Yesterday was Kindness Day, in honor of Fred Rogers. While I didn’t wear a cardigan, I thought of him and of my efforts to be kind throughout the years. Sometimes it isn’t easy, as I have painfully discovered over the past few days, but it’s worth it. Please, friends, even when you are displeased with someone, let them know with kindness and empathy.
Yes! One of my long-time (and I mean long…at least 25 years) email friends was in Austin, and Anita and I went to have dinner with her. Andi has always been a great participant in a group of women who started out as feminists who chose to stay home to raise their children. We’ve been together through ups and downs, starting and restarting careers, divorces, and triumphs. So, it was great to see her in person.
We went to a new place right across from the JW Marriott in Austin, called Fareground, where a number of nice restaurants have places you can order food, and then take them to tables to eat. A bar server wanders around to see if you want wine or anything. The setting is really pretty, and it must be a lot of fun when you can sit outdoors.
The best thing, though, was how easily the three of us fell into conversation about our lives. There was so much laughter and genuine pleasure. Don’t let anyone tell you that knowing people via email and Facebook doesn’t make real connections!
The same thing happened on the trip to New Orleans. I enjoyed so much catching up with long-time friends Kathy and Janet, who were my roommates. There were other women there from an email list that’s been going on for decades, which was called “Power-Surge,” since it was for La Leche League volunteers of “a certain age.” It’s been a privilege to watch them deal with the aging process, widowhood, grandparenting, etc.
Other women there I’d worked with at the state and international LLL organizations, and it often felt like we fell right back into conversations that were interrupted in 2006 (when I stopped working there). Everyone was kind to me, even people who might have had reasons not to be. Our commonalities wiped out any issues from the past.
That’s why sticking with friendships through ups and downs and being as kind as you can are so important. Humans value relationships so much. Keeping up with them keeps the good parts of your past alive and enriches your present and future.
Next up: How to deal with past events that pop up out of nowhere and set you back.