Stroke of Midnight

ways to be a good friend

“Where were you last night when 2013 turned into 2014? Is that where you’d wanted to be?”

Well, let me start by saying that as much as I adore every single person I spent last night with, if there had been an option of living it up with Matthew McConaughey after learning that I am the sole heir to a multi-million pound fortune and discovering a diet pill with no side effects that sucked you into a perfect size 10 no matter what you ate or drank, I would likely have sent my apologies to the White Tie and Tiara New Year’s Eve event at the Mercure Hotel in Brighton and found myself Texas bound. 

No, actually, that’s not true at all. I have THE best friends in the whole history of the world and today, as a new year kicks off, I want to tell them all how wonderful they all.  Look, I’ve even managed to refrain from making a cheeky comment about them bribing me to say said lovely things. Note to self: don’t drive, you’re obviously still drunk.

A new year is time for reflection and I am so very grateful for all of my fabulous friends who have carried me through the past few years. Just to clarify, they did not literally carry me. I eat a lot of cake, to lug me around would not only have been extremely exhausting, it would have caused them some serious physical damage.

Warning: Gloomy (but brief) reminiscing paragraph ahead. The author apologises for this temporary disturbance. Normal service will resume shortly.

Six years ago, my life was very different to the one I live today. I was in a very challenging relationship and I was terribly lonely. There is an author called Deb Caletti who wrote “The loneliness you feel with another person, the wrong person, is the loneliest of all.”  I’m not going to bore you all with tales of my life back then but suffice to say it’s not a time that I like to remember. The only good thing that I can say is that it has made me appreciate friends, family and living so much more than I would have done had I not experienced it, so there is good in everything. It would be wrong to say that I had no friends at that time, but I had fractured friendships with people who I had not kept in touch with or who lived thousands of miles away. It was a very blue time.

Normal service now continues: 

One day I decided that I had to do something to rectify this. To change my life. I started with “Operation: Friendship”. What I had not realised is that making friends as a grown up is much more difficult than as a child. Apparently children make friends by sharing toys but I didn’t think it would be the done thing to ask a work colleague if she fancied coming round to mine for a game of Hungry Hippos or Ker-plunk so I went for the universally recognised adult gesture of friendship and offered her the opportunity to drink vodka with me instead. Fortunately for me, she said yes and we are still friends today. We also still drink alot of vodka. I think that’s just a coincidence though.

Life got better from that moment onwards and I now have a wonderful assortment of marvellous and very special friends. Some I got to see in the new year with last night, some I see every week, some I only see a few times a year (due to our own various commitments, not because I don’t like them) but I am grateful for each and every one of them. Not least because having friends means that I have followers of this blog… erm that’s obviously a very small part of the joy of friendship. I mean, there’s also scientific studies that show that loneliness and lack of social support would lead to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections and a higher mortality rate. I’ve got my own fantidote; which is what happens when you merge your fanclub with your antidote. 

So today, I raise my glass to everyone that I am proud to call a friend. I wish you health, happiness, a continued devotion to reading the JosieJolene blog page of course, and most importantly I hope you always have a friend, even when you think you are alone.

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