I really love to read. More than going to movies. When my son was growing up we’d go see films that looked good when they opened. Even got preview seats a couple of times. Since actors have become such strong political pundits though I’ve stopped. Pretty sure I couldn’t separate Sally Field’s hateful remarks from whomever she would play on screen. Or Meryl Streep, George Clooney… any of them. Sad.
My mom always told me books are your friends, pretty sure though she did not mean to the exclusion of real people friends. But I am noticing every time I move again (8 moves in 20 years) I withdraw a little bit more. Not fear-driven, not self-centered just enjoy being by myself.
Oh, I take the dogs for their romps, maybe less in summer because it is so blazing hot, I shop for groceries, pick up books at the library, and often will enjoy banter, shallow conversations. Occasionally not so shallow. Strangers can often make for strong confidantes.
Maybe I am just the recluse I have always joked about. But lately I have noticed I speak my mind more, say what I mean, when asked my opinion I give it, I don’t try to determine what I think the asker wants to hear. And sometimes they go off in a huff. Sometimes they are grateful, but to my way of thinking I want a friend who is not manipulative, has no agenda, wants truth, we like each other for who we are and what we each of us likes. With a generous sprinkling of humor and grace.
Maybe I am poorly adjusted, socially. But the more I do engage with others the more I am aware of bristles, as though they are (not) saying: “Go ahead, say what you mean but that doesn’t mean I will agree or even like what you say. I may even get angry.” Then why ask??! Friendship is nothing if not genuine, sincere.
I don’t know. The aforementioned heat has kept me indoors the majority of the past several days, and before that we enjoyed 4 days of rain from a premature tropical storm. I have actually cleared clutter, vacuumed, polished till the furniture reflections are blinding. So maybe this is severe introspection but it’s something I’ve thought about for a while. From being little miss party girl most of my life, this is almost bizarre.
I think, too, we all go through seasons. One kind soul (and a stranger) I was speaking with endorsed my current way of life, saying I’d done a lot of time as a single mom in the social realm. This was a time of rest. I did appreciate that.
I do volunteer, I love my gardening, walks (early mornings now) and occasionally meet a friend for coffee or a group for lunch. Nothing warranting a calendar filled with meetings, appointments, engagements. More likely to note the fritillary butterfly I saw, or the first swallowtail of summer, or the turtles sunning themselves by the retention pond after the rains. Or something.
And I am happy.
“Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4