Today is my best childhood friend's birthday. Wendy and I became friends in first grade and were inseparable through our junior year. Unfortunately, we grew apart as seniors and never became close again. We've kept in touch occasionally through the years and Facebook has made it easier to keep tabs on each other, but it's just not the same. So much has happened in each of our lives that we both should have been there for: children have been born and died, marriages have begun (and happily not ended), and parents have passed away. Somehow it just doesn't seem right that such a long friendship could have ended so easily.
I commented a few weeks ago that I need more friends. Oh, I have many wonderful acquaintances whose company I enjoy, but very few I call up for coffee or just to chat. One of my dearest friends pointed out that what I need to do is spend more time with the friends I have. Alas, 'tis true. It's far too easy to get caught up in my job, family and chores and forget to keep up with the others in my life whom I love. I'm also guilty of wanting to be called rather than be the one doing the calling. I get very frustrated when I feel like I'm doing all the work to keep a relationship going.
Friendships do require work, just like any other relationship. It's not so hard to remember that our marriages require real effort to maintain, but the same is just as true with friendships; sometimes even more so. Friends aren't with us every day, and so it's easy to put off calling them to see how they're doing or just to say hi. Yet we need them: the happiest people have a stable and active social support network.
So, my friends, I'll try to to better about keeping in touch with you and ask that you do the same for me. I know I need you in my life, and I hope that I am there for you, too.