Are you always a friend? Are you always understanding? When your friend hasn't called in two months, do you start to think maybe she's avoiding you? Or do you have the opposite problem... a friend who calls daily to chat when you're busy?
I'd like to talk today about the limits of friendship. We all have them, but maybe we've subscribed to the idea that if we're *really* a friend, we'll put up with quite a bit. And that may be true. Perhaps more likely, though, we haven't outlined for ourselves where our true limits lie.
In the past, I've let friendships die when I've figured out that our priorities are different or that *I* have a problem with gossiping around a certain person, etc. Occasionally it has nothing to do with the other person! I'd perhaps not call as frequently or allow busy-ness to settle in. I've a feeling sometimes this friendship weaning is a mutual process with no hard feelings, as we're happy to see one another again (or at least pretend to be happy) when we bump into one another around town.
It's the grey areas that are difficult to negotiate. I think, though, that it's very theoretical. I've had friends over, though, at least twice in the last year. I just don't think I have close friends at present. I homeschool during the day, attend church and go grocery shopping. That's it. I imagine that other ladies in my situation (having several children, or autistic children) are isolated as well. It's not as though we can all get together for play group. It's not as though our husbands aren't already stressed out and not particularly keen on our finding and expending ENERGY on keeping a new friend.
I'm able to drop by your place anytime, though, if I have your internet address. And the thing with internet friendships is that our personalities don't get in the way. You can read my THOUGHTS and I can read yours. You don't get hung up on the fact that I dress sloppily and am overweight. Or that my kids jump all over people and hug them while they discuss their life stories. You can't get a word in edgewise if you come to my house, be warned!!
Or maybe you figure out you hate my thoughts and move on to another blog and vice-versa. That's ok. With internet friends, the exterior is mostly gone, though I *do* have a pretty nice template provided by Blogger. You know, plain, simple... and I added a dash of colour to the title. Not too busy or cutesy.
Another thing with internet friends is that you don't have to worry AS much about boundaries. I'm probably really busy while you're reading this, but you go ahead and read it at your leisure, and in your own time, and leave me a comment when you jolly well feel like it. You won't inconvenience me by "calling" right now. I will check my messages later and come back when YOU are busy with other things and comment at your place.
What did we ever do before internet?
Well, I **still** have a penpal I've been keeping in touch with for about 12 years now. She has a daughter a day younger than G. Every few months I will get a long letter in my mailbox. That's pretty nice, too.
Have a great day and God bless ya!