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The Shrunken Village by Noreen Heffernan, Writer

Do you notice that as we get “older,” our support system grows smaller? I think it is nothing more than an organic process, a weaving in and out of friendships/relationships, a natural shrink. But, who we spend our time with, especially as we get older, matters a lot! Gone are the days of fair weather friendships and in its place, a smaller village with stronger love and support.

I know that is what I want in friendships as I enter the next “phase” of my life. As I exit the baby/toddler stage of parenting and into the next chapter of my life, I want the real and the raw, a two-way street, someone who tells me that they are here for me, when shit hits the fan. I want people who understand that we all have time restraints and things that come up and we should never make each other feel bad about that, because, well…life.

I know in my heart that this is true, “it takes a village,” but I also know that you can’t fill your village with people who label and try to define you in an incorrect way. It is so easy to plunk others in pigeon holes, making them feel like they can’t be anything more than the one small aspect of themselves. The truth is, we all are more than that so fill it up with people who see that. Fill your village with those who hug your kids and treat them like their own. Fill it with friends who try and get to the bottom of you and who you are, knowing that there are many facets to you, as there are to us all. Fill it with people who show up for you, wink at your when you need it, embrace your talents, pump you up, pump up your kids, pump up your family. Fill it with people who come, stay, and know that sometimes 5 minutes of a coffee break is enough to soak up the goodness of friendship/life. Fill it up with friends who respect who you are as a parent, a friend, and a person. Keep it small. Give it a little shrink from time to time. Evaluate what you say and to who.

There is always more than meets the eye to people and friends, especially as we grow and evolve. There is a shift in our souls, a hope for our families and for ourselves. Shouldn’t we all seek the type of friendships and relationships that evolve with us? We need to link arms with like-minded people, while respecting the hell out of the others and what they do.

And if that means, you have two friends, well, that is enough. And, if you are lucky enough to have five, amazing. And maybe your village consists of 10 strong friends who have your back. What I say to you is this; raise your arms up high and be grateful.

However many friends you do or don’t have, know this; your village will always be strongest in those who live right inside your house. THAT, is your shrunken village. That is the place to drown out everything else and live in gratitude.

The 2, the 4, the 6 of everyone and everything else, is nothing more than icing on the cake.

Noreen Heffernan, Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR , Writer, Growing Ladies and Beautycounter Consultant,

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