Sunday

Bonds once shared no longer exist

Lisa,

Yeah, I did. The relationships were strained, as if I were forcing an alliance, or pushing to find common ground. Let's be honest, some of the familiarity disappears the moment you leave a mutual working environment.

Give it some time.

What constitutes an "easy" life

Caroline,

How useful as the garden analogy? Not very, I suspect, or I wouldn't be reading about your current state of irritability. Am I misreading the note?

I do feel as if I have had an easy life, it's true.

Sure, I've had my share of disappointment and frustration with my career and in my personal life heartache and heartbreak, but overall I've lived a life filled with more good and positive things than horrific, unendurable events. But I think that's because I view the experiences (once out of them), with an expectation that I will learn and grow from them. Is that too new-agey for you? To put it another way, it's about perspective.

Many women I know have faced and continue to face bigger challenges in their lives than I ever will.

Where I am preoccupied with a faltering writing career, my female friends face divorce, infidelity, disapproving spouses, emotionally-battering parents, terminally-ill spouses/; they face mounting debt to support their families whether its because they've returned to school, taken a job with more flexible hours but a cut in pay, or ave the additional financial burden of supporting special-needs, or sick kids; they are physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted. And I grumble because I wasn't able to commit to a freelance writing career long enough (or with enough gusto) to make it a career. I couldn't stick to it.

But that's not a life challenge, that's simply a personality defect.

It's a defect similar to the one that makes me hate 9-5. Too much of my energy has been struggling through it or trying to avoid it. Oddly, the structure of it has provided me with free time to write back to you. My return letters ought to be more regular than they have in the past.

So, no, there is no crisis in my life. So, if you are basis your definition of "an easy life" on the lack of crisis, yes my life fits the bill.

Junk mail

Emery,

This is indeed how we connect now.

Where once it was clubs, pubs, and bars, before that high school and cruising the strip (remember my mom's yellow Ford Fairmont?) on Friday and Saturday nights.

Yes, these were shared experiences, but I don't find that moving to different cities and retreating to family life (and away from old friendships) has done our relationship much damage. Sure, we missed a few milestone moments in each other's lives, but isn't it awesome to meet up on the other side of 40?

Those milestones--marriages, babies, career successes--aren't what deepens friendship just because they're not shared in person. What's more, we have changing interests, we've developed a love of deeper conversations, and we enjoy lighter moments because we don't take ourselves as seriously as we once did.

We have more insight and wisdom and a clearer sense of who were are. At least, that's my philosophy.

And as much as I love your daily email messages, I've got to ask you to stop forwarding me junk email!