Hi, my reader, my company, my ear, my shoulder to lean on, my friend, my dear.
Today I’d like to tell you how glad I am that you’re here.
In a world of commercialism, consumerism and materialism, sometimes the most precious commodity that one can hope to have is someone else’s time. It’s the greatest gift to give and the greatest gift to receive. There is no item of clothing or jewel, no physical object or purchased good which can substitute the feeling of companionship and contentment which shared time with a friend can bring.
Time is precious. Especially the older you get- the more you feel like you don’t have it to waste anymore. It is very definitely of the essence. There are many things to do, so to give someone time, and to have them give you theirs is an honor not to be taken lightly. Thank you for every minute it takes you to read this.
We all have stories to tell. Our lived experiences, hopes and dreams, thoughts and fears, and ideas, are what make us human. To express these and flesh them out with another allows us to unburden, to hear our thoughts aloud and make them real, to emancipate our inner selves from a slavery of hidden existence into the outer world of shared reality. It’s a release and a necessity without which we can very easily get lost and lonely.
If I could share my week with you over coffee I’d tell you that it was tough but merciful, in some ways productive, in some ways restful. I worked every day and in the evenings I swam, I cooked, I lazed around with the cat and read text books. I brooded over romantic feelings which I’m not sure how to express, I worried about my future which I’m not yet sure how to plan. I dreamed about holidays and educational courses I might take and I budgeted out my month so I could save for these rainy day things. I called my mum. I messaged my friends. I cleaned my room. Uneventful as it was, nobody died, nothing bad happened, I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful that you listened to me tell you about it.
Now I’d ask you to tell me about your week. Tell me what you did and how you felt and what you worried about. I’d ask you to let me listen, to let me help if I can because a weekend coffee meet is an egalitarian endeavor. Sometimes you’ll have more to say than I will, and sometimes I’ll have more to say than you. Sometimes I’ll need a serious talk and sometimes just to laugh or to make someone else laugh. Maybe we’d share our dreams, maybe we’d argue about politics, maybe we’d debate the best places to go on holiday or talk about our school days. Whatever the topic, I’m sure I’d be glad to have that hour of sharing and friendship in my day.
Not everyone has this luxury of a friend to meet at the weekend for a coffee. Sometimes we’re lucky and sometimes we’re not. Sometimes when I’m not so lucky I go alone and meet all the other people bustling about on a weekend alone and I find some fleeting moments of friendship with the strangers waiting on buses or holding doors or serving me coffee. We share a smile, an empathetic nod or a glance that says all it needs to. Sometimes it can become a full conversation and an unexpected snippet of a life story swapped between strangers, if you let it. This is somewhat like the swap that occurs between an author and a reader, or bloggers among bloggers. No, it’s not quite as tangible as a reliable long-term friendship, but it’s still worthwhile and meaningful. It may be the start of something to come, or maybe just good enough in the simple way that it is.
No matter what we have in our lives, the stuff and things, they come and go. It’s nice to have them, to share them or hoard them. The money and possessions, yes they are enjoyable to have but what you have today you might not in a year. In contrast, the stories, our histories, our inner selves, no matter how our lives or circumstances change, as long as our memories endure, we’ll always have these and because of that they carry a value beyond monetary measure. So don’t take it for granted. Cherish the sharing and enjoy it if you have it, while you have or find it if you don’t. Be thankful for those who listen and listen to others who are no doubt thankful for you.
(***This post is especially for my fellow blogger and regular coffee sharing friend Libby, who’s long-suffering ear I have been thankful for on many occasions***)
Ps. You can visit her too on: https://freudsmuse.wordpress.com