Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Changing Face of Friendships

Do you remember your first friends as a child?  I have vivid memories of some of the things we did...like playing pranks to scare our little siblings!  What kind of a child would do that!

Then there are the school chums.  That's where we learn about true friends and traitors.

I've been thinking about adult friendships lately though.  Why is it that some friends are with you throughout your whole life and others seem to drop off along the way?  Nothing really negative happened to create a rift. But at some point you realize you don't have contact with them anymore.  I used to feel that if I thought of them I should make an effort to contact them and somehow try to rekindle what we once shared.  That would consume so much of my time if I actually did that.

The past several years as I've thought about people I used to spend time with and don't see anymore, I've come to realize that some friendships are just for a season.  They don't end badly.  They are just there for a certain period of time and then we move on. I've decided I'm okay with that. The time that our lives were linked through a job, neighborhood, school or church was a good thing.  But the chapter ends and new ones begin.  I can feel good about what once was and enjoy the memories.  Now we have Facebook which allows us to reconnect, but within the boundary of technology, which takes some of the guilt off those of us who feel we need to do our part to try to keep a friendship alive.

Long term, healthy friendships require a mutual commitment to invest in one another.  We have just so many hours in a day and once we've lived through more than a few decades we've rubbed elbows with a significant number of people.  Only a small number of them will become lifelong friends.  Those become precious to us!

"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget." G. Randolf

4 comments:

crosswaysnet said...

Well, it's nice to see you're not becoming neurotic about all the acquaintances that drop out along the way! There are certainly those I feel compelled to keep investing in, and others I'm amazed keep investing in me. For those I've 'lost' I find myself doing a little personal inventory as I think of them - "What did I learn from them during that 'season?' How do I pay it forward?" Then I bless them and get back to 'life usual.' I'm richer just for the remembrance.

Coach Sheryl said...

My sentiments exactly. I'm sure you've been amazed at the depth of some of your friendships with your recent illness. We are richer for the remembrance. Thanks for stopping by!

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

oh my, this was such a good post. I'm so bad at that...I tend to feel guilty as I think about the friends that I don't keep in touch with anymore. You're right though, it would take up far too much time to keep in touch with everyone that you were ever friends with. But I still find myself missing those friendships as I reflect back.

Coach Sheryl said...

Megan, so great to hear from you. Sometimes there are those friends you just know you need to contact even though you haven't seen them for a long time. And isn't it great when you hear from them first! By the way I used to live in MI. I was born in Kalamazoo and lived there till I was 13. Love those blueberries and Michigan cherries.