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Valuing Friendship

from Elichkata and . . .am I more myself or less myself

I almost just lost a dear friendship. It was a stark reminder of how important it is to foster relationships that mean a lot to you . . . to me. I can give you all sorts of excuses, just like I tried to give her. I just got super busy – the move, work, the kids, the house, the blog. It happened gradually, my emails got short, I stopped tweeting, her blog got lost in the 4,000 unread posts in my reader, our calls became non-existent, the planned visit got canceled. I completely lost touch. So when she courageously communicated that she wanted to focus on relationships that were more reciprocal, I felt physically sick at the thought I had let her down. Her friendship is so very dear to me.

Friendships aren’t how they were in college when I had endless time to hang out, grow and adventure together with friends. Part of this change has come as I’ve gotten older, raised a family and moved around. I make and have more friends through business, through activities, through the kids, through school, through Sandy’s work, etc. With this new location in Baltimore, there is an entirely new round of folks to meet. Still, there is only so much of ‘me’ to go around.

Add on to that, the whole blogging business, where making contacts and tweeting and pinning are essential for success, it’s been easy to spread myself horribly thin. All of a sudden, I’m madly managing acquaintances, garnering followers, networking and making contacts, not to mention keeping up family obligations. The time for the important friendships, the ones that really mean a lot, slip away. I’m talking about the friendships where I’ve felt that I resonate harmoniously with the other person immediately–the kind of connection that makes me think I may have known that person in a past life. These are the big ones–the ones to not let go.

These are the friendships that are easy to lose sight of because the friendship seems so natural and obvious and easy. How much effort could be required? It feels as if nothing could affect that connection. But, the truth is, I still need to care and tend these relationships. They require love and fostering. Otherwise, they are simply the promise of a friendship, an empty shell.

I want to prioritize the friendships that make me grow and expand, think in new ways, and become a better person. The ones where I feel totally accepted and loved just how I am and vice versa. In the end, it’s our relationships that mean something, that matter in life, not one more post, or one more row, or one more load of laundry. I am relieved to have made up with my friend and had an honest and loving dialogue with her. I am glad she gave me that opportunity. But, don’t delay, call that friend that you love so much and make sure you have a nice long chat.

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