A friend in need is a friend indeed. But when it comes to friendship, when is an act of compassion just an act of schadenfruede? Some say your truest friends are not the ones you call in a crisis, but the ones you can call with your good news.
A friend you can call bursting with the news of a personal win or a career goal can be a wonderful gift. Sometimes it takes effort to be this friend, to revel in the triumph of another, particularly if you are dealing with your own disappointment. But we need to have and to be these friends. Because success casts no shadow. Indeed it can serve as essential inspiration, stirring us to forge ahead and prosecute our own good fortune.
A shining example of friendship in the good times, and friends championing friends, came to me recently in the form of Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb.
Sales and Crabb broadcast a delightful podcast called ‘Chat 10 Looks 3’ (thanks for the tip Anna!). In their podcast, the extraordinary duo sideline news and politics for 30 minutes as they natter about everything from books and baking to curious encounters with interesting and important individuals. The genuine respect and friendship between these women is palpable. With intellect and humour in equal parts, their conversation is a joy to behold and will leave you wanting to read more, learn more and be more.
In a recent episode of the podcast, Crabb told of a brilliant act of friendship arising from the publication of her most recent book, ‘The Wife Drought’ (which I have written about here). As soon as ‘The Wife Drought’ hit the shelves, Sales trotted down to the book shop and proudly purchased a stack of her friend’s work. Now this is a woman who would never have to pay for a book if she didn’t want to. Yet she did this to support her friend, Crabb. And she did it for a reason. She asked Crabb to sign each book, and then proceeded to send a copy to select male CEO’s and senior leaders around Australia, with personal notes proclaiming the significance of the book and its relevance to their various places of influence. Since that time, some of these men have publicly stated that the book positively disrupted their worldview, and caused a shift in their thinking about women, work and flexibility in their organisations. While this was the purpose of Crabb’s writing, Sales was the catalyst for the targeted proliferation of her message. Sales not only rejoiced in her friend’s success, she actively promoted her further prosperity.
How good are friends like Sales.
This week, I received a reminder of my own good fortune in this department.
It came from a series of interactions with my close girlfriends from boarding school- some online chat, a phone call and a text message with the most wonderful news.
For girls from country South Australia, we’ve sure done a good job of spreading ourselves far and wide across this country, finding home in Townsville and Melbourne, Perth and Canberra and places in between. So it takes effort to get together. But our foundation years of endless conversation, self-discovery and hair-stroking affection have left us with much worth trying for.
So it’s been a year since we all came together, when the country wedding of one (the first) gave us cause to go home. So much has happened since then, as I learnt this week in one of our intermittent and always hurried episodes of online group chat. Amid heartfelt cries of ‘its been too long’ and ‘I miss you all’ and exasperated attempts to plan another get together, I learnt snippets of all the things that have happened since I saw them last. These country girls spread far and wide, doing and becoming so much.
I feel nothing but pride and excitement for each of them. As those around me would know, I take every chance I get to boast about these women. The journalist, the ad exec, the chic vet, the health guru, the entrepreneurs. I revel in their success, and they in mine. Especially so today, as I wake from the late night news that the country bride has given birth to a perfect baby girl. After all the days and nights we spent mulling over life and baby names, it is surreal to think that one of us has done such a momentous thing as this. And I am so happy for her.
As every weather friends, it seems that the extent of our pride knows no envy. Like Sales, Crabb and my girlfriends, a friend who revels not in fixing you up, but in building you up, is a friend indeed. Be that friend, because its a self-fulfilling wonderful thing to be.
Thought Leaders(s): Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb
Book(s): Crabb, A (2014) ‘The Wife Drought’, Random House