By Josh Quarmby on 14 March 2017
It doesn't feel that long ago that I was playing footy for the Belconnen Magpies as a teenager with my mates. We'd have beers at the local or head down the coast for a boys trip away. We were all fairly inseparable back then.
Life was simple. There were no work or money worries. We were accountable to no man, no woman, nobody. And that was just the way we liked it.
Then adult life got in the way. We were given responsibilities, bills and jobs.
Over time we each went off to pursue our own interests. Some moved away for work. Some started relationships, I went travelling. It felt like this close-knit group of mates was growing apart, or outgrowing each other. Whatever the reason, it felt like the time us boys spent together became less and less.
I'm now in my thirties and life has changed dramatically from what it was all those years ago. These mates are now mostly all 'settled down', with wives, kids and mortgages. Our adult lives have additional stresses and complexities that we didn't have in our teens and early twenties.
Recently I have started to realise the value of the friendship I have with my mates. Our conversations have (mostly) evolved from superficial chatter to more meaningful discussions. We now talk about the ups and downs of our relationships, work, kids and just general life stuff. It's a great way to get off whatever is on our chest at the time and offload.
My relationships with my mates have become more important to me.
Unfortunately though, the time I get with my mates isn't as much as it should be. Whether it is commitments with work, family, partners or kids, etc, it is easy to say no to a boys night out or those couple of beers with your mates after work. But we should be making more time to spend quality time with our mates.
Mates are the best form of therapy. Save money on expensive psychiatry bills and dump on your mates. They are the people that know you best, and you can generally count on receiving the uncensored advice you need to hear.
Life can get pretty crazy at times. It is important to give yourself some time away from the everyday stresses in order to re-energise yourself.
Having that time together is as beneficial for your mates as it is for you.
So if it's a weekly card night, a couple of beers at the pub or a night at the footy - make sure you make time the time for your mates. It's good for you!