The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside.
How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?
We met for lunch at a new organic grocery shop and café. The conversation flowed easy. The fluffy superficial bits were quickly dispensed with and the remainder of our time was spent with the nitty gritty of our lives, since the last catch up. We’re new friends – maybe two years since we clicked at our once common work place. The friendship has an easiness that makes conversation flow and we hold each other’s trust close. That is precious. Beyond rubies.
There was a time in the recent past when everyone in the birthday book received a handmade card, in time for their special day. If the Birthday girl or boy lived any distance from our home, I’d write a short note to update them on the where, what and why of our family since we last caught up. Christmas time was preceded by a flurry of card making and everyone in the address book received a card and note from our family. Once upon a time I enjoyed maintaining connection and have been a letter writer since boarding school days; it was no chore to make the cards and and write letters.
This year I sent two Birthday cards, and no letters. Ten handmade Christmas cards will go to the folk with whom we have done life in 2014. The list is short and letters aren’t happening.
Email and Text Messages
There was a time when an email or text message were responded to immediately. These days, I’m likely to leave them for a few days and then a few more, until they’re forgotten. I realised how poorly I was doing with emails and have started to pay attention to those that require immediate attention and respond the same day. So I am getting better.
Part way through the year I switched the answer phone off and I no longer answer the phone, unless I am doing nothing.
The prompt is not about how we didn’t maintain connection but how we did connect with others. These admissions and observations don’t alarm me or cause me angst. Rather they tell me that those members of the family or friends who wish to remain connected will initiate contact with us. The assumption then is that those from whom we no longer hear, no longer wish to do life alongside us. We have to let them go.
For too long I have been the one reaching out, initiating gatherings and keeping everything neat and tidy and I am totally over it. As we move towards the close of 2014 we are doing life with a small group who contact each other, meet, exchange emails and text messages, read each other’s blogs and comment. Those are the only connections I will be maintaining into 2015.
A large portion of each work day is spent chasing people, following up appointments, making phone calls on behalf of others and I have no problem with this – I’m paid to do it. Therefore when I am on my own time, I don’t expect my friends to behave like clients. If they don’t have the inclination to connect then it is time to quietly allow them to drift away. Hearing that getting together was such a good idea, or that they’re so pleased you initiated this that or the other has become a boring and repetitive mantra. No more.
…. And 2015?
I am looking forward to remaining connected to a few special people, enjoying more long lunches. It feels good. After all being connected is a matter of reciprocity, meaning we each have our part to play.