Endings & Beginnings Archives - 1010 Park Place
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Endings & Beginnings

— Relationships —

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Whenever it’s around Valentine’s Day, I get asked a lot about divorce and dating. I never know what to say. Yes, I’m successfully repartnered with the boy next door, but unless you’re prepared to buy a lot of houses next to recently single guys… I’m not sure that’s a surefire strategy for meeting your soulmate.

My friends are all very interested in online dating. I totally get the appeal: It seems like an LL Bean catalogue filled with men you get to take home.

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— Relationships —

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This is the first year my fiancé and I are in a shared home for the holidays. We were prepared for all the usual holiday issues blended families face: children not getting along, coordinating holiday dates with the ex, etc. What I didn’t anticipate was sharing the décor. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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In preparation for the move back into our newly renovated house, I’ve been coordinating the reduction of boxes and furniture that have resided in storage for far too many moons. It’s a cumbersome task, particularly for someone who ascribes too much significance to inanimate objects. It’s taken me years to convince myself that giving away mother’s dining room chairs was not an act of emotional treason, but a pragmatic decision that helped a family in need, while making space in my own home. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in mid-October. Except for the date, it’s like Thanksgiving in the US. There’s turkey, stuffing, and lots of pumpkin pie. We zhush the décor, iron the best tablecloth, and polish the silver because company’s coming. Continue Reading

— Life —

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Recently I attended the funeral of my ex-step-father in-law. I’ll do the math for you: He was my ex-husband’s step-father and one of two grandfathers that my children knew. I realized long ago, learning how to do divorced was going to be an on-going exercise. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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I was relaxing at the pool this afternoon when a friend of my daughter’s walked past and we began chatting. She’d been recruited as a Division 1 athlete five years ago, and had recently graduated from college. She told me about her successful seasons as an athlete; her relationship with her roommate–also an athlete but in a different sport–her choice of major; her brother’s new job… and all the while, I was envisioning this young woman as an eight-year-old.

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It’s that time of year when summer is winding down and the flurry of back-to-school shopping is in full swing. It’s also the time many women have been dreading as they face the empty nest. They’ve thought about it for years, but now that it’s actually arrived, they are crushed. How did this happen? How will my baby survive without me? What am I going to do now?

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— Relationships —

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Last week while dropping off my daughter at a friend’s house, we drove through the neighborhood where I was raised. Making a detour, we turned onto the familiar road, and I immediately noticed a For Sale sign in front of my old house. My parents had sold the house 28 years ago when my father retired and had moved full-time to what was then their vacation home. I’d not been in the house since a few days before the movers arrived to pack everything up, but to this day I have vivid dreams about the beautiful stone house.  Continue Reading

— Life —

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Recently I was speaking with the realtor who has the listing for selling my family home. It’s been several years since my parents passed away, but I have clung to the house like a lifeline in a turbulent sea. Going over a few administrative details, we discussed what to do about exterior maintenance in the coming months. She suggested I remove a few pieces of outdoor paraphernalia that had remained behind after I moved out the furniture and interior belongings. ”You want to give the impression that you are done with the house” she said to me. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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Recently, The Royal Society Open Science published a study that shows the number of friends we have peaks at age 25 and then starts to decline until it levels out around age 45.

I’m glad to learn I’m not alone in this.

When I was younger, I was happy to pal around with people who shared my interests. I like dogs! I like that author! I love Radiohead too! As I’ve aged and my time has become more scarce, I’ve become much more discerning when it comes to choosing those with whom I spend my days.

Now, I am much more interested in people’s stories, values, and the size of their hearts, than their tastes in bands or food. I’ve forged some friendships based on shared interests, but only because those interests provided a window to their souls. For example, there is a small group of us who are connected through our mutual love of French antiques, grand hotels, and circa 2006 J. Crew. While we were drawn together at first by surface commonalities, we quickly discovered that we are all old souls who crave a return to elegance. We realized that many of us deliberately surround ourselves with beauty to offset some of the hardships we’ve survived, and that–more than our interests–is the basis for our friendship.

As I’ve aged, I realize that I like my own company, have a busy family life, and would much rather read a good book than spend time with people who drain my energy. I no longer have time for fair-weather friends, drama queens, or grief-glommers.

I see friends as the people with whom I choose to share my life. A smaller circle allows me to invest time and emotional energy in cultivating deeper friendships with the people I love.

I’m forever meeting interesting people and, with potential new friends, I take a catch and release approach. I’m quick to suggest coffee and then see where things flow from there. My litmus test for friendship is to ask myself if a potential friend makes me feel better or worse. Friends should make you feel safe and secure and loved. I no longer spend time on people who won’t support me in the bad times and cheer me on in the good. Life is too short.

These days, particularly with social media, there is pressure to have a posse; to have a wide group of people who will like what you do. But an entourage won’t necessarily catch you when you fall. Football manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has this marvelous quote: “At the end of the day, you only need six people to carry your coffin.” Food for thought, that.

It’s not the number of friendships we have, but the nature of those friendships that matters. I’ll happily sacrifice likes on Instagram for a few kindred spirits who really have my back.

 

 

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