Friendships can come and go over the years, through different times in your life new friendships can flourish and others float away, some just simply run their course others can be a drain on your soul and be completely one-sided. Friendships will carry you through times of major crisis when life takes a dramatic change off-course when the storm is too big to weather alone, they will laugh with you and at you, know and understand your weaknesses, bad habits, tell you about them and still love you, these are the most nurturing and valuable friendships these people will keep you afloat when you feel like drowning.
When I talk about friends I mean the real ones not the ones you meet on social media that like the odd photo you share, or the school friend you have re-connected with through Facebook but can’t really remember having a relationship with them before, but you’ve re-connected for sentimental reasons. I mean the small group of true friends that you can rely on when things become unbearable, you can cry and be as vulnerable as you need to be in that moment with them they will never judge you, the ones that will truly delight and raise you up when you have succeeded when everything is against you, they are steadfast those friends are the purest and most precious ones, they will risk everything to make sure you are safe, that no harm will come to you when you are at your lowest, they are always on call at the end of the phone day or night. What we don’t need in our lives is the negative , the draining, all consuming friendships, the fair-weather friends, these are the lilo’s of this world, they look fun but are plastic and not sea worthy enough to come and rescue us when we need them most, they will blow away over the horizon at the first sign of bad weather never to be seen again.
One of the largest changing demographics in the world is older women, we are living longer and more fulfilled lives than ever before according to a recent survey  there are many thoughts and researches on how and why this is happening, one thought is a solid sisterhood where you can share, counsel and belly laugh it is a powerful force and advantageous for good mental health. Laughter produces hormones that help boost the immune system and release endorphins that give you the feel good factor, according to researchers having very few or negative friendships is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and will decrease your lifespan. If laughter can give you more years I think I have gained decades from my sisterhood, from the antics of a Prosecco filled evening to a shopping trip where at least one of us has crossed her legs from laughing too much, those days are the cherished days.
A good fleet of friends consists of a diverse group, you have the cargo tanker friends, these are steady and carry the load in all weathers for you until you reach a safe place, the cruise ship friends will sail away with you and have fun allow you to forget yourself for a while, the battle ship girls will fight and protect you, they are the ones that would hide the body for you, and of course everyone needs lifeboat friends they will always save you and be on call 24/7, rescue and care for you. My fleet may be small in number but I know as I go through life’s journey they will sail with me through any storm, pick me up, dress me down, and make me laugh till I spring a leak! At a certain time in your life you can set those plastic lilo friends loose and keep hold of those friends that will anchor you and hold you safe.
Friendship is a two way street, there are people out there who actually think they are a good friend to you when all they do is take, they have their own agenda, they drain the marrow from your bones, they put you down and you dread when they contact you, these are life’s Shit Barges (the town I live in used to have one of these when I was a girl that floated down the river carrying the effluent from the sewage works and dumping it out to sea). Theses friends make you feel shitty about yourself they stink of selfishness and you need to set these people free and let them dump somewhere else.
I never take friends for granted, I try to be the person I would want by my side, but at times I am a lazy friend, I love my own company but when the shit hits the fan or there’s a long awaited catch up to be had I’m right there and loving every minute of the company I am with being positive and in the moment. There is a saying ‘You can tell a lot about a woman by the company she keeps,’ and the company I keep is a beautiful empowering fleet of women that enable my creativity, raise me up and make me believe in myself and I feel blessed to have them in my life, if you feel otherwise about your sisterhood it’s time to re-evaluate and set those bad ships free!