come in all different shapes and sizes, and that we maintain friendships with different people for different reasons. However, what has become clear to me is I need to spend time with friends who understand I haven't changed as a person, what has changed, is my ability to do certain things.

So what has tended to happen over particularly the last year when things have been quite tough at times, is that my beautiful real friends have continued to contact me regardless of my lack of initiating contact. In spite of the fact that many times I have agreed to do things with them and then cancelled at the last minute. These are my family of choice - the friends who I will love till I die, and the friends who I know I can count on through it all. I hope they believe the same of me!

Friday night I was due to meet a couple friends in the city. One of the girls had to cancel, so it ended up being just the 2 of us. We began the night with some Moet in her apartment in town accompanied by nibbles after which we went out for a yummy dinner, then back to hers for a nightcap.

The great thing about this night - apart from the view -

 of the bay...

 of etihad stadium...

of the convention centre...

was that we picked up where we had left off the last time, and covered a range of topics both serious and not so serious; we laughed until we almost cried; we commiserated with each other, we told fabulous stories and generally talked non stop for hours.

This night reminded me of a number of things that have been missing in my life since this illness. FUN FUN FUN!!!

I was filled with resolve about ensuring I meet my goal this year, and fill my life with friends, laughter and fun. I will make an effort to connect. After all, I am such a believer in community and social connectedness, and I cannot believe I did not think to apply this to myself!

I'm off to make sure I write down on my weekly plan a regular time to connect with the important people.

Today's song title is to one of my favourite songs and the message is that we are better for the people we hav in our life, and I totally agree that without my partner, my friends, my family of choice and my actual family, I would not be the person I am today. I am blessed in my life to know love and to have connections with other people.

 ... And the greatest gift of life is to know love
I don't know where it all begins
And I don't know where it all will end
We're better off for all that we let in
*All That We Let in - Indigo Girls

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