There’s no denying it, life is busy these days. Most of us spend our time rushing madly from one commitment to another, trying to meet the demands of our jobs, our families, or whatever it happens to be that requires our time and attention. So it’s only natural that we look for areas in our lives where we can cut back, and chores are ignored, obligations are dodged, and relationships are neglected. And sadly, one of the things we are often too quick to let go of is our friendships.
I remember being shocked once when a friend told me, “I’m not interested in making any new friends, because I have all the friends I want already.” But now I understand what she meant. Friendships, like all relationships, take time, and there are just so many hours in the day. So in an effort to maintain her current friendships, she had simply declared a moratorium on making any new ones. I think the same theory is at work when people make room for a new friend in their life by dropping an old one.
But for me, my friends, both old and new, are too precious to let go. So I have been vigilant about trying to stay in touch with my old friends, even during the phases in my life when I have very little time to spare, and for the most part, I’ve been successful. Sometimes connecting is as simple as a quick text, other times it’s a phone call just to touch base, while still other times it involves a drive across the state for a girls’ weekend with my high school friends. However it happens, it’s time well spent, because it means we are keeping the friendship alive.
Recently, I enjoyed a high school reunion where I reconnected with many old friends, was visited by one of my best friends from college, and had lunch with a dear childhood friend who now lives on another continent. I was thrilled when several of my life-long friends, even those who live far away, attended my daughter’s wedding. There’s just something so satisfying about sharing my life’s major moments with people I have known for decades, and in meeting a friend I haven’t seen in years and still feeling that instant, close connection. With every single encounter, I find myself being so very glad that I made the effort to stay in touch with my “old” friends.
Yes, making friends and keeping old friendships alive does requires a certain amount of time and effort. But I’ll gladly put it in, because they’re worth it.