Tag Archives: friendship

the sleepover

In a book I read recently, a middle-aged novelist who’d let herself go a bit was nervous and excited about a potential friendship. She commented that new friends made her feel as excited these days as new boyfriends used to.

It made me chuckle (I’m allowed, it’s just fictional people who aren’t) and think, How true!

During school, friendships are a fact of life; five days of your week are spent relentlessly in the company of your peers. Once you grow up a bit, as I discovered to my horror when I returned to Melbourne in 2009, you become much more insular. You form smaller family units, you depend on fewer people, your work and aspirations now take more head-space than your latest emotional drama.

Mostly, this makes sense. But I miss the sleepover. Spending a minimum of 24 hours living in the same space as your mates. It’s just not an activity that fits easily into grown-up life – but it’s worth fighting for.

Tomorrow I’m flying to Sydney to spend the weekend with two of my oldest friends. I cannot wait.

creative thinking

this post is not about writing.

You know when someone throws a spanner in a plan, and it looks like whatever you were going to do is now undoable? And as annoying as that is, there’s that tiny part of you that’s relieved, because whatever effort you were going to have to put in is now unputinable?

The kind of creative thinking I’m talking about is when you reach that kind of dead end and instead of listening to the relief and thinking “That’s that, then,” you think the problem all over again, but this time as though you just need a new solution to it. It isn’t a dead end at all – it is solvable.

This may seem obvious. It’s something that’s taken me years to learn.

Example: a very good friend of mine, who’s very pregnant, has been missing her globe-trotting husband terribly, so I invited her around to dinner. I just got back from shopping at the South Melbourne Market for all sorts of yum things, when I got a message from her. Her back has made her immobile, and her dog bit into a battery.

So there’s the disappointment, and there’s the relief. Another quiet night at home.

And then I thought – well why don’t we just go up to her? Cook the dinner at her place? The part of me that felt the relief thinks it’s an excessive thing to do. The other part of me thinks, Huzzah! With just a tiny bit of creative thinking, an evening I’d given up on as a dead end has turned into an excursion into the burbs, the company of one of my best mates, and a nice dinner for her.

It’s a good model for living, I think.