Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.
What comes to mind when you hear this?
I was a Camp Fire Girl..(not a Girl Scout)…in grade school and we sang this as a ‘round’ at camp. At the time, I knew only a handful of people and called them all my friends. Outside of my family, I honestly knew only the people on my street…all eight houses…and some of the people at my school, so this little refrain didn’t really have much meaning outside of camp when you might meet a few new people that you would probably never see again. But still, the memories will stay with you for a long time, link. Remember more moments of your life
But today, it holds so much more. In this busy, traveled society with many more decades behind me, there are many times when despite knowing hundreds…thousands(?)…of people, I am not quite sure how many I call friends. GASP-but there… I said it. A confession, maybe even an accusation…of myself though, so that’s okay. I make ‘friends’ quite easily, but they are acquaintances, not really friends. No harm in calling it what it is. I have become quite comfortable with distancing myself from relationships that take time and energy. Haven’t you?
I have a large extended family and while they may not all be people I would pick as friends, they are the people that have always been there and will always be there…until they are not. Family is like that. So, in many ways, I have come full circle, knowing my family, the people on my street…all eight houses…and some of the people at my work. I don’t really know very many others.
I have dismissed the admonishment of this little song by not making new friends and keeping the old. Too much work, too much time, not enough reward. Selfish? I think not. Once again, it comes down to a time for everything and apparently, it has not been a time for friends for me in the recent past.
I have had my fair share of good friends and have been a good friend too, this I know. But I have raised kids…five of them, remember…returned to school for a degree in nursing…and moved multiple times, leaving friends in the wake. Except for Facebook, where I have LOTS of friends.
But then, this past weekend, something happened. I responded to an invitation to a ‘Sip and Share’ with acceptance. I arrived fashionably late only to realize I was actually 25 minutes early…and met some new friends through sharing of tea and coffee and pastries and thoughts. Nothing groundbreaking happened…except maybe in me. I came to the realization that it’s okay…it’s okay to collect some gold in the form of new friends.
My next realization is that I need to get out the polishing cloth for all of the silver I have been neglecting.