A post about friendship

I’ve read two articles recently, both in Stylist magazine, that have really resonated with me.


The first is about having and needing less friends as you get older.

The second is about assessing friendships and taking stock of the benefits.

Friendship can be a funny thing, especially in the days of social media where it’s easy to get to know people quickly and fairly intimately without actually seeing much of them in real life. It also makes it easy to stay in the loop with existing friends. Because of Facebook we know what people we know have done over the weekend, where they’ve booked up to go on holiday, what they had for dinner last night. I’m not saying this as though it’s a bad thing. I think it’s great. It keeps us closer in a way we’ve never had before, and I believe it keeps friendships alive where they may have drifted apart due to time or distance.

Text messages too mean it’s easier to stay in touch. A quick “hello, how are you” can be sent from my desk, whereas I couldn’t be making personal calls in the office. While they can limit the art of making telephone calls (I keep in touch with friends mainly by text rather than speaking to them physically) the ability to keep in more frequent touch is a definite benefit.

Back to the articles. As you get older friendships are more about quality than quantity. In my 20s I had loads of clubbing friends, but in truth the thing we had in common was going out and having fun. A lot of them, outside of that, I’d have nothing to talk to about. It’s so easy to think we have lots of friends when, in truth, it’s easy to mistake friendship with acquaintance.

I also think that, with age, your bullshit detector becomes more accurate. Whether that’s someone not being nice to you or to people around you; not treating you as you would treat them; or just not exhibiting the characteristics you want in a friend, you’re much more likely to pick up on it and deal with it as you age.

Plus, friendships are cyclical. Another Stylist article (this is not my lifestyle bible, I promise!) suggests that the 7 year itch is a real thing – in friendship. A friendship that is everything you want at one point, may not be at another future point in time. And that’s ok. The trick is to realise it, acknowledge it, and move on. Don’t flog a dead horse. I’m not saying walk away at the slightest hint of things not being great. But recognise when a situation has changed. It doesn’t necessarily mean not being friends anymore (and by that I mean real friends, not Facebook friends). It just means knowing that the intensity of your relationship has passed and can’t be recreated.

That leads me on to friends not being there for you at a time of need. There’s a lot of truth in the old saying “treat other people as you would want to be treated”. I’m not always the best friend to have on board. I don’t think any of us are always the best we can possibly be. Life and work and money gets in the way. But there are some circumstances where you know you would be there for a person, even if it’s just to check in and see how they’re doing. And it’s not unreasonable to expect the same in return.Going back to how easy it is to stay in touch with people, a text or a Facebook message is quick and easy to send, and can mean a lot to a person having a rough time. Feeling uncared for by the very people who should be there for you hurts. If you’re in a horrible, miserable, challenging or upsetting situation, the last thing you need is the extra emotion that comes with feeling like your pals don’t have your back.

I know. I’ve been there.

On the plus side, challenging times separate the wheat from the chaff (another cliché for you). It’s fairly easy to be a friend when times are easy; when it’s all about having fun and going out and light hearted laughs. But real true binding friendship happens when times are tough. When you need to be a rock for someone. When you need them to know that you’re there. When you can honestly say you’re supporting them in the same way you would want them to support you.

To be able to let go of a friendship, for whatever reason, is an admirable quality, and one that comes with time. To reach that destination I think you probably have to travel through anger, bitterness and disbelief first. It’s a journey that can be long and arduous. Just make sure you have real friends around you for the ride.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Parting is such sweet sorrow (aka the clear out update)

Following on from last week’s inspirational article read from Stylist magazine, I decided to put the concept into full practice. Ruthlessly pulling things from my wardrobe, at times I was discarding based purely on gut instinct – the fact that I didn’t say “oooh” was enough to realise an item had to go. It was pretty satisfying to see the charity bags filling up, especially with things that I know have escaped previous culls by a hair’s breadth and still haven’t been worn since.

