Author Archives: Frank Fisher

About Frank Fisher

Canadian author of YA and contemporary fiction.

A friend indeed!

 

Let’s face it, we all need friends. Even with the hardships brought on by the pandemic, we still need to interact with our friends somehow. But it is important to recognize the good and bad friends in our lives, and how to deal with the bad ones. I have had several “bad” friends in my life. And sadly, I’ve had no choice but to hit the ejector switch on them. It was never easy. I had known some of these individuals for a long time, but ultimately, they weren’t what I originally thought (sigh). Still, I have some great friends in my life, and I’m very grateful to have them in my social circle.

There are certain things that friends should and should not do, and I want to share some of the good qualities of a friend that I’ve learned over the years.

  1. Support – very crucial for any friendship. They say that a true friend is there when we’ve hit rock bottom. We don’t have to reach out to them; they already know we need them. Even if we do have to reach out, they are quick to lend us their unconditional support. They will even drop whatever it is they may be doing at the time and come to your aid. Friends who don’t respond need to be seriously re-evaluated. Be especially aware of friends that try to make you feel like your rough situation is your fault. And yes, there are people out there who do this! Friends also support you when you want to make some changes in your life such as try a new hobby or take a new job far away. They should be happy about your new endeavors.
  2. Acceptance – friends should accept you for who you are. They should accept your flaws and not let them obstruct your friendship unless said flaws are hurting the friendship itself. No one is perfect. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and I once confided this in a friend at the time. At first, this friend accepted it, but later we had a falling out, and they referred to me as one with “severe mental problems”. The real reason for our falling out is that this person could not accept me for being different from them. True friendship means accepting those that are different from you. It also means accepting one who has had certain advantages in life: e.g. money and freedom.
  3. Reciprocity – Everything is a two-way street in friendship. You call them once in a while, and they do the same. Conversely, you do this when you make plans. Are you always the one reaching out this person? If so, something is not right. There has to be some reciprocal communication between you. After all, you have enough to juggle in life without having to reach out to a friend that doesn’t return the favor.
  4. Gratitude – a true friend will tell you that they value your friendship. They will often say ‘thanks’ for the miniscule and the monumental. Likewise, you should be grateful for their friendship. And if a friend does not reciprocate your ‘thank you’, beware! I had one who didn’t reciprocate any of my gestures of gratitude, and thankfully that person is now “somebody that I used to know” (I think I owe Gotye props for quoting this).

 

Now for the things that a friend should not be. You may think I’ve already pointed these out, but there’s more. I cannot stress the importance of recognizing a toxic friend. I recently listened to a podcast by a former NFL wide receiver by the name of Trent Shelton. In this podcast, he discusses how to let go of negative people in our lives. He says, “it’s crushing to know that the people you want the best for don’t always want the best for you.” The more you tolerate toxic pals in your lives, the more damage they will do. So, what are the signs of a not-so-true-friend?

  1. Jealousy – while it is normal to envy the things a friend has that you don’t, jealousy is 100% unhealthy. This person resents you for the advantages you have and makes you feel that you don’t deserve them, whether they show it explicitly or subtly. I had one friend who was jealous of my wealth, my freedom to travel, and my relationship with my family. In fact, it reached the point of said person often pointing out that “I have money coming out of my ass” and “your parents treat you like a baby”. This person completely overlooked the “chains” I’ve had to carry in life (and we all have them). A jealous friend is a de facto toxic friend. If they cannot accept your ‘advantages’, it’s best to move on.
  2. Constant Put-Downs – these are the people who question your actions and decisions. They feel like you are doing the wrong thing when in fact it’s the opposite. They are not happy for you, and what is the point of having a friend like that? You will ultimately start believing these put-downs, subsequently lowering your self-esteem. And you don’t want that.

It is also critical to be aware of friends that are self-centered, pessimistic, and have no accountability whatsoever for their actions. We all have our days where we’re down in the dumps or forget the occasional birthday, but when it’s polarized it is a different story altogether. Their negativity will eventually rub onto you.

It is very hard to have to cut out a friend, and it should be the last resort. But if you have a toxic friend that refuses to change, then…sayonara! You should be re-evaluating certain friends regularly, and you should be grateful for the good ones in your life. It’s difficult enough dealing with all the bad people in this world. And in these times, we are living in, we need to have a healthy and supportive social circle.

