I suffer from a common malady - I remember what I should not be forgetting often in times when bad news hits.
This past weekend a friend of mine died rather suddenly. We were not very close and oddly enough we became friends at work. I tend to keep a separation as most people do, with good reason, between my personal life and the relationships at work. This was more important when my personal life was quite a bit wilder than my work persona conveyed - these days my definition of wild revolves around staying up past 10pm on any given night. I am a very outgoing person who enjoys being social - I would not like to work from home full time it feels like solitary confinement to me. I understand the boundaries of work, I don't open up all that much except to a few people anyway, and that work relationships are definitely bumpered.
Yet once in a while you meet someone who you connect with, or maybe someone who you find fascinating at work, and through the magic of social media are able to connect with them whether you still are near one another or not. It is a bonus to make these connections - people who you meet but not by any design of your own, who may be very different than you or share more than you expected. We spend more time with many of our workmates than we do with our other friends and family. If you work in a place a long time like I have, which is becoming more rare each day, you know each other from when your after work life started when you left the office late - like say 8 or 9pm - and you may have shared toothpaste the next day or even a change of clothes if you had it in you to go out until almost the time you had to return. You know each other often through relationships - those that amounted to something and those that morph from pain to comic relief. There is a sharing of milestones, weddings/divorces/kids/buying the big stuff that requires banks and not a parental "loan". You of course share work venting. I find my job satisfying but I also find the people are by far the vast reason for that satisfaction.
I enjoy watching the tapestry that these people weave with their lives in mine - the paths they took after we worked together. I find I have been surrounded by amazingly intelligent people who taught me so much, who shared interests with me and who expanded my interests in so many ways. To see one of these friends passing so young also reminded me of the time in my life that we met, before my children were born, when my focus was so different. He was a wonderful man who made me smile and who was passionate about so many topics. We shared a love of traveling and beautiful pieces of music.
I guess it is human nature that while we may think of it we do not often acknowledge the importance of these and all friendships with the frequency we should. Work friends also remind us that we are at .. work, rather than where we may want to be but they also make those days and many hours better and with the many, many hours we log at work this may be a mental savior. They may remind of us who we are there but that should not stop us from doing those things that make us content and are totally unrelated to the job. We do not have forever nor do we know when our last page will be written so in honor of my friend who died, who lived life to it's fullest, I also am reminded that we should do those things that may be impractical, scary and make us complete. Tell people they are important to you - not only when bad news hits.
Friendships - one of my best friends is someone I met through work and there are many others who I treasure for good times and even more for the support they have often given me - wherever they may form are really gifts and I never tire of their addition to who I am and to my life. If you think of it this way Mondays suddenly are not so bad - after all you may get to see your friend at work that day. We go to work to fund our lives and if we make friends then we are truly wealthy and successful.