Thursday, October 28, 2021

Who deserves my kindness and my time?

I have been thinking a lot lately - who are people that deserve my kindness and my time? 

I thought of the very first blog post that I wrote 11 years ago:

I remember suffocating feeling when I was with my girlfriends. I had the feeling that their lives are picture perfect, they are all blessed with two children. 

I just couldn't attend our usual Friday evening coffee dates any more. My sadness (and looking back - I know that now, I didn't know then - my depression) didn't fit into the lives of happy young mothers. I understand that.

But I don't understand how easily 3 girl-friends abandoned me when I sent them an email explaining that I can't attend our Friday dates any more since it was too heartbreaking for me. 

(Ony one of the friends stayed and supported me through the darkest times, I will be forever grateful. I would literally do anything for her). 

Back then I was so sure that all others have picture perfect lives but me. I was very wrong. 

One of the friends who left got terrible autoimmune incurable disease. She hasn't been able to walk for the last two years any more.

I recently  came back to this group of friends, but mainly to meet couple of times a year with the ill friend who really needs us. 

I forgave her (and the others). But I didn't forget (and I never will) - how easily I was abandoned when I was in need.

I haven't come to any conclusion yet.

But this is always in my mind - who deserves my kindness and my time?

I may be childless and  I may have some bit of extra available time. But this doesn't mean I don't have the right to choose how I spend my precious time.


  1. Exactly! First off, don't ever forget that YOU deserve your kindness (and self-compassion) and time, and your DH deserves it. Then for me, it is circumstance based, and how people make me feel about myself.

    I feel the same about a friend who pretty much abandoned me when her kids started school and she found all these new parent friends. Yet her kids loved me and DH and we loved them. I helped her out when she went through a nasty divorce, and I'm having dinner with her this week, but it's hard to forget being easily tossed aside.

    You're right though, about never knowing what other people's lives are like behind the shiny front we all put on in public. It's a good reminder.

  2. I have asked myself this same question many times over the years. I felt abandoned by a couple of long-time, very close friends back in 2012/2013. It felt awful. I was so sad and grieving so much back then.

    Then I saw a picture that I haven't been able to find since. It was a drawing of people sitting by a fireplace (I think), but I definitely remember it said, "Go where the warmth is." And that has been a guiding phrase for me ever since. Feel good? Spend more time with the person. Feel bad/empty/sick/weird? Spend less time and give less energy to that person. It's a skill that I'm getting better at over time.

  3. That is so awful when your needs get misconstrued like that. I'm glad you have the one friend who stuck through it with you. I think figuring out who is in your inner circle and who is further out is helpful -- the inner circle is super small and these are people who are there for you no matter what and vice versa, and you can tell them anything and they GET you. The outer circle is people you expect less of, more casual, you can help them out and vice versa but you wouldn't depend on them. And you don't expect them to GET you. I think this was the hardest lesson to learn through everything -- not everyone is truly inner circle. And sometimes those you thought were turn out...not to be. I'm glad you can help your friend who fell on hard times, and you can forgive (but forgetting is way harder).

  4. That's a great question to ask ourselves, Klara. I have friends who have dropped away over the years as they've busied themselves with their children. I wouldn't cut them out completely -- I send them Christmas cards and comment on their social media posts, etc., but I've learned to stop chasing them. If they reach out to me, fine, I'll be happy to see them if our schedules allow it, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it...!