I'm not a friendy _person. I'm a friendly_ person, to be sure, but I'm not very good at the work that is required to maintain and nurture a friendship. And that's why it's all that much more special when I realize that there are people in this world that are much better at it that include me in their circle. I got the best gift the other night...five of my best friends gathered together to hang out and have a few beers. This was a common occurrence BC, in fact three of those there the other night were around for those beers BC, but these days it's pretty rare. I was touched.
When you think about friends, they are an interesting thing. Some friends you've had since you were tiny, and even though you may not even have much in common anymore, it's hard to leave a relationship with that much history. Some friends you've only had a short time but it feels like you've known them forever. Some, often called acquaintances, are casual friends that you're friendly with (often at work) but you probably wouldn't invite them to go boating in the Shuswaps. Some friends are as close as family. Some family are as close as friends. A real friend is a special thing.
For one of my best friends, friends are family. He lost most of his family early in life and so has had to make his own way in the world since. He is one of those people that in five minutes has befriended everyone from the local pub bartender to the CEOs of major corporations. But it takes a certain genuine effort and a pretty high moral standard to become a true friend, a member of his family. I like to think that I've made the cut, but he'd be the first to tell me that I'm still in my probationary period ;)
When you have the opportunity, hug your friends. We all have a choice about who we spend time with and friends are the ones that value time with us enough to choose us. As I come to realize how much I value my friendships, I realize I have to make a conscious effort to embrace them. This is the year that I work on friendy.