Friendship, Priorities and Lunch

January 22, 2017

It’s enough to balance career, home, relationships and all the attendant life stuff that eats our hours. What falls aside? The woman you were, the friends you have, the time when we’re most ourselves.

3 minute read

I don’t know when this happened, but I find myself this year on the cusp of my birthday, doing again what I’ve done one or two years in a row now: reading a ‘motivation’ book at night, pasting important things to remember at my bedside, and using the word gratitude to myself in my head (even in my head it feels wrong if you know anything about my general countenance).

It’s my annual reckoning I figure. Others seem to use Jan 1. Happily, I thought I’d avoided that schtick, Here I am however, fessing up, joyfully embracing all that which is about looking at myself with my readers on, and assessing exactly how that’s shaping up.

I’m rereading Shondra Rimes _My Year of Yes_. You may know who she is, she writes and produces a bunch of ‘Must See’ (her words) on one of the networks. I liked the cover. I pick up books like this after I’ve determined they’re too much and set them aside (I have a stack of others much like that), but this one was funny at times, and seemed fairly honest when it wasn’t telling me how she just got off her butt and did what she needed to do.

It’s not easy to hear that it’s me that is not living up to my end of the life bargain. While I pride myself on toughing out physical challenges, I think I have become the personification of passive victimization. I let life wash over me then feel like it sucks, then try to fix it in desperation, then get it to a place of decent, then let it all build up again.

I only know this because I’ve just had lunch with a Smart Woman I Know. And I saw it in her eyes.

At first, Sheila (not her name) was a client, then a ‘friend’ then both, then an occasional lunch. After I completely blanked on a pre-Christmas lunch, I was neither. Til today when, on the off chance and a concurrent client need, pushed me out to her word world area and pushed me to text again for lunch.

Which I then promptly nearly lost, because another client had a need. And she refused to reschedule. Nicely, breezily, just wouldn’t. So I went. And watched her face. And saw a stack of rearranged, rescheduled, apologized fors coming out of her lovely, make up free face, a face newly filled with hope and joy and newfound confidence of love.

A face you want to sit across from at lunch.

That was not my face.

Now, I look at my list of friends on those text messages and frankly? It’s kind of pitiful. Not because I want pity, but because of what I built for myself, and what I hope to change this year, in my own Year of Yes.

Friendship, and invitations, are not evergreen. They require a little feeding, a little poop in the soil of it, an ability to push past and consider them and give them more than feels comfortable at the time. I am realizing that friendship is something you need to relearn, to practice, to exercise to understand.

My priorities have always been Child, Work (not always in that order) Husband, Their Needs, Wants, And then life. With just enough time to fall apart at night, munch and read, or watch or both.

And things just wash right past me. I wake up and my best friends are now angled in a very ‘other’ direction and I’d love to say Yes but no one’s asking.

What I love about lunch with Smart Women is that really? They don’t buy the hype. They know that friendship is the crucial part of the equation that makes you smarter and better at work, builds the networks that get you work, and give you the inspiration and creativity that drives the stuff you can look back on and say you loved.

It’s the stuff of Yes. The stuff of a great lunch. Welcome.