I’m hoping you still know who you are!
Lately I’ve been so busy with the things that fill my midlife – work and travelling across the country to get there, running businesses, spending time with my Beloved, caring for my Mother, laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, writing, endeavouring to care for myself and supporting my nearest and dearest, that there hasn’t been as much time for us as I’d like.
Please don’t think I’ve given you up in favour of another; I haven’t. Despite my radio silence, you are often on my mind.
I’m grateful that we’re going through similar stages of life together and I know that your life is at least as full as mine. I also know that we share the challenges of midlife: redefining who we are, what we want and how we want to show up, trying to anticipate and plan for our second halves in ways that both enable our dreams and ensure we can take on as much responsibility as is reasonable for our health, happiness and financial wellbeing, just trying to keep up with the day-to-day when those nearest to us often need more from us than ever. On top of all that, we are simultaneously reaping the rewards, and challenges, of being more than competent at what we do.
I also know that at this stage, for many of us, losing our parents is a rite of passage. And for some of us, serious health, relationship and financial challenges come as an inevitable part of our own or our Beloveds midlife experience.
And yet midlife, for all its busyness and challenges, can be a time of enormous creativity – of leaving our ‘to this point’ shore and striking out for long-held different and distant dreams. And that, in itself, can take a singularity of focus that takes us (for a little while at least) further away from having time with friends.
I’m not using this as an excuse – I’m just saying that for me, and I suspect you, this is how it is right now.
I hope that even if I’m pretty rubbish at the day-to-day, I continue to be the “here anytime you need me friend” I strive to be. While I’d love to be the friend that always remembers birthdays and important milestones, and gets in ahead of the game to wish you well for those big (and even medium) moments in life, sadly my memory is not that great and I’ve yet to invest time in creating a reliable system to remind me. (I know; if I could just remember my Facebook Password I’d be better informed – see the above list as my excuse!).
The reality is that I’m a little ragged myself right now and sometimes, when the choice is between getting in touch and just stopping for a moment, the best I can do is stop!
I think we need to make a pact to take the pressure off and alleviate the guilt: when we feel the need to talk and could do with a friendly face or a supportive conversation we’ll each get in touch, regardless of whether it’s to let off steam or when we’ve realised a milestone we’d like to quietly (or even loudly) celebrate. At midlife this kind of clarity and boldness is a right we’ve earned and makes it so much easier on each other as well.
And in the meantime let’s agree we’ll take responsibility to nourish and cherish ourselves in ways that make our hearts sing; knowing that in doing so our friends can rest assured that, despite a lack of recent connection, we are out there in the world doing our best and working towards our dreams.
Go well my friends, know that you are loved and one or other of us will be in touch soon!