Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tending the internal garden too

Another 'hump day' although I no longer am tied to a Monday-Friday schedule with two days of frantic catching up on Saturday and Sunday.

What it does mean is that the weekend is approaching and that means time for my honey to rest and rejuvenate -- always seeming to be a day short, of course.

This weekend that likely will mean climbing on the tractor and mowing down the tall grasses on the property, at least much of it. We handmow the stuff closer to the house since we have learned from expensive experience that the tractor throws rocks and breaks windows and tears screens. While handmowing and judicious weed-eating reduce the chances of a stray missile, it doesn't guarantee it.

My garden still remains untilled and unplanted -- nearly the latest I've been, I think, in this climate. I'll get in some tomatoes and squash and chard, but there may not be much else. I've got lettuce in pots on the back patio. Frankly, it's been a bit cool for tomatoes -- we had a fire in the woodstove on Monday, all day.

I'm just not very motivated to get out there, although it nags at me. I need to take care of the internal garden first, I think, and the rest will follow.

I've been thinking a lot about words and friendships and expectations and disappointments. This week I've heard from two long-time friends: one relationship dating back to the early 1980s which has survived two long distance moves, two divorces, various health issues, and some icky stuff involving her ex-spouse and his penchant for molesting youngsters (including ours). We try to see each other face to face every three or four years for about a week, and it's always as though we were never apart. We e-mail frequently and call less frequently. But she's got my back, always, and I have hers.

The other grew out of a job relationship from the mid-'90s and has grown in spite of divorces, remarriages, long distances between us, and an age difference of some 23 years. I don't know as much about her day-to-day life as she does mine, but there is a bond between us that I believe will always be there. We've visited in person only a few times since I left the South nearly 13 years ago. But I trust her completely and I believe she trusts me as well. We have a comfortable friendship that I treasure.

I am a very loyal friend, and I go into a friendship with the idea that it will be a long-term one, although I have only a few close friends and many acquaintances. I am honest -- actually, I don't play mind games very well at all and never did, much to my detriment in corporate life -- and sometimes more blunt than I intend to be. I try to be kind and thoughtful but don't know that I always succeed -- I get distracted sometimes, and unintentionally wound, I think.

When I think that a friend is unhappy with me, I want to know why: I want to clear the air, or at worst, at least put some closure to it if there are no amends that can be made. I always, ALWAYS, blame myself: that is the unfortunate people-pleasing part of my personality, a part of which I am aware and work on. It is hard to please people when you also usually say what you think, although I don't think I am unkind, or not intentionally so at least. And I've learned to hold my tongue much better over the years. Not everything requires my unfettered opinion!!

Lately I've picked up vibes from some friends that all is not well, and rack my brain as I may, I cannot think why. No one is saying anything, but I'm not often included in activities, and there seems to be a coolness towards me.

It could be just me -- I have certainly been a little down lately -- but I don't think so. I'm fairly perceptive usually, and it has felt for some time like something ain't quite right. It nags at me, though, I'll confess...

And then there is a big part of me -- the one that is slowly, finally, coming into full acceptance of who I am, warts and all -- that is done with that kind of behavior. Life is just too short to spend time worrying about whether or not you've done something to offend a 'friend' (especially when you're pretty sure you haven't), and it is too short to tiptoe around and feel stressed when you're supposed to be enjoying the relationship. It takes two to make a friendship, and if one of them isn't interested, it's not a friendship any more.

I am 62 years old. It's time for my long people-pleasing behaviors to be over. I mostly like who I am, and the parts I don't like I'm working on and tossing them out or changing them. That is going to have to be enough -- and if it isn't, then I'll continue to cherish the friends I do have, near and far.

A week ago or so on Faceboook, many people were re-posting the following: A true friend doesn't care if you're broke, if your house is a mess, about your past, or if your family is filled with crazies...they love you for who you are. A true friend can go long periods of time without speaking and never question the friendship. REPOST if you are blessed enough to have at least one true friend. They will know who they are.

Thank you, my dear friends. I am blessed to have you.

1 comment:

Flowers said...

I just recently discovered your blog and am so glad I did. What a sweet post!