There is SO much information out there about friendships and how to keep them, and reading through all that was certainly more than a one cup job! After finishing my last pot of tea, here's what I have discovered. That most long term friends do the following:
- Support one another, both in words and in actions. "D" has always been there with a big hug, knowing just what to say. And sometimes she hasn't said much at all, just listened.
- Agree to disagree.Yes, we both have different ways of looking at things, which has led to disagreements. But in the end, our caring for each other has always been more important than anything else.
- Have great conversations. Always! About everything and anything! Over the phone, in person, and always where possible, accompanied by a good cup of tea. And I am loving that the internet has now provided us with the ability to share a 'virtual cuppa' whenever we want!
- Share experiences together. "D" and I have shared some many happy and sad things over the years. One time we tried to sneak into a pub when we were 17. We both looked about 12, and were most indignant when we were refused entry. We still laugh about this today!
- Stay in touch. After school finished, "D" moved away, and it was harder to stay connected for us. We talked on the phone when we could, but this was an expensive thing for two poor students. So we wrote letters to each other, pouring out our hearts to the one person that we knew would listen. In fact I have been unable too part with them, and I still have some of these precious pieces packed away.
We might not have been good at doing all of these things all of the time, but here we are, still close friends after all these years. There is no secret. Like using loose leaf tea instead of teabags, long lasting friendships take an investment of time, commitment and understanding. I am so grateful that this month has been Friendship month. It has made me stop, and take the time to appreciate the friendship that "D" and I have shared. It is truely a blessing in my life.