The process was somewhat helped by my change in work circumstances, and the fact that I now have a casual dresscode. “Work” shoes that maybe had slightly scuffed heels but were still good enough to wear to the office have gone. Pencil skirts that are too tight but I’d convinced myself would fit me again at some point are out the door. Auf Wiedersehn to t-shirts that have gone a bit bobbly. Au revoir to dresses that are past their best. Ta-ra a bit to jeans that are so low rise I can’t believe they ever fit me. And, to anything that doesn’t totally ding my dong, a big fat feck off!

Even my underwear draw got a look in.

I now have a pile of stuff hung on my spare bedroom door waiting to be ebayed (I have, at least, taken the photographs, just need to get round to writing the descriptions and actually listing them).


Plus a bin liner stuffed with the real rubbish, and bags full of cast offs for the charity shop with more still to come.


Did I feel liberated? At first, yes. There were things that I was aware should have left the safe haven of my wardrobe a long time ago, that were taking up valuable space and just not being worn. And that bit’s great! But it also made me slightly sad. OK, a lot sad. Sad to the point where I was so sulky I went very quiet and withdrawn and didn’t talk much for the rest of the night. Because it felt like an admission that a part of my life has ended. Disposing of dresses that I still really like but are probably too short for me to wear these days. Trousers that are too tight around the waist. Things that just don’t fit my wardrobe because I’m not in my 20s and going out partying like I used to.

I guess, ultimately, it made me feel old and fat. Which is very dramatic and I feel like I should be putting my hand to my brow and throwing my head back in consternation. Because, at 37 and just under 10.5 stone, I’m neither of those things. But I’m also not 25 and 9.5 stone anymore. That’s the real problem!

I’ll get over it, of course. I rediscovered some things I’d completely forgotten about which is good. And it did give me the kick I needed to stop being such a greedy pig and actually start working to lose the half a stone I need to feel better about myself (instead of just hoping it will happen!) With a tidier wardrobe I’ll actually have space to store my new trainers, so I can go out for a run rather than spending half an hour hopping round wearing just one and cursing my untidy self for losing the other one.

Having a clear out – have I been doing it all wrong?

Like many women / people, I have too much stuff. Specifically wearable stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I like stuff. I like choice. I don’t want a capsule wardrobe, shoes that go with everything and a colour palette theme amongst my clothes. But I do want to have enough space for the things I do love, so I can stop draping things over doors / stacking stuff in piles on the floor and having my husband threaten to put everything in a bin liner and chuck it out (he wouldn’t dare, but it’s a recurring conversation).

Clear out

(needless to say that is not my wardrobe. And if it was I would not be having a clear out. EVER.)

Contrary to my husband’s seeming opinion, I don’t like being untidy. It’s only because I have too much stuff. Trouble is, when I have a clear out, it’s never as thorough as I’d like. And I think the reason is because I’m looking for things to get rid of, not things to keep.

It sounds like a very similar process, but there is in fact a difference. And this is the article that made me see that difference.


“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’. If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

I always look at what to get rid of. And then I split it into categories – ebay or charity shop. Ebay stuff invariably sits in a bag for ages, waiting for me to get round to the arduous task of photographing, measuring and listing. and then, when it doesn’t sell straight away, the bag of stuff clutters up valuable space.

But the stuff that’s left behind, well. Based on the advice above – ‘Does this spark joy?’ – I could clear out a lot more. There’s stuff that I keep because it’s “too good” to part with. I may have only worn it a couple of times and feel bad about getting rid of it (especially if it’s doubtful that it will sell on ebay, or more likely I can’t be bothered). Or it’s just not me anymore. But, in truth, when I pick it out to wear, it often goes straight back. Because it doesn’t make me feel fabulous, and who wants to feel anything less than amazing? And so it sits there, taking up valuable room in my overstuffed wardrobe.

This can also be exacerbated by being a bargain hunter. Because sometimes, something is just a really good bargain, and that can totally affect my judgement. I know the “rules” – don’t buy something unless you’d buy it full price. But I find that impossible, because my heart gets all of a flutter. So I’m my own worse enemy.

What a palava! I’ve actually bored myself with this post. But I am going to try and take the advice and actually apply it. Stop hoarding stuff with the intention of ebaying it and never getting round to it. Donate it to charity shops and don’t regret it.


And don’t fill the space I create with brand new stuff!