Friday, February 19, 2016

Are Your Friendships Fading or Flourishing?

Celebrating Valentine's Day on Sunday I dined with my husband and sent $5.00 bills origamied into hearts to the grandkids. 

Now I wish I'd celebrated my close friendships, too. 

During my school age years, our family made four state to state moves. My elementary school friends are dim memories. Those from high school are only photos in the yearbook. And I only have email addresses for two college buddies. 

Once I married and settled in one place I tried to hang onto every friendship like a leech. Undoubtedly I misread clues and tried to stay tethered past the time I should have cut the line.  Oh, I must have been so annoying.  

Eventually I understood that friendships fade and I've learned to read the signals. When a gal pal can't find time for even an occasional social event, I think twice before making contact again.  I only keep people on my Christmas card list for a couple of years before I eliminate the ones who don't reciprocate. When my maybe-friend only sends forwarded emails, I figure I'm not worth her time. 

Electronics have not helped foster healthy friendships. Facebook helps me know where you are and what you're doing, but doesn't really invite me in. Twitter's like eating one bite of pie and calling it dessert.  I feel like a piece of furniture when I'm talking to someone who answers their phone and drops me like a hot potato.

My time for making and fostering rich friendships is much shorter than it was twenty years ago. Maybe that's why I am so reluctant to admit kinship has withered on the vine.

So I'm that much more thankful for good friendships. They flourish because we're mutually mindful. I only miss my monthly dinner out with the book club if I'm infectious or feverish. We have a standing date for Wednesday lunch. And occasionally I even drop in on one.

I don't hear from far flung soul sisters frequently, but I know if Judy from Oregon comes within a hundred miles, she'll try to to rendezvous. And we'll pick up where we left off two years ago. 

You can't make or keep a friend without investing time, and both blessings are more and more precious as each day goes by.  

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