One of the most disappointing things for me personally is when people say “anything, anytime” and then when you reach out, they’re too busy. I get that everyone has lives and commitments, but do you really not have time to connect with other people? Is it too much to ask nowadays for people to help someone else?
I have a younger friend who is coping with chronic illness, 2 kids under the age of 5 and a military spouse. I’m finding out that most of this person’s “friends” have become scarce as life has become complicated. Just when the person needs it most, people disappear.
It’s hard maintaining relationships with all the distractions available today. We enroll our kids in activities, get involved in said activities as adults and forget that the quiet moments are important. Our lives shift and change, which leaves many people in a state of aloneness. Perhaps our life circumstances change so dramatically that our “friends” no longer feel as if we fit into their lives.
I was speaking with another friend today and I asked her if she would be free to come over for a small gathering of friends in a few weeks. The date just happens to be the day before her birthday. I told her “Great!” we’ll have a party at my house so she doesn’t have to do anything. Just invite your friends, I said enthusiastically. And then, she told me she feels she only has two and I’m one of them. This friend is caught in the sandwich generation and as the family needs have increased, her “friends” disappeared.
I’ve come to realize that people no longer want to work at relationships. According to some statistics, marriages only stand a 50% chance of surviving 5 years or longer. The most common reason is listed as “irreconcilable differences.” I think that logic could be applied to all our relationships that have faded. I mean, we still get along but there is just nothing holding us together.
I mourn for friendships that have passed. People I thought would be part of my life for a very long time have departed. As I’m seeing this pattern with other people and their relationships, I don’t think it’s me. My current theory is that our lives have become so hectic combined with the need for instant gratification, we just don’t want to become involved with other people.
I maintain friendships until it becomes painfully obvious that it’s time to move on. I’m getting better at recognizing when I’m being pushed away. I don’t fight nearly as hard as I used to when I feel people pulling back. Perhaps I’m to blame for the decline in my life.
For those who get to know me, you will soon discover that I will answer my phone at 2am. I will do whatever I can to ease your burden. I want to walk these paths with you, regardless of their difficulty. It’s a choice I gladly make. I only ask for honesty. I don’t like games. I truly don’t understand them most of the time. Either you’re in or you’re out. It’s pretty straightforward in my world.
Ponder this…as your life changes, do you forget to water your garden of friendship? Do you have regrets about letting things wither and die in your relationships? What is so absolutely important in your life that you don’t need friends?
In today’s world, it’s pretty simple to let someone know you’re still there for them. A text, a social media message and *gasp* a phone call can be the gentle shower that your garden needs. We’re all in this together.
Your challenge: Make contact with a friend you haven’t connected with recently. The time you spend will be returned to you tenfold. We all need to know someone cares enough to reach out. I know I’ll be there.
Lean on Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZE16KTpu_M
I’ll be There http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnDm3qr1Knk