Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's a Friend to Do?

Well, I thought I’d have this posted days ago, but when we left on Friday to go to the boat I left my netbook in the car! It doesn’t matter if I make a list, I still forget things. The last time I went down to Baltimore I had a list but left two things off which I thought were minor and I’d remember them (my neupogen syringes and the bolts to the cockpit table that Thierry had varnished and that I had already put in the car). This time I did not have a list. The only thing I forgot from home was the container with my vitamin supplements. The computer, which I remembered to remove from the house, was in the backseat of the car (we drove from Havertown to Baltimore with Lauren and Mike in their car). So.......

At any rate, I probably would not have written as we were busy with Lauren and Mike who decided to spend Lauren’s birthday (the 13th of June) and their one year anniversary with us on Curlew. We had a terrific weekend. They are such fun to be with. We got to sail three out of four days and had a great evening in Annapolis. I actually got drunk (haven’t been drinking much) and had a slight hangover on Monday. Have to be sure I don’t do that again!

When I got back to town I had a conversation with a friend of mine who told me some news about a personal issue she was struggling with. Have you ever been in a situation where a friend shares something that is severely impacting their life, the subject of which you have some definite opinions on; opinions so strong that you fear if you share them you may injure the friendship?

This is the second time I have been in this position. The first time was many, many years ago when a close friend was involved in a situation that was clearly bad for her. She would share her angst with me and I know I voiced my opinions because I distinctly remember her commenting at the time that she just needed me to listen and not to judge or make comments. I always felt I let her down by not being a better friend and just listening. You would think that I learned my lesson, but it happened yet again.

But how do you stand by and see someone make what you think is not the best decision and not say something, if you are truly a friend? When do you just keep your mouth shut and listen? One complaint a lot of women have with men is that men always want to solve problems. I always wanted to be listened to by my husband (to vent), not told what to do. Seems I do the same thing, feel I have to fix things for others.

Perhaps one answer is to listen, carefully, then question. That is ask questions that will (may) help the person come to their own conclusion. I fail miserably at this, at the most important times. Maybe this is one of the life lessons that I need to master. I plan to work on it!

It was a struggle this morning getting to the gym – perhaps I’m still suffering from the weekend. I was literally lying on the bed in my gym clothes having a conversation with myself over whether or not to go. But I kicked it in gear, got to the gym then later to the burbs to take Dad over to see Mom at the rehab facility. Yes, once again Mom is being rehabbed as she took a spill last week and broke her clavicle. Other than the pain from the break, she is really doing pretty well.

It was truly a great weekend and a good day, even tho I’m still struggling with lessons I must learn.


They call me Ruben said...

An approached I've used to provide answers without directing them at the person: Speak of some other person (real or imaginary) who encountered a similar situation and how you responded to that person. Even if the person "gets it," they'll feel less threatened.

Mary B said...

That's good!