I always had a lot of friends in kindergarten.
It is easy when you are a kid, surrounded by fellow kids in a class.
You just pick out who syncs with your vibe, and they are instantly your friends.
They just show up on your front lawn, and boom, instantly, they are in your circle.
Wanna play?
Such a simple question, and one that kids always say yes to.
It was so easy back then.
Elementary school too, so easy. I always had a “circle”, a nice group of friends. Some even came over for lunch.
Grades 7 and 8 were perhaps a bit more difficult. It was a school with tougher kids, I thought.
And I learned about bullies.
Moving to another city to start high school was a bit better. I made a friend in ninth grade and we remained friends for decades. And there were lots of good times to be had within several circles of friends.
Going to college to study legal secretarial/word processing for a year also meant lots of friends. All in the same boat, learning, hoping to land a good career.
Moving to Montreal also meant lots of friends. All in our twenties, all looking to have some fun!
Moving back home to Brampton and going back to college to study for another career also meant lots of friends. Those were the best times. We were all studying to be journalists, and all having a blast doing it.
A first job out of town was the start of a bit more of a challenging time when it came to friends.
I was in my late twenties by then, and it was harder to find them, I will admit.
By that age, many people had families.
I was a late bloomer. Still single. A career woman now.
And it is difficult to keep friends, I find, when you don’t swing in the same circles of convenience.
Getting a job even further away made it even more difficult to find friends.
There were no similar circles, nothing but commuting, working, and coming home to my apartment and my two cats.
Meeting a man who would become my first husband took care of the next decade or so.
Who had time for friends?
When that didn’t work out, there were a couple of solitary years when thankfully work friends and colleagues and “horse friends” filled the void.
Then along came another hubby who had his own gaggle of family and friends.
I looked upon it as a gift.
Now, as I have turned 60, there are only a few people in my life that I would call friends: work colleagues for sure, “horse friends” also, and now, as I turn into my parents, anyone and everyone who has time for a chat! Especially the checkout ladies at the supermarket. They are always up for a chat.
And research shows that even that type of encounter is good for the mind, body and soul and health.
Perhaps I am too picky when it comes to friends.
Heaven knows that even a perceived slight will jettison someone from my good books.
I am very sensitive, I know. And that is to my detriment.
I have never been the type to subscribe to the “Friends” type of friends, with a hoard of people in a social circle who all have to check in with one another, all have to keep each other up to date, etc.
Those are just for sit coms. Not sure how many people actually have lives like that.
And as I see senior citizenship on the horizon, I expect things will go back to being the way they were when we were children.
Whoever you see on the front lawn is your friend.
For these are people who, like children, have lots of time on their hands.
Their own families have grown and gone off to have their own families, leaving an empty nest and perhaps an even emptier hearth, heart and home.
After we are busy building and living our lives with families, growing kids and a household and such, we are able and willing to all become friends again, for the sake of being friends.
We have lots of experiences to share, so we become interesting friends.
We realize there may not be too much time left, so we leave cattiness and judgment at the door.
We become inclusive, open hearted, willing to share.
And that, my friends, is how it is with friends.


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