Yesterday, reclined in a chair with needle in arm saying goodbye to another pint of blood, my thoughts turned to those close friends I once had. While donating blood, I don’t normally have these reflective moments. Usually I watch how other donors are doing or talking with the nurses. Let’s be clear, my mood wasn’t low but just sweepingly thoughtful. There have been many times when the dreams that I have had involve friends from my childhood(that I still know). I suppose it’s my brain trying to find a logical place to put these relationships.
Now it’s easy to blame the rise of social media like Facebook for the decline of old friendships. Having hundreds of ‘friends’ with endless updates to read and like/comment on isn’t my idea of a healthy relationships. This is why I prefer formats like Twitter where friendships are made not predefined. Yet for old, long-standing friendships, to keep these alive, it’s more to do with distance and effort. As an example, I no longer live near any of my oldest friends. One lives in Portugal, another an hour away by train in London. To keep these relationships alive takes a different kind of effort. And although I’m no saint, when the effort is unbalanced, complacency creeps in and other local issues are deemed to be more fruitful.
Being philosophical about my older friendships just means that I make the most of the times that we are in touch. Why waste energy and emotion on how it could be? Maybe it’s better to just work with what I have than to force a friendship to be what it no longer is?