Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Room for friends

I have missed posting lately because I have been away celebrating my son's 18th birthday and graduation from high school. Both events spotlight the importance of friends in his life. If we were to describe him simply by talking about his roles at home and at school, we would miss one of the central forces in his identity. The forty or so young adults who gathered to celebrate with him this weekend are extensions of various aspects of his personality: they represent an amazing diversity of resources from which he will draw as he faces the challenges of his first year of university and his first long steps towards his adult life.

What will happen in that adult life that will make it so easy for him and others to talk about "home and work" as if that were all the possibilities? Raising our families and finding satisfying work that pays enough to meet our family goals both take enormous energy. As life tasks, they are compelling, sprawling, exciting and scary. They can occupy so much of who we are, that we assume that friendship was just a stage we went through in preparation for "real" life.

How do you make time and space in your life to gather the unique, diverse resources offered by friendship? How will those resources equip you to reach for your goals at home and at work?

Take a moment and think about the people who extend your identity, who challenge and support you without belonging to you in the way that family does, or owning your time the way work does.

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