Everytime I seem to start a blog post it seems to take off in a different direction to where I thought it was going. This post started out with me thinking about friendships and has ended up with me thinking about why I blog. A blog post is therefore just like a friendship, you never no where it will lead.
Last week I attended a funeral.
The funeral was for the Mum of a long term friend, Wendy, who I have rarely caught up with over the last 20 years. I first met Wendy in my late teens, and although she and her family lived just down the road from my home, we went to different schools and therefore our paths did not cross. We were 19 when we first met and connected immediately – the reason – we both had a burning desire to travel. Soon after we became friends, we planned our first trip to the South Island – our dream was to go overseas, but the phrase, don’t leave town until you have seen the country was around at the time and we took it on board. Thanks to what was known as the New Zealand Tourism and Publicity Board, for a campaign they ran in 1984! It worked. Just like 2020 and 2021, domestic tourism was king.
Anyways, we hitched a ride in a horse float to get to the South Island. Wendy’s father, was into horse transport and it was a cost effective way to kick start our trip. Over the next week we explored Queenstown and Christchurch together, making many memories and planning our overseas adventure. It was the beginning of a great friendship. I always felt Wendy was a little more adventurous than me, but her fearless nature pushed me to do things I would not have done.
A year later, we started an O.E. She headed to Melbourne ahead of me while I tried to save a few more pennies. Then we worked and travelled around Melbourne and Victoria until we had enough money to head further afield. The next 18 months was spent in South East Asia and Europe for almost 2 years before coming home together via Los Angeles. In that time we worked, exercised, agonised and partied together. It was a friendship that survived spending a lot of time together and Wendy was influential in getting me interested in swimming and healthy eating. I have very fond memories of our adventures.
We remained friends on our return, became each others bridesmaids, and then our paths diverged as she started a family before me. And that’s the way life goes sometime. Alongside our friendship, our Mums also became friends as they shared our journey overseas via the letters we would write home and the occasional phone call. Both our sets of parents separated after long marriages and during this time my Mum shared a home for a while with her Mum. Later my Mum moved away from our home town, as had I, and distance lessened the times we would catch up.
So, when Wendy messaged me to let Mum and I know that her Mum, Lesley, had passed away over Easter, all those memories of time spent together came back to me. Mum and I went to the service together, and Wendy and her siblings and their children spoke so beautifully about their Mum and Grandma. After the service I only caught up with Wendy for a quick hug, as she had many people to share stories with. But I value the connection we have and it reminds me that tomorrow is not always going to arrive. Life takes us to different places but it is important to keep those connections. It is a reminder that I need to nurture the good connections.
But it is hard isn’t it? Keeping up with everyone. There’s so many commitments around family, work and taking care of yourself that it is easy to let things slide. Feeling depressed makes connecting even harder. Last week, I had to take Holly off to a debating event in the city, and then wait around for 2 1/2 hours before picking her up. I debated what to do with the ‘time’ – I thought about phoning a couple of friends who live in the city, perhaps I could catch up with them. But I didn’t, I don’t really understand why. I decided to go see a movie and went to the movies by myself. I don’t mind that, I don’t feel lonely doing it and it still felt like a treat. But I’ve noticed I find it harder these days to reach out to friends, to make a commitment to get together, to be the person that does the organising of an event.
So, here I am on my little blog, thinking about why I don’t have the energy to make those connections like I used to. Using my blog to work out my feelings and emotions. Writing it out. Thinking aloud. Wondering why I often withdraw from making contact? And I know the answer, the little black dog is nipping at my heels. I have been wanting to sleep more, I feel heavy and life feels unmanageable. I want to eat chocolate and guzzle wine to wipe away how I am feeling. But I’m trying so hard to be healthy, to take care of me, to take care of my family. But I’m very stuck in this loop and it’s getting close to winter and I miss the sun. The sun makes such a difference. To everything.
So, here I am, writing, needing connection, knowing that I must push myself out there. Realising that covid and lockdowns have made us all a bit stuck and insular and scared and not ourselves. But if I want my mood to lift, I have to do more than take a tablet. So, I have organised a group to play golf tomorrow in the PIMMS CUP at Akarana – please don’t rain!! I’ve booked tickets to go and see The Jersey Boys show with Mum and Holly next week and I have booked a scrappy weekend for the middle of May. Lots of connection. Things to look forward to. Places to go. People to see.
Okay, that’s enough.
Stay in touch.