Reconnecting

Crossword clue:  re-established friendship = 9 letters.

I struggled over this one, doing as many of the ‘down’ words as I could, attempting to add more letters in to see what the word was.  All I could get was the ‘re’ part.

Then a day or so later, in conversation with my husband, he mentioned reconnecting and the word clicked.  A re-established friendship was to reconnect.

We’ve all got friends who we haven’t seen for ages, sometimes years, that we would like to reconnect with.  All too often we leave it too late, and then its time to go to a funeral.  In many cases we catch up with old friends at funerals, and I’m sure if I could be a fly at a wake, one sentence I’d hear repeatedly would be “We must catch up soon!”

How often I’ve said those words, but then not really made the effort to actually do it.  Then  feel regret when it is too late.  This seems to often be the case with relatives, not immediate family but those a little removed and who may live some distance away.

Recently at my father-in-laws funeral, we caught up with cousins we hadn’t seen since the last uncle died, a year before.  It was lovely seeing them again, as it had been the last time, but sad too, that we wait until someone actually dies before we get to talk again.

As Ross and I have recently ‘semi-retired’ we have decided to make an effort, now that we have more time, to get in touch with old friends and reconnect.  So, with that in mind, we have started the process by holding a dinner party for a small number and use that time to catch up on all thats been happening in their lives.

Last Saturday night we had the first one, and it was great.  There were no awkward silences, we all picked up pretty much as we’d left off.  We had all spoken to each other over the past few years, but mostly in passing and  not real conversations.  We had fun, no-one really wanted to go home, so that was a hit, one we will repeat in a few months time.  Although with that group it will probably be to play cards together, which was something we used to often do when our children were very young.  Another thing we did when the kids were little was to hold progressive dinner parties, so nobody had to go to too much trouble and we all had a turn.  Or a ‘pot-luck’ tea, where each family would bring a part of the meal, once again minimising the amount of work by combining our efforts.  They used to be such fun, and didn’t cost much either.

Now we are planning the next gathering, be it dinner party or bar-b-que, it will be fun to reconnect with more old friends.

So reconnecting has become somewhat of a challenge, one that we are embracing wholeheartedly.

Do you have anyone that you’d like to reconnect with?  Friends, family, former neighbours, schoolmates?

Will you do anything about it?

Friends … Family …

Friends – we’ve all got them. Some of them are better than others, but most of us can confidently say that we have friends.

The dictionary describes a friend as “a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile.”

They are there to support you when you need them, but I guess over the years I’ve certainly had some friends who were hostile! Maybe that’s why they really aren’t on my friends list now – ha ha!

Then there are the friends we have on social media – all those friends on Facebook. Do you ever find yourself browsing through that list of friends and wondering who some of those people are? I know I have, and I’ve asked myself why I accepted that friend request in the first place. Just because they were friends with several of my friends, doesn’t mean that they should be on my list. Although, perhaps it is flattering to have someone want to see what you post?

A teenager may boast of having a vast number of ‘friends’, but they aren’t all true friends. Friendship can’t be counted in numbers; it’s really by the deeds.

Periodically I sort through and quietly move some of those ‘friends’ off the list.I mean, really do they know my family and do they need to know when my grandson got his license?Are they really interested that I made my first batch of mozzarella cheese yesterday? It was good fun too – I’m looking forward to doing it again someday, despite the recipes saying it takes thirty minutes – I took most of the afternoon!

Anyway, back to friends. I have a number of people I feel proud to call my friends. Some I’ve had for years. You know, the ones that you seem to lose track of when you move and then you see them again and it’s like you were just talking to them yesterday. They’re the ones I value.

Then there are the ones that are there in a crisis. I had some amazing friends around me when Kelly died. I still have them. The neighbors’ who had become good friends – the ones who I’d shared many a glass of wine with over the years. They were there for us when we needed them, doing the little things that you can’t think of when you are shell-shocked with new grief. That’s friendship.

Or the ones like my Wednesday coffee friends, who are there for you whatever the crisis is in your life. They dispense advice, give great hugs, and sit there sipping their coffee or tomato juice just listening to you pour it all out.

When I’m in need of a shoulder to lean or cry on, I think of my friends, and I ask myself “have I been a good friend to them too?’

A good test of friendship is in those times you really need a friend and that person is there to support you. I’m sure we’ve all had ‘friends’ who disappeared when the times got tough. Or the odd ‘hostile’ one.

We now have a new buzzword, it’s been around for some time although it’s not in all the dictionaries yet. I’ve no doubt it will be in time.

It is ‘framily’. When I first heard it I thought that someone had made a slip of the tongue, but no, it is real. My spellcheck doesn’t like it, but I think it’s a great word.

The Macmillan dictionary defines it as “A new social group underpinned by the principles that good friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.”

 I know that I have a wonderful framily surrounding me, supporting me and loving me – and I love them back too. xxx