Monday, March 24, 2008

Help yourself

I'm not a real believer in self help books, but I do think people can help themselves out of terrible situations. It's great to have someone to lean on, whether it be a parent, spouse or even friend, and be brave enough to lean on them until you can stand on your own. I remember when Tim died and my mom ordered a bunch of books from hospice for me. Some were helpful but some were just too close to what I had experienced. I wanted to escape, and not be reminded. I've been thinking about the friendship crisis I've been talking about in previous posts. I talked to Lars about it yesterday too. I don't think I'm at the stage where I am going to turn to books to help me, mainly because I don't want staff handling my inter-library loaned books to provide commentary over the subject matter of my reading material. I also don't want to spend my own money on something that I am sure is just a phase in my life. I saw this book:

I like the thought of a pragmatic book to discuss something I am totally flummoxed about, but for the above reasons I will probably pass. It got me thinking...

There are two times in my life that come to mind where I needed a friend, and they surfaced when I terribly needed them. The first was when my mother and I traveled to England for my husband's funeral. After the service, as they carried his coffin to the hearse, my friend Shannon appeared in the crowd in the courtyard of the church. I was already weeping but I remember seeing her familiar and friendly face and feeling such relief and love. I felt hostility and blame from some people, and I needed the reminder that I was okay. I remember her telling me that day that I could start my life over. I didn't believe it, but I think she did.

The other time was the spring after Tim died. I was enduring some financial issues due to the complexity of Tim's estate, which included me getting sued by the bank we had taken out a construction loan from. I was willing the pay off the loan in installments, but since the home was not in my name I was not allowed to. So, a county sheriff showed up to serve me. Luckily I was not home at the time. I had just met Lars and I was very upset about the prospect of being sued. He told me (in so many words) that it was time for someone to care for me, rather than for me to carry the burden on my own. It was wonderful to hear. It lifted a burden of sorts.

So, my current lack of friends seems really trivial when I think about what I do have.


Malathionman said...

flummoxed (nice word)

So what do you think is a lack of friends? Do you have a number in mind? I have just a handful of friends, but they are good friends that will always be my friends. I find that I only can handle the smaller amount, but I am incredibly loyal to the ones that I have. I'm even that way with the blogs that I read. I would hang out with everyone on my blogroll.

Even though we haven't met in person, I still make it a point to check up on the things going on in your life, just because I consider you my friend. I thought it was really cool that I knew your name was Sarah before you shared it on your blog the other week.

So see, you are good at making friends!

(I hope I didn't just give you a pep talk that you didn't need.)

Patty O said...

I have a ton of phone numbers on my cell phone, but there's honestly only four or five names that I would feel comfortable calling every weekend to see what they're up to. I've got tons of friends, but only a few I'd say are really close.

CBK said...

I think I'm in a similar boat as you. I don't have any friends where I live, either just for me or couple friends for me and my wife. All my close friends live far away, and I don't even talk to them much. It's the bloggers and Facebook Scrabulous players that provide me with the most frequent companionship. And as great as that is, I still wish I had someone with whom to go running or see a movie, etc.

BTW, I really liked your "friend in need" stories.

Leucantha` said...

I think there are a lot of people in that boat. I know sometimes I find I am looking for friends in the wrong places, and find them when I am not looking. I copy Malathionman's sentiments, as long as you never tell him I agreed with him. K?

Leucantha` said...

For the record I have read a few self help books but wouldn't want to check them out from work either. : 0 I'd rather my coworkers just imagine my crazy tendencies.

Hyperher said...

I've never been one for collecting lots of friends. It's like notches on the bedpost I suppose. I think that's the introvert in me. I think quality over quantity is best with friends. Like CBK said, I'd love to have someone to go to the movies with, or to a show. When Lars is working and I am alone, I really don't have anyone to call. I end up doing things alone. The handful of people I still communicate with are far away, and the older I get the more inward I get about things. Or lazy.

I met a woman who is also getting her library degree and is a knitter. That was like 2 years ago. We found that we had a lot in common, but she was busy with school. We exchanged numbers but have not gotten together yet. Sometimes I make excuses: my house is too dirty, I don't have any money, I need to read for work...

I appreciate the friends I have made through this blog. It really is serendipity. How random is it to share common interests with people you've never really met but on a website. But hey, look how I met Lars!

Thanks, everyone.