Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 7...

This week's prompt is:

A friend.

This topic was difficult for me. I'm almost 40 now, and frankly, my best friends are my husband and my kooky old mother. But I write enough about them....so I had to expand my search a little.

Friendship is a strange, fickle beast. I have friends I no longer talk to, but still love like I see them every day. And I have friends that I talk to all the time, but don't feel all that connected to at all. It's just casual. Airy-fairy, and such.

I have a small handful of friends that I've maintained over the years, and a few friends who are fairly new to the fold.

Some friendships have waxed and waned and some have moved on. And surprisingly, I'm okay with that. The fact is, sometimes friendships change, and sometimes people change. I know I have. What I like/don't like, what I'll tolerate/won't tolerate, what I want/don't want from a friendship has evolved over time. The older I get, the smaller my circle becomes, and for that I'm grateful. I would rather have a tight group of trustworthy friends than a wide circle of toxic ones. Wouldn't you?

I guess growing older has made me look at friendship with more realistic eyes. I no longer set my sights really high, expecting the types of friendships that rock my world, and move mountains. I now enjoy the small, peaceful friendships that ebb and flow in my life, enjoying them while they're great, and smiling fondly after they've fizzled.

I think age makes me see friendships for what they are. They're happy little blessings that come and go in your life. Little gifts from our Heavenly Father, to encourage us to press forward and keep our chin up. They don't always have to end in matching tattoos and cars going off of the side of the Grand Canyon, a'la Thelma & Louise. They can also be that one person you get an email from a couple times a year, who makes you smile and think, It's so nice to know she still cares.

Any higher expectation than that--not that that's all I have, mind you--is unrealistic.

So I decided to go with a friend I've had for years, and hope to have for many more. She's patient, and kind, and maternal, and loving. She tolerates my inadequacies--which are in abundance--and never seems to hate me, despite my obvious flaws. She makes me laugh, and laughs even when I'm not very funny. She loves my children like her own and I love hers like my own. She is my "in case of emergency" contact. She makes me want to be a better wife, mom, and woman. She shares my love/hate relationship with camping with ALL our kids, and gives me goodies to snack on when I'm down. She and I share an eye-rolling relationship when it comes to our goofy husbands, and she looks at motherhood with very realistic goggles, which I SO appreciate in this world of Pinterest and pretending that we're all freaking perfect. She is also a spiritual inspiration to me.

I'm forever grateful for her.

Her name is Amelia. And I think she's wonderful.


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