The Laughter of Friends

April 22, 2008 at 1:44 am 6 comments

I got one of my ultimate joys yesterday — sitting in a restaurant with three old friends, us four grown women laughing so loudly that others in the restaurant looked at us. It puzzles me when people are annoyed by laughter. I simply love the sound. (Except when it is at someone else’s expense.) But, generally, a group of friends laughing, to me, is just beautiful, one of life’s great gifts.

And, this particular group laughing was especially poignant. One friend lost her husband less than two years ago. Another was recently diagnosed with MS. And, I was just awed, talking with these women, looking at these women, so strong and so connected and so alive despite their hard times. I felt privileged to be laughing with them, and to be learning from the way they are handling their situations. Laughter not as denial, but as a way to experience the spectrum of life’s emotions, not just give into one. As a way to face challenges with grace and perspective. As a way to get through scary stuff with people we trust.

As I drove the 50 minutes home from this brunch yesterday, I thought about how I could’ve talked with these women for many more hours, how we barely scratched the surface in our two-hour, yearly catch-up session. And I felt lucky for that, too. How fortunate to feel that way, that the time spent together felt short.

I’ve written here before about how none of my closest friends live close enough to come over for tea. How some of my standby friendships have been shifting, even disappearing, as our lives change. And, yet, how my female friendships feed my soul in a way I feel I’d starve without. So, in the spirit of Having Enough, rather than focusing on my hunger for old friends in my neighborhood, or the loss of friendships I cherished, I decided yesterday to just enjoy the two hours with some amazing old friends 50 miles up the road, enjoy the connection and the laughter, and quit lamenting that I don’t experience it more often these days.

Funny enough, too, in working on my Having Enough attitude lately, and just letting go of focusing on any lacking, I am finding myself slowly connecting with more women in my community. I’ve had some great moments lately with women I’m just getting to know. It takes time to know others well enough to be the loud, laughing group of grown women in the restaurant. It takes shared experiences. Openness. And great good fortune.

A toast, to the laughter of friends.

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Entry filed under: Friendship, Life, Women.

Dandelions Enough Words?

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shawn  |  April 22, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Congrats for a great realization, for that wonderful brunch and making connections. This is a topic so near and dear to my heart because I, too, feel that loss of sisterhood and desperately want it back. I’m getting there. How are you???? : )

    Reply
  • 2. rowena  |  April 23, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I agree with you about the female friends. Mine have scattered to the four winds, California, New York, Florida, Costa Rica. But it is what it is. We can work on keeping our relationships in any way that we can, and work on building new friendships where we are… even new friends aren’t the same as the old ones, why would we want them to be?

    Here is where we are and these are the friends we have, and there is no “should be” of friendship, right? We can still miss the old friends and enjoy the new ones. Hopefully the new ones will be as dear as the old ones some day. 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. Jena  |  April 24, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I love this noticing – that by shifting your attention/awareness, things that were lacking or hard simply begin to take care of themselves.

    Reply
  • 4. Sarah  |  April 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Hello Megan!
    On my drive home from our brunch I thought how much I cherish you all.
    Let’s call our annual get together: Same Time Next Year!
    The cottage, rainbow gift bags, a cozy table and lots of laughing — the loud kind of laughing that makes people look your way.

    Reply
  • 5. Bridge  |  April 27, 2008 at 12:55 am

    So nice! To have tht connection with others. Its true when we stop looking for what we don’t have….we find all the gifts that were there all along.

    Reply
  • 6. Toja  |  May 2, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I love you Megan. Thank you for sharing this realization and encouraging me to try it out myself!

    Reply

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You are visiting "Having Enough (In a Have-It-All World)"...

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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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