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Focus on Friendship

“So no one told you life was gonna be this way Your job's a joke, you're broke Your love life's DOA It's like you're always stuck in second gear When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month Or even your year, but I'll be there for you (When the rain starts to pour) I'll be there for you (Like I've been there before) I'll be there for you ('Cause you're there for me too) I’ll be there for you - The Rembrandts (aka Friends' theme song!) It’s been an emotional week! Scrap that, it’s been an emotional year! I had so many plans. I'm sure you did too! They've all changed and if I've learned anything over the last 18 months it’s that change is the only constant in life. 2021 was always going to be an incredible year for us as a family. 2021 so far... my Dad turned 70, my daughter 18, my son 16, our 20 year wedding anniversary, my husband’s 50th and two family weddings. This week, it’s been both A Level and GCSE exam results in our household. Not to mention factoring in all the various global sporting events in the world; the Euros, Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the Rugby Lions Tour. I have to remind myself at this point that all this has happened in just eight months! Well, what can I say? Plans change. As with the rest of the world, as a family, we’ve all had to adapt to the various restrictions so what I had all mapped out for years took on very different forms to what I’d planned. However as a family, we all have our health and for that I’m truly grateful. This week my learnings come from my two children and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They have shown me their incredible resilience and strength to adapt, their determination to achieve excellence with limited resources and that in missed opportunities there are always opportunities to be found. They each focused on what really matters to them, their friendships. It is through these special friendships that they have shown me their true values. Despite all the disruption, the bonds with their friends have remained unbroken. Throughout each lockdown, with limited physical contact, they focused on friendships. They may not have been able to meet up in person but they used technology to keep in touch with one another 24/7 virtually. So this week when there has been such an intense spotlight on A Level and GCSE exam results and the unusual circumstances surrounding them, I am switching your focus over to friendships. Thanks to the incredible bonds my children have built with their friends, the mutual support they have for one another and the unwavering commitment to see each other achieve, in my eyes their interpersonal relationships have triumphed. That’s not to say there haven’t been problems too, naturally there have. Their friendships have been tested, however, as with all things in life there is a balance to be struck. For me, seeing my children and their friendships evolve and strengthen over the last 18 months has literally filled my happy cup to the brim. They have supported one another, asked one another for help and carried one another through the challenges leaving no one behind. The results in brown envelopes this week partially reflect this unseen effort, emotion and compassion that has accompanied their work over the last 18 months. So, for me, brown envelopes have not been the sole focus this week, it’s been the conversations I’ve witnessed around them that have brought me the greatest pleasure, pride and admiration. Life may throw you curveballs however your friendships carry you through them. Together you become stronger. With friendship comes a sense of belonging and purpose, your happiness is given a boost and your wellbeing is nurtured. With friendship, anything is possible. What really matters to you?

ACTION POINT What friendships need your attention? How can you be a good friend today? Focus on Friendship!

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