It's such a shame this photo is so small. I've always loved Laurel and Hardy and, for me, this picture sums up friendship better than anything an airbrushed "Jennifer Aniston and company" picture can.
Shared experiences, both good and bad. The funny moments, the downright miserable moments. The times when you help each other through, the times when you simply drive each other up the wall.
For me, a true friendship can take you through anything life chooses to throw at you. It enhances the pleasures of life, it holds you firm through the rough times.
I've just been watching the Steve Irwin memorial and one thing that touched me above anything was the number of people who considered Steve their friend. Steve was the kind of person ready to reach out and touch anybody, anytime. Steve had time for everyone.
That made me reflect a little. In the past couple of weeks, I've been shut away in this room, under a lot of pressure with my thesis due. I've hardly seen my family, I've definitely not seen any of my friends in quite a while. I've basically had time for no one.
The sad thing is that I guess I'm not alone in this. While the current pressures will pass, others will take their place.
As our lives get busier, things become more hectic, it's really an easy thing to let friendships lapse. We always feel confident somehow that our friendships will be there waiting for us whenever we're ready. We assume that the telephone and email will bridge the gap but it lacks the spontaneity and warmth of true interaction.
The psychological benefits of friends cannot be underestimated. We should all take a leaf out of Steve's book.
So, for today, the thesis can wait.
I'm the "Hardy" in the photo above. I'm off to check in with my "Laurel".