I wrote this on a message board just last night, on a 7 page thread about losing friends over the years. I kind of had an epiphany in yesterday, especially after calling up two college friends that are 4-12 hours away from us:
See…the thing is, I don’t want to be cynical anymore. I was becoming a bit that way, and kind of blaming others for dropping the ball at times. But I know I’m just as guilty too. Not of not caring, but of not having the energy to maintain friendships (sometimes I was literally tired, other times just depressed). Only I didn’t realize how much I need to keep trying, even if they don’t reciprocate.
But I found out today that, at least the two I contacted by phone, and the ones I’ve seen recently…people HAVE remembered me, and still care about me (and J) and I want to renew friendships, at least in some fashion…(phone calls, emails, Christmas cards). And even if we get together only a few times a year, at least those few times a year are priceless. I have some great photos of all our kids from the pizza night a week ago. I have one of all six kids, lined up from tallest to shortest, and it is a great photo. I sent it out to a few of the friends and I know that they are going to love it. It’s one thing to see photos of our individual kids, but something totally else to see a few families’ worth of kids in one shot.
I’m eternally grateful for this message board and for grateful for my internet friendships I made through my blog. They’ve meant the world to me, keeping me from becoming dismally depressed and, well – quite honestly – off medications…and some day I hope to meet a few of them (I have one in Texas, one in TN and at least one in England, and another one I’m not remembering at the moment, among other places).
I am a social introvert…I need people I’m comfortable around and can really talk to (and I like to talk). As much as I do keep to myself at my home (because I keep alienating some people IRL), I don’t LIKE to at all.
Yesterday, I spent about 8 hours on a project to re-connect with friends. Instead of a Christmas card/family newsletter, I ended up making it a New Year’s card and family newsletter.
J and I took a photo of the girls from one of my most favorite places – Storybook Gardens in Wisconsin Dells and made it into a Happy New Year 2010 photo card, I wrote a 2 page newsletter with photos and updates from J, myself and about the girls and upcoming plans. I made two phone calls to verify the addresses of two of our friends I lost track of (on in Michigan, and one in South Carolina), and both J and I got to talk. We hadn’t spoken to either of them in about a year.
Below is the photo card, the family newsletter and my stack of labeled and stamped envelopes, waiting to be dropped off at the post office tomorrow.
Today we are going to call friends of ours who mysteriously pulled up stakes and moved to Mississippi without telling us. And they only lived about 30 minutes away from us. What’s more, these weren’t just casual friends of ours – J used to date the wife before he met me and was the husband’s best man, and I used to live with the husband for about four months (before he was dating the wife) while dating J (loooonnnnnggg story there).
I realize we’ve been lax in our efforts to keep connected. With all my bitching and moaning about not being able to find new friends, I hadn’t really even tried that hard with the friends we used to have. Yes, we are more scattered now…but that’s really no excuse not to make an effort. Like a friend of mine once wrote me on email…with all the modes of communication available at our fingertips, we are at our most disconnected from one another.
Well…for me anyway, that’s going to be no more. Sure, I can’t possibly chat with our friends all the time, but I’m going to make sure we touch base more frequently.
And this part of the reason is this, a dear internet friend wrote this to me:
I’m no prophet, but I’d bet the ranch that this year WILL NOT end as it began for either of us. Change is afoot.
I believe her. And she’s part of the reason I spent 8 hours focusing on what I thought I lost but simply misplaced in the shuffle of everyday life.
Many Blessings to You this New Year and New Decade.