But yes, the kids all made it back in school successfully - Chloe even decided to go back to regular school and she's loving it.
In my new found child-free time during the day, I have been able to get out of the house and have some coffee/lunch dates. YAY! During one of my conversations this past week, one of the things we discussed sparked my thoughts and I've been really examining myself as a friend. The friend I was talking to mentioned that she has a hard time making new friends because she's very shy in a new environment. But she also mentioned and I have observed about her that she truly values the friendships that she has and they are very important to her. She seems to nurture her friendships and put a lot of effort into them. That is what got me thinking.
What kind of a friend am I? I have a lot of friends but very few "close" friends. I will say that my husband is definitely my best friend - I really love the conversations we have together. I really feel like we learn a lot from each other and grow together because of each other. I'm very grateful for the relationship we have.
I have lots of theatre friends - "show friends" if you will. People who I have good relationships with truly care about, but don't have much interaction with outside of theatre related events. I keep up with them on facebook and am always happy to see them when I'm out, but I don't necessarily plan to see them. And I am fine with that - I am in a very different place than most of my show friends. Many of them are younger and few have families. I do cherish these relationships and look forward to the time I have with show friends!
But close friends - I have very few. Again, this is fine! I'm not a huge social butterfly and with my family and life, there's no need for that. I do have a group of "show friends" I feel closer to and make time to hang out with. And I have about a handful of friends who I consider close friends, who I can talk to and what not. Of course, my sister is one of those people. We are sisters but we are also friends.
There are some friends that I wish I had closer relationships with, but I'm just now realizing that I need to put more effort into it. As my shy friend told me that she has a hard time making new friends, I realized that I can talk to anyone - I'm good at that initial conversation. It's the followup that I stink at. The introduction is easy, it's the followup when my insecurities fall in. I start to think - why would this person want to be my friend? what if they thought I was annoying? Did I talk about myself too much? Can I trust them? It's from here that my friendships end up growing slowly. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I definitely realize that I need to put more effort out there. I remember myself as a teenager, always feeling sorry for myself when I walked into a room of girls my age and no one asked me to sit by them. I remember expressing that feeling to a church leader who said - why didn't you ask anyone to sit by you? Maybe those other girls were feeling the same way.
I didn't want to believe her - it's always easier to feel sorry for ones self than take responsibility, right? It wasn't until YEARS later when I was talking to a girl I considered to be "popular" in our teenage years that she told me she had the exact same feeling of loneliness and not being accepted by the group as I did that I realized I shouldn't be so hard on myself!
So I guess this is my rather round about way of saying that I am going to be a better friend. To reach out to those I care about and be more supportive and initiate more opportunities to spend time together. I do care deeply about my friends and just need to get over myself a little more. Easier said than done, I know! And to be selective to surround myself with friends who will also be supportive of me and build me up as I do the same for them.
Here's hoping I can continue the writers bug...I have much to share and new projects in the works...YAY!