Last week I caught up with an old friend, and it got me thinking about how dreadful I’ve become about keeping in touch with people. I think when the twins were born I went into survival mode, all my focus went on home life, and I’m not sure that I’ve managed to really break out of that mindset. Of course it’s important to prioritise my family, but time with good friends makes me feel so much happier, so I think it’s about time I pulled my socks up and stopped taking my friendships for granted.
Three years ago, I made a pledge to stop forgetting friends’ birthdays, and I made a card organiser to help keep on top of the dates. I do use it, but it’s become largely forgotten and most of the time it sits at the back of a cupboard. So I’ve given it an update and now it’s out on a shelf in my office. There’s an A5 envelope for each month of the year, with a list of that month’s birthdays pegged to the front. Cards I’ve made (another resolution which I’ve actually stuck to is to make all my own greetings cards) are popped into the envelope so that they’re ready for sending. The plan is to tackle each month in one go – making sure there are cards for everyone ready in stamped addressed envelopes so that all I have to do is post them in time.
1. Remember birthdays
2. Send a card/letter/note
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love receiving proper post (not bills – I definitely don’t like receiving those). Next time I think about sending a text to a friend I haven’t contacted for ages, I’d like to send a nice note or postcard instead.
3. Make the call
I’m terrible for texting when really I should just pick up the phone. It’s way more personal and a good chat with a friend never fails to cheer me up.
4. Plan a trip
Sometimes the only way to make thing happen is to plan in advance. Whether it’s a day trip, or a longer weekend away, there’s nothing better than time spent face-to-face. I need to sit down with the diary and get scheduling.
I’ve already admitted to my hoarding tendencies and I think this applies to my friendships, too. I find it painful losing touch with anyone, whether they’re a great friend or not. But I can’t focus on the people that are really special to me if I’m investing too much time in those that aren’t. Harsh maybe, but true. Sometimes I really do need to let go.
How do you make sure to nurture your friendships?