At times, I feel like my life doesn’t intersect with the lives of others as often as I’d like. So many of my friends are younger than me. They’re raising little ones and at an entirely different mile marker on the road. Other friends are as busy with their stuff as I am busy with mine.
Funny too, how deleting Facebook from my life last year also deleted much of my friendly day-to-day contact.
Time and opportunity often get in the way of friendship continuity too. We text here and there, chat briefly in whatever hallway we find ourselves in, and mostly live in our separate ways.
The knowledge that we’re always there for each other runs like background music in these chance encounters, so much so, that maybe friendships sometimes feel more assumed than experienced. I’ve often wondered how to about digging to a deeper level despite schedules and kids and long lists of appointments, family obligations, and several days worth of things to do on our agendas.
We’ve all got problems – large, small, and merely annoying. Depending on the day and life’s curves in the road, we’re feeling successful, happy, or dissatisfied. We worry, we’re lonely, feel inspired, and grieve. It might be there’s no chance to tell you about the pride I’m feeling about my child, or it could be I’m feeling regret over a mistake and I’m a little insecure to admit it.
Maybe it’s just that the backstory’s long and we just don’t much have the time to get into all that.
Let’s not live too busy to be the kind of friends we want to be.
Say yes. Invitations come our way. Let’s stop, look left, look right. And say yes. All the stuff waits. Our people shouldn’t have to.
Reach out. Offer. Suggest. Invite. Share time measured by the hour hand rather than in seconds or minutes.
Surprise. An unexpected moment of “I’m thinking of you” goes a long way on a long day. One friend tucks a special treat in my mailbox each week at work. And I tuck one in hers. A small connection, maybe, but a true connection nonetheless and so much fun to anticipate.
Ask. Listen. Ask. Listen again. Remember. Connect. Share. Follow up. Care.
Show up. Take time to acknowledge important moments. A card at the birth of a grandchild. A box of cookies to sweeten a struggle. A smile to encourage or empathize. Compliment. Notice. Be there now.
Trust. Let people in. Let people know the good stuff, the hard stuff, and all the stuff in between. Allow people to love you. Once you find that intersection, friendship has to be a two way street.
I’m hopeful for us all to intersect more and better and deeper than ever before.
Let’s take the time. We need each other.