A few weeks ago I lost a friend. A lovely lady, Patricia Thorp, who had reached the age of 95 years and 7 months, and who had generously shared some of her extraordinary life with me. This has led me to reflect on friends and friendships.
I read once that as you age, your circle of friends becomes smaller. Not because of anything dreadful but just because your interests might change, or distance may make it hard to maintain a friendship. Add to this busy family lives and you can find yourself having to let go of friends.
The job of Lord Mayor is pretty much all consuming, especially as I pledged to be a full time Lord Mayor. I’m proud to say, I’ve stuck to that promise and remain fully committed to the Darwin community that I am fortunate to serve.
Being a full time Lord Mayor, has made it difficult to maintain a large friendship circle, but I have been blessed in this life to having acquired some really loyal friends. Friends who do not mind not hearing from me for extended periods of time. Friends who are happy to meet me when I turn up unexpectedly in their City. These friends I have made over many years, I went to school with some, and other friendships were made while living away from Darwin.
In fact, the friends I made while living away and at various workplaces are one of the primary reasons why I like to live by the credo “no regrets”. If I had not left home at 18 years and moved to Melbourne, if I had not had to move jobs fairly frequently I would not have met these exceptional women. My life is richer for having met them.
I also have an awesome posse of 4 Darwin school friends that I still try to meet up with for lunch every 6 weeks. In the early days, I just could never make a casual lunch date, so we decided it was easier to set up a schedule and have it in the diary (3 of us are ultra-organised Virgos). I still do not get to all the lunches but at least I know they will be there if I do.
Ultimately the thing I value the most about these friends is that I know that they will still be there for me whatever is happening in our lives, that we can talk to each other (not on Facebook), like we had just seen each other yesterday. These are true LMFs, low maintenance friends, a valuable commodity in this throw away world.
Do you have your own circle of LMF’s? I’d love you to leave me a comment.