Oct 29 – Amigos and Candlelight

Sunrise / Sunset: 7:14AM, 5:40PM

Foo song: Aurora

Sunrise photo:

image (11)

Today was a good day. Not a lot to say about it, just got work done, cranked through to-do lists, got rid of sticky notes. Somehow I always accumulate tons of random notes.

Started out the day making French toast, then rode in car in rain with family (wimped out, didn’t ride my bike in the drizzle), then went to Harvard Square and Peet’s for tea. Definitely missing Harvard Square.

Ended the day with a little candlelight dinner at home. I like that my kids see when Caro and I show affection and like it – they seem tickled by it. Then Caro spoke for a while with my good old amigo, Javier, who gave up a career at Children’s Hospital, Denver, to become a Spanish teacher in a Denver charter school. She passed the phone to me after I got the kiddos to bed and tomorrow’s lunches made (routine…), and it was good to talk – family and politics, kids, his teaching job, old friends, and travel plans – he might come up to Boston with his family. That would be awesome.

Reflecting on my friendship with him and others makes me wonder what has happened to me over years. I’ve definitely had lots of friends, just not a whole lot of close friends.

For some reason, I have been thinking about this a lot lately. It’s never to late to re-connect or fire up some new friendships, and I want to model that for my daughter. She asks a lot about old friends, why I’ve lost touch with them. It’s almost as if I’ve led a series of separate lives. Once, when I was leaving East Hampton, NY after a couple of summers as a lifeguard, living in a really tight knit way with new friends (I’ve had a series of friends, none of whom I’m in great touch with anymore except for on Facebook – preschool friends, school friends, swim team friends, college swimming and fraternity friends, post-college life guarding and open water swim training friends, teacher friends in Colombia, and then some work and grad school friends as a product of specific cohorts I was in at Citizen Schools and the Kennedy School. Oh, and also friends from the Outdoor Leadership Program in Greenfield, a really tight knit group but extremely awkward time of limbo and financial uncertainty and guilt for me as a husband, new dad, and recent grad school grad going back to community college.  Don’t get me wrong, I do keep in touch with some old friends, and for some reason Javier and I have stayed connected across time and space (could very well be that he speaks Spanish, and my wife feels cultural affinity for him and his family, who also graciously hosted us back in 1999 when they were living in Guatemala). I also have some solid friends in Colombia, especially my buddy Fernando, with whom I plan adventures every time I’m there. It’s just in my day to day life and routines, I don’t feel I’ve done myself or my family justice in being so aloof, truly unable to make friends with other parents in school and activity settings. Knowing that my dad’s best friends to this day are people he met as a transplant to Florida and as a parent at sports and activities makes me wonder what I can do better. Maybe it’s that so many people in the seventies in Central Florida were transplants, and they literally had to make their own community from scratch, and here I am in Boston, rich in history but also rigid in social structure? But I don’t entirely buy that. Feels like a cop out. But the cold doesn’t help …

With all of this swirling through my head, I came across this study from Harvard and decided a little over a week ago to tweet it:

Men Happiness

Here are a couple of other interesting articles on the topic of men and friendships to leave you with:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-kashdan/men-making-friends_b_1029001.html

http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2014/05/surprising-need-male-intimacy/

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