Two things on my mind today: friendships and China… and the way that the two interrelate, in this case.
- Today on CBC Radio One they were talking about the fact that on July 1st, it’ll be 10 years since the handover of Hong Kong to China… which means that 20 years ago right now, I was there. Well, technically I was in Macau on this day in 1987, but I spent most of my time in Hong Kong and a couple weeks in China.
- This evening we were supposed to get together with another couple, members of a super-elite group known as our very best friends. Didn’t work, but there was mention of a raincheck which I intend to make mention of in a couple of weeks when we’ll be able to get together again. The plan was for Chinese food and bottles of wine and I’m sure rich conversation… kind of an end-of-week get-together with my birthday as an excuse. As though we need one. Unfortunately our tentative plans for the July long weekend at their cottage won’t pan out, but hopefully we can reschedule that as well.
- On Wednesday evening this week, we went to the Red River Ex with another couple who are also members of the aforementioned elite group. He was my roommate in 1987-88 at my alma mater, and anybody who can remain my friend for that long is noteworthy — could be a good match, as he says the same thing about himself. Pre-kids, we took them in for a month or two during the Red River Flood of 1997 when they were displaced. They also have 2 girls, about the same age as ours — as usual, we naturally paired off in the parking lot and headed for the gate. We’ve been doing “The Ex” with them each year for the past three or four, and it’s become a bit of a tradition. We made plans to do it again in 2009… they will have to skip 2008 because in a few weeks’ time they will be heading to China for a year to teach English. Our family will miss theirs over the coming year… as remote a possibility as it is, I haven’t quite given up the dream of taking our whole family and going to visit them in January-February; I’m envious. They said they’d put us up if we come — they’ve got a condo for the year at a very good deal… basically a penthouse suite with a deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (Only issue is it’s a 7-story walk-up.)
Anyway, I’m thinking about the ticking of years… 10 years go by, 20 years… and my age counter clicks over another one this week. Meanwhile, I think my wife is getting younger somehow. Anyway, to have a very few friendships that stand the test of time is valuable, and I get to thinking about the qualities on both sides that it takes. Random ideas:
- Appreciating who and what the other person is, and ignoring utterly what they are not.
- Not demanding or expecting the party change to suit your needs.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff… friendships need to be seen in a “long view.”
- Despite the foregoing, don’t expect that every friendship will be long-term… sometimes they come and go, and that’s just the way it is. Value the ones that stay.
- Share your life… look to give.
- You may be briefly or occasionally disappointed, but don’t get perturbed if you don’t get back what you put in.
I should do something longer, perhaps a series on this… we did a study on it in the small home group I led while still in favour at my CLB. Somehow these random thoughts are all interrelated… the last one, if continued, is offset by the fourth one; the fifth offset by the sixth, the first and second by each other, as with the third and fourth. Fundamentally, being on guard will undermine the whole thing.
Hhmmm, China. I loved that summer. Of course, I was much younger then. ;^)