I want to thank fellow blogger Snowflake for her latest post on how no one has the market cornered on problems. I will be the first to admit that it takes me a while to actually talk about my problems unless they are relatively minor and have to do with some day-to-day complaint. Usually my husband is an easy target, especially when he is acting like my supposedly non-existent fourth child, but so I digress. This last year has been a challenging one in our community and 2010, in many ways, does not seem to be off to a better start for some. In and amidst all of these goings on, we somehow manage to stay on course. Nothing big has plagued our family, thank God and I really have more than my share to be thankful for. It does not mean that I do not have problems. Just because they aren't big doesn't mean that they aren't there. I think that it is easy in the midst of big problems to talk about them with people that you might feel are not experiencing this depth of problem themselves. Gee, I hope that made sense. Probably this is a good idea since talking about them with someone who has the similar depth of problems may lead to wallowing and one upmanship and could just get downright uncomfortable.
This last year has taught me much about myself and how I handle and react to problems and stress in the lives of others. Often I can be a very good listener and I hope an understanding one, because I have learned how to take care of me. If I forget what I need I can quickly feel overburdened. I used to think that I could actually help people solve their problems and help them find a plan. In this last year, many of the problems that I have faced with friends have been so monumentally big and so impossible to solve that I have learned that one doesn't always need a plan. In fact, a plan might often not be forthcoming for months or even years in some cases.
If there is one thing that I want to be remembered for at the end of my life it is that I was a good friend. Sometimes I realize that I am not and no one ever is, there are limitations. I can listen, I can support, I don't need to internalize everything, I can take a breather and still be a good friend. This is the best that I can offer and in the end, most of the time, it is probably enough.