I remember a time when maintaining friendships took little or no effort.
I was able to spend hours on the phone with my friends, gas-bagging about the latest drama in our lives. Shopping dates, lunches, after work drinks and nights out were frequent and easily arranged. Texts, emails and phone messages were returned if not immediately, then at least that same day. It was all so free and easy.
Over the years, as careers, boyfriends, husbands and now children have become a bigger priority, I have found it difficult to keep in touch and engage in the lives of my friends in the same way I used to. When we do catch up with our kids around, conversations stop and start and in some cases never get finished. We also don’t spend a lot of time on the phone or in each other’s company as much anymore and sadly, texting and Facebook have become the communication methods of choice because it’s just easier. But so impersonal.
I am blessed to have so many amazing and wonderful friends in my life. Over the years, I have gained lifelong friends while, for various reasons, others have come and gone. Some friendships have been rekindled. Others haven’t. Some have evolved into closer friendships and others who were once close are not so much anymore. As things change in our lives, so too do the things we have in common. That’s just natural. Time has become such a scarce and valuable commodity to us all and on top of that, kids get sick, work deadlines have to be met and dinner needs to be ready on the table. It just can’t be helped.
|Author Douglas Pagels
Image from scopecapemay.com
These days, Emma’s social life is just as much a priority as mine which adds a whole new dimension to this whole ‘keeping in touch’ with friends thing. I have developed some really wonderful friendships with the parents of her friends and I have to say that these days, it is far easier to catch up with these friends than it is any others. Our kids go off and play while we are able to sit back, relax and enjoy each other’s company without interruptions. Just the other day, I went to visit my dear friend Margot and the gorgeous Alexis and Thomas. Alexis and Emma play so beautifully together. As soon as we walked in the door, they were off! Thomas and Chloe also had afternoon naps so Margot and I could chat and enjoy our cups of tea in peace. I do so enjoy Margot’s company and it is a wonderful bonus that our daughters feel the same about each other. It was such a lovely afternoon.
|Image from Bashzone.com|
I would love to have more catch-ups like these. A good chat with a friend can be so inspiring and food for my soul. I wish I could do it more. Recently, however, I have promised phone calls and coffees that have never eventuated and I have also had to cancel on scheduled engagements because babysitters have been unavailable or the kids have been sick. Winter is a difficult time of year.
I have promised myself to make a bigger effort to keep in touch with friends more regularly, even if it’s just a funny post on their Facebook wall to say hi and let them know I am thinking of them and that I am there for them like they have been for me. I would also love to set up rituals, something like every third Tuesday morning coffee and cake at a favourite cafe. Or a walk along the coast once a fortnight after school drop off. Or even a monthly evening phone call while hubby puts the kids to bed.
Do you have an interesting way to keep your friendship connections alive? Regular dinners or pre-scheduled phone calls? I would love to hear how you do it!