Don’t envy Carrie Bradshaw

She's fabulous, but don't envy her

Darlings, when was the last time you called your best friend or got together for a meal, drinks or movie. When was the last time you had a quiet dinner with your husband or lover – or when just the two of you went out for a drink? I hope it was in the last week. If you’re reacting with shock, disbelief or even scorn, rethink your life because you are short-changing yourself.
 
Recently I read a blog by Irene S. Levine called Why Sara Jessica Parker is Jealous of Carrie Bradshaw. The title is catchy, but it is disturbing to read. Dr. Levine is a psychologist who bills herself as the friendship doctor. She considers herself an expert on friendship, yet she claims to envy Carrie Bradshaw and the time the character spends on her friends. Dr. Levine laments about carving out time from her “endless to-do” list for dinner or phone calls with friends. It “feels like a guilty indulgence,” she says. She even claimed that she is so overwhelmed by guilt that she is unable to concentrate on the menu while lunching with a friend.
 
Dr. Levine goes on to say that even the actress Sara Jessica Parker envies the fictional Carrie. She quotes SJP as saying that Carrie has the free time she needs to “luxuriate in her friendships” because of the choices she has made in her family and career. I congratulate SJP on having better clarity on the rhythm of life and friendships than Dr. Levine. SJP is at one of the busiest stages of her life: she is mother of three young children and has a highly successful career. It would be surprising if she did not feel a tad pressed.
 
Dr. Levine, on the other hand, doesn’t mention caring for ill parents or children, or any other extraordinary responsibilities. For all I know she may have them — many middle-aged women do. She goes on to say how important friendships are to women’s well-being. She cites research, her own and others, on the nature and importance of these relationships. She concludes by saying that we all need to put aside time to make life-affirming friendships "just like Carrie and the girls".
 
Well darlings, I hope she can. In my experience people don’t change the habits of a lifetime so easily. A woman who cannot take time to enjoy lunch with a friend needs some serious changes in attitude and lifestyle.
 
Meaningful relationships are vitally important to the quality of our lives. Darlings, life is short, so who you have in your life is every bit as important as what you have. Good work that you love and that rewards you, lets you live well, and helps to define you, is also important to your happiness and well being.
 
We all go through periods when we are super busy and out of touch for a while. Adjusting to a new job or getting on with a rotten one can knock you off the radar. Having babies seems to sleep-deprive women and consume most of them. Family illness or loss — through death or other hardships — can make anyone less available. But friends come around eventually.
 
Friends getting through medical or law school are often as frazzed as those starting a new business. We can all cut friends some slack when they face real demands.
The problem is with friends and loved ones who always to have to work and have an endless to-do list. Friends who cancel appointments at the last minute, run off to meet someone “important”, or text during conversations send messages about their relationships. They aren’t saying ‘I value our friendship’. (I know nobody like this; nobody would dare.)
 
People find time to do what they really want to do. Busy people are really good at it. Friends on the fast track or under family pressure may not get back to you right way, but they will return your call if they value the friendship. Good friends will call you after if they think you might be sinking into depression or some other type of trouble. It happens. Reach out to dear ones who might need help through a tough time. They don’t need you to know the solution, they just need you to be there.
 
Darlings, friends are for the bad times as well as the good. If you have been blowing off your friends, knock it off. Don’t assume they will put up with you forever; even the most tolerant people move on. If there is a reason you are neglecting your friends, deal with it. You are hurting yourself too.
 
Neglecting your friends means you are missing all the good stuff too. The fun and the laughs are all things make a rich and sweet life. Make time for love, family and friends, because there isn’t always another day. 
 
Darlings, you can have as fabulous a life Carrie and the girls if you give it try. But except for her fabulous shoes, it’s silly to envy Carrie Bradshaw. She isn’t real, you are. So call a friend, make a date, put on divine shoes — and make fabulous memories.
 
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