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Friendships and ‘plain old fun’ – making the connection

Dear Lucy:  I am trying hard to learn to be a friend and to have a friend. Also, my kids think I should develop some friends and other interests. I’m not sure how to handle this!

Dear Lucy: I have never had a lot of friends. I had six children to raise and put through college so I didn’t have a lot of time to cultivate friendships. I recently started going to a new church and befriended this lady who is in her 70’s like me. We have had lunch together a few times. She dresses really well, has had a successful life but really puts on a lot of airs and kind of gets on my nerves. I can’t dress like her and my biggest success is raising my kids. However, I am trying hard to learn to be a friend and to have a friend. Also, my kids think I should develop some friends and other interests. I’m not sure how to handle this!

 – KW

Dear KW: Hooray for both of you ladies! To have the health, the inclination and motivation to have a friend and to get out and go somewhere is absolutely wonderful at any age. And, I have to tell you, the older I get, the younger my number looks for me and those around me. This is a great question and I have heard it before.

First of all, so what if you never had a lot of friends? Raising six kids, I suspect your best friend was God and next in line were those six kids and anybody who could help you with them. We are all called into this life to do something special and unique. Your “special” must have been those children of yours. This lady’s special was not yours. That’s OK. As long as she can honor yours, you will honor hers.

When she was older and we were all grown, I remember my mother saying that she had few friends because nobody wanted to hear her brag about her children. Friendship is a give and take.

Maybe this is a whole new field of experience for you. Let it be easy! At the end of the day, this lady may not prove to be your best choice for a friend and vice versa. You get to choose her and she gets to choose you. If she makes it fine, if you make her filter, fine. If not, I am sure there are some more people to try out. We pick and choose hundreds of things, places and people every day. Even the relationship you have with each of your own children is different!

I also suspect that even though you spent a lot of time raising your children, there was something that you enjoyed doing when and if you had spare time. For my mother it was reading and playing bingo at her church. Respect what you love and then do what you love. You did not get to your seventies and put six kids through college being a dummy. You had to cultivate decent relationships just to get what you needed for those children.

It sounds like this is your first try at doing the one-on-one friend thing. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You could also cheat and do like my mother did, she went for group activity instead on a lot of one-on-one befriending. Just do something that adds up to fun and a healthy distraction! Maybe the right friendship will appear as you get out there giving and receiving plain old fun.

Here’s to living, loving and laughing,


(Check out Lucy Shaw’s website at http://www.heartworks4u.com. You may send your questions to her by U.S. mail to: Heartworks4U, LLC; 4646 Poplar Ave. Ste 201, Memphis, TN 38117 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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