Friends by GirlsGospel

This week, Kate on thin ice was focussing on friends and friendship in her best boot forward linky. Despite being too late to link up, I decided I’d join in and use the same bullet points she used in her own post….

Is it important to have friends in your life?

For me, yes – definitely. I don’t have millions of friends, but I have a handful who I know I can trust and depend on. I’d never have survived mentally this past decade without them in my life. Everyone is different though – I think my husband would be happy to go through life without socialising at all, and not maintaining any friendships.

When I was in school, I had a large group of friends, but I wouldn’t have called any of them my best friends – until my final year anyway. My best friend from school and I travelled very different paths, she went off to uni but we still met up, talked and text all the time and went on girly holidays together…

my friend and I in 2002

Until she emigrated in 2010 anyway. She left shortly after I got married and found out I was expecting Sam, and she hasn’t been back to visit since. I know that if she turned up at the door tomorrow though, it would be like the last 8 years haven’t happened. We are both so laid back, we’d quickly fall back into step, laughing and cringing about our adventures. (The photo is us in Kavos in 2002 – we were both just 18 and on an 18-30s holiday). Good times!

Facebook Friends

I have lots of friends I have made on social media. I have met several of them in real life, and a handful have become close friends too. Bex and I (pictured below) chatted on Twitter for years. We finally met up when our daughters were both tiny, and we’ve been inseparable since. She lives 90 miles away, but we still talk every day, meet up as often as we can and have helped each other through some tough times.  We’d never have crossed paths if it weren’t for social media, and I can’t imagine my life without our friendship.

My friend Bex and I 2018

Bex and I managed to sneak off for a spa break recently – you can read all about it in this blog post. The majority of the “social media friends” I haven’t met in real life, I met through blogging or via baby groups when I was expecting back in 2010-2012. Some of them have helped me deal with my son’s Autism diagnosis, my Mum’s death and other problems I’ve encountered in the past 7 years. They have gone above and beyond what I’d expect from “real life” friendships, which somehow made it even more amazing. I for one am a big advocate for making online friends – as long as you do it safely! I’d never just add someone random, and always meet somewhere very public if I do meet them in real life.

What I Want From My Friends

For me, friendship is a two way street. I like to listen to friends’ problems and help them solve them. Meeting up for a brew and a catch up is something else I love to do with friends. I like checking in to see how they are doing, just as much as I like them to return the favour. Personally, I am a firm believer in “a problem shared is a problem halved” and having someone to confide in and moan to about whatever is going on in my world is a huge help to me mentally. I want the same things I give, I guess… Trust, honesty, kindness, empathy. I am extremely lucky to have a group of friends who are all of that and much much more.

mum friendship meme

I met one of my closest friends back in 2000 when I was working in a factory for the summer. We’ve been really close since then. We used to go out most weekends together, and we got married in the same year. I was her chief bridesmaid, she and her hubby to be were the only guests at my wedding. She had twins a few months after my eldest was born, so we shared maternity leave too.

We don’t talk every day now, and we don’t meet up all that much, but I know she would be here the second I asked her to be, and she knows I’d be there for her at the drop of a hat as well. Some people want time with their friends, as much as I’d love us to be able to meet up more than we do, life gets in the way. She works and has 3 kids, I work and have 2 kids – one with special needs. It’s a logistical nightmare trying to meet up. This meme basically sums up our lives….

I have, in the past had to cut people from my life who were definitely not a positive influence. While it was hard at the time, I am a better person for it.

Thinking Positively

I am definitely a social person. The thing I hate most about working from home is the lack of opportunity to socialise. No meeting up at the coffee machine, moaning in the staff room, gossiping over the photocopier.

There are huge perks to working from home too, I  guess… Namely the chance to work from wherever, wearing whatever I want. That includes my PJs, from my bed,in a coffee shop when I need a change of scenery. We can’t have it all ways!

I’m luckier than a lot of people and definitely get more social interaction to keep me ticking over… Even if most of it is via my phone or social media…!