Sadly, I tolerated certain toxic chums for too long for the sake of having friends. I thought I could change them but later realized that you can’t change anyone; they have to change themselves. The key is to recognize the symptoms of a potentially bad friend early, and take action before they become worse: stop small problems from becoming bigger ones.

 

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

– Walter Winchell

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , ,

Go local! Travel local!

Lake Ontario

 

 

COVID-19 has thrown many social pleasures out the window, from weddings, summer festivals to concerts. But the pandemic has curtailed one of life’s biggest pleasures: travel. With global travel restrictions in place and pockets of rising cases, it seems like travel is the last thing on anyone’s mind. I, myself, had several big trips derailed due to the pandemic: skiing in Banff, California and Colombia. Regrettably, I don’t think I’ll be going abroad for the rest of the year!

Being a travel enthusiast, I feel somewhat empty inside not being able to indulge in one of my greatest pleasures. You fellow ‘wanderlusters’ probably feel the same way. But just because there are worldwide travel restrictions doesn’t necessarily mean travel has to go out the window completely. Now is the perfect time to play tourist in your own backyard and go ‘local’. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last month now.

I’ve been visiting towns and villages near my home that I either have never been to or haven’t been to since I was a child. And now that I have, I’m discovering local treasures I never knew existed. For example, I recently visited a town nearly seventy miles from my house. It turned out to be along this pretty river known for paddling and rafting. It also was a quaint town to walk around, I felt as if I was experiencing a more authentic Ontario. In another example, I went to a lakeside town that has a renowned theatre, and is popular with couples. It is also in the heart of Niagara wine country with vineyards galore!

town of Niagara-on-the-Lake

 

If you set your travel radar to local, you can have similar experiences as me! Chances are your home is nearby to countless ‘treasures’. Not convinced? Try doing a Google search or use an app I love called Culture Trip. You can use it to find various travel tips and insights on practically any destination worldwide. I normally use to look up places I plan to visit on any trip abroad. Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll be able to find places within 80 miles of your home, which would make the perfect daytrip!

Overnight stays at a hotel/motel may not be plausible for obvious reasons, so it’s best to look for places you can easily visit for the day. Not only will you discover new local treasures, you will have an opportunity for a selfie or two to add to your Instagram feed! So get online, discover travel-worthy locales and keep up on traveling. The day will come when we can all get back to savoring the great wonders of the world! I know I will when that day comes!

Happy ‘local’ traveling, where ever that might be!

 

 

Categories: My Travels | Tags: , , , , , ,

Weekend Writing Warriors – Please Go Away!

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Click on the link for the official list of participating writers. You’ll also find me on Facebook’s Snippet Sunday. Thanks for visiting my blog! Today is particularly special for the first time ever, this week’s edition coincides with my birthday today!

I’m sharing an excerpt from my WIP, Driving Me Wild.  We continue a few lines from last week’s snippet.

Melissa is in her room, trying to take a nap, when her sister, Ashley, knocks on her door. Melissa doesn’t appreciate being disturbed as she needs rest before her date with Logan.

The snippet begins with Melissa reacting to Ashley disturbing her. Creative punctuation has been used to meet the sentence limit.  Here we go!

 

           “Geez maneez, what part of ‘do not disturb’ didn’t ya understand?!”

            My door creaks open as feet shuffling across my carpet fills the air. “Hey, I did get a C minus in English,” Ashley chirps with a cackle.

            What gives? I never bother her when she’s trying to take a nap.

            She pulls up my chair beside my bed, facing me. “The hell happened to you?”

            I grunt and answer, “Let’s just say Mike has, like, more energy than the Road Runner, and that playin’ basketball in flip-flops sucks!”

            Another cackle sails my way.

            “Get lost,” I hiss, “can’t you see I’m tryin’ get a little beauty rest?”

 

 

Better do what she says, Ashley! Have some sympathy, will ya? And note that Mike is the name of the boy Melissa babysits (they have a great relationship). I will likely share a snippet from a different chapter next time. Thoughts and feedback are most welcome!

I will be doing the best I can do enjoy my birthday. Intending to do Japanese takeout and later smoke a birthday stogy! I’ll make sure to stop by your blogs today, as well! In other happy news, this time next week I will be moving into my new condo!

Here’s to another Sunday!

 

Categories: Weekend Writing Warriors | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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