One foul-weather friend is better than 100 built for fair-weather.
When you are facing tough times, it is normal to feel hopelessness and despair. Sleepless nights are the norm, not the exception. Anxiety and tension are constant companions. Worrying about the future becomes your general state. Being able to rely upon someone during that time is extremely comforting. Having even one loyal friend to help in those times allows you to feel like there is a solution to your problems and a light at the end of the tunnel.
According to the Ink Spots, “Into every life some rain must fall.” No one escapes hard times. Without exception every one of us will face or has faced difficult times. Some people escape relatively unscathed and others are severely damaged by life’s challenges. There is a country song by Trace Adkins “Tough times don’t last; tough people do”. That adage has been a comfort to me the past year in facing hardship, financial challenges, reputational damage and general anxiety and guilt. The thought that there will be an improvement to the current state of my affairs is welcome. I embrace the concept that if I just hang tough and soldier through, my life will get better. That thought provides me with the strength to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, in the firm belief that slowly but surely things will improve.
There is a Charlie Brown cartoon where a dark cloud is following him around. He looks up in the sky to ask God why the rain cloud is following him that day, and God replies “Nothing personal. Your number just came up”. It is during the worst times of your life that you learn who your true friends are. I guarantee it will surprise you who steps up and stays around and who abandons ship or becomes distant.
The past fourteen months have been personally challenging for me, and I have been tremendously touched and frankly surprised by the kindness and assistance I’ve been offered by people I did not anticipate would stand by me or help me. My cleaning lady has been a reliable source of help. The mother of one of my staff has been incredible, offering tangible assistance in the form of money and shelter in a difficult time. My children’s caregiver has been both reliable and encouraging. One of my former neighbours has been in touch. My parents have been like the Rock of Gibraltor, never wavering in their assistance and support. My brother and sister-in-law have been of help. My mother-in-law has been supportive. My former CFO has been incredible. My former Director of Construction has provided advice and assistance. My former EVP Real Estate has been loyal beyond anything I expected. My two best friends have always been there when I needed them. Three of my realtors have stuck by me. One of my investors has been unwavering in her support despite personal jeopardy in so doing. And the list goes on.
I have been both touched and humbled by the kindness of people to me in this time of turmoil and trouble. I hope to repay them sometime in the future. I have learned that foul weather friends are the only friends worth having.