It was just a question at the end of a blog post about a soon-to-be released book—a query designed to build interest and get the conversation moving in the comment section.
For me, though, it set off a train of thoughts I rode for several weeks.
“When I think about friendship, I feel …”
Seems innocuous enough, doesn’t it? And why not? Friendship is a beautiful thing.
Yet, my immediate response—the word that popped into my head before I could stop it—wasn’t even close to warm and fuzzy.
“When I think about friendship, I feel tired.”
I’m blessed to have people in my life who nourish my spirit and encourage my heart, so it’s not my actual friends (near and far) who make me feel tired.
It’s the topic.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s an important topic—helpful, healing and encouraging. In fact, there’s a great book about it on my nightstand right now, and the one referenced in the blog post I mentioned looks wonderful too.
But I don’t want to have to think about friendship right now. In fact, I wish I didn’t have to think about any remotely complex subject at all (although recent events in the world have pretty much squashed that desire lately).
And there lies the real source of my angst. It’s not necessarily that I’m tired of friendship. I’m just tired, period.
I was feeling this acutely late last winter, back when the days seemed short and the darkness of evening was arriving much too soon. But while the calendar said it was still winter, the temperatures and activity in my flowerbeds indicated otherwise.
And I was not ready for that.
How did the early arrival of spring make me feel tired? I don’t know, but it did. Perhaps because I felt like my winter nesting period was about to be cut short, abruptly replaced by hot days and sleep-deprived nights.
Unwelcome weather patterns are not the only source of exhaustion in my life right now, however. As a result, I’m craving simplicity when it comes to almost everything, including friendship.
Maybe this is why I’ve always enjoyed cultivating relationships with my neighbors. They are just right there—on the other side of the fence pulling weeds, or in the front yard raking. Conversations are easy, even when we’re talking about hard family situations or issues with the kids.
Our friendships have grown over time, just like the plants that surround us in the landscape. It’s been comfortable, natural.
Friendship isn’t always like that, I know. Sometimes, you have to make more of an effort to connect, to learn about each other, to grow toward one another.
But it’s worth it. I know it is.
So right after I read the blog post with the fill-in-the-blank statement at the end, I texted a dear friend about getting together. She wrote back quickly—turns out she’d been thinking of me too.
The next week, over coffee, I told her about the friendship question.
Her response—which she formulated before I even told her my answer—was the same as mine. When she thinks of friendship, she feels tired too.
And somehow, just knowing that made me feel less tired.
♥ LoisSometimes, you have to make more of an effort to connect, to grow toward one another. Click To Tweet