Be A Better Me – Day 8 – Reconnect

I’m playing catch-up with my Be a Better Me homework. We’re already on Day 14! I’m a bit behind!

Day 8 was Monday. The day I was home sick in bed. I chose to not call and visit with a friend that day, mainly because I was sick, sleeping and didn’t want the call to turn into a pity party. Part of the point was to just touch base, no ‘requirements’ or ‘agendas.’

From the blog:

The point of yesterday’s task is to drive home the beauty of regularly connecting with people in our lives, and not leave things to chance. Don’t ever take your relationships for granted. Don’t assume people are still in the same place in their life as when you last talked to them. Make the effort to maintain your friendships. This is the starting point of building genuine, true friendships in our life. I hope all of you have gained something from the task, and will make an effort to continue to keep in touch with your friends in the future.

Nice sentiment, eh?

I think I do take my friendships for granted and I don’t make the effort to maintain friendships. It’s a shame, because I’ve heard it said, “The older you get, the more you need people who knew you when you were young.” And I’m running out of ‘young’ 🙂 Hehe

I might have mentioned before how invigorating it is to have friends and connect, but for some reason I have a real problem staying connected. I don’t know what that’s about! Just letting life get in the way? Poor prioritising?

I think mostly it’s a problem of using work-mates as surrogates for genuine friendships. Not that I’m not genuinely friends with them, but I use the time and interactions at work as a substitute for catch ups that aren’t ‘business’ related.

See here for an article from Kobie on friendship, and below, my comment on it:

Funnily enough, I was just commenting to a friend today about how energising it is to have spent time being social the last few weekends!
We have very ‘social’ jobs, and have great rapport with a lot of people. But, as great as our interactions with the people at work are, they are still our customers and in the end we are there to serve them. A friend, on the other hand, asks for nothing except your company, and there’s something totally refreshing and revitalising about that :)
Like you, I have been reminded that being a good friend is good for both me and my friends, and I hope to make a lot more time for them!

Anyway, my recent excuse is that all this week I’ve been sick, sleeping, working and just generally not in a place to reconnect.

On Saturday I finally felt like I was in a place to have a great chat with a friend. So I tried contacting two different friends in town and no luck reaching either! People are BUSY! But, we’ve established that we will catch up in the near future – tentative dates set using lovely electronic media.

I thought I might call someone in Canada, but it was midnight there. I didn’t think it’d be well received. 😉

Instead, I took the dog for a walk. It was a beautiful day, I needed to get out of the house and get moving, but wasn’t up for a run, so we walked over to my aunts and had a good visit with her. That was nice. Often our visits are short and sweet, in-and-out information exchanges. This was a big deep and meaningful, which was really nice!

This morning, Sunday, I tried calling a cousin I haven’t talked to since we were in Canada in April, but got her voicemail. Then I called my sister and kept her up till way past her bedtime. That was fun! Hope I didn’t completely chew her ear off!

I was going to call a couple of other friends in Canada, but now it’s midnight there again – silly International Time Zone thing! So perhaps another time! 🙂

I learned a couple things from this little exercise:

  1. Keeping in touch is harder than it seems, which is weird when you consider how many ways we have to stay in touch!
  2. People are busy and you really have to be willing to book and organise in advance if you want to actually see the person face-to-face! “Just stopping by” isn’t an option for most people anymore.
  3. It is important to regularly set aside some time, even just a little, every week, to make a call, send an email, or let someone know you’re thinking about them, because it does get too long between visits. I actually felt kind of awkward about making a call to some people due to how long it had been since we last spoke.
  4. If you’re trying to maintain international friendships, it’s important to organise your day so it is NOT  the middle of the night when you call!

Do you have lots of close friends? Just a few? Do you work hard at staying in touch, or is it pretty natural for you? Any advice for me on doing a better job of this staying in touch business?

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