‘It’s been years!’ she says, and there is a beat, a moment where conversation could go either way. But I start to fire questions, work, kids, other halves and we are soon sprinting across the years, covering ground like shirpas, effortlessly navigating the ravines and carrying the baggage of 20 years of friendship like pros. Before long we have found common ground…we’ve both been dreaming of moving by the sea.
Seeing friends makes you more productive
Last week I met my university friends for a couple of hours while I was in London, visiting the Wayfair UK Offices. I love the peace of working from home, but I find I need to make the extra effort to see people to balance out that time alone. I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship, and how a sudden flurry of catch ups seems to have taken me outside my own head and given me a real burst of contentment and happiness, and how simple it is to organise, no matter how busy I feel. Rather than stopping me from working, seeing friends gave me energy and balance. Rather than taking time out of my ‘busy schedule’, it has given me the energy to get more done.
Could do Better?
I’m not brilliant at keeping in touch these days, I’m slightly worried how any friends reading this might perceive this. Life always seems to have other plans for me and I am always juggling too much. My best friend of nearly 30 years and I can go months and not speak, conversing by brief texts, but see each other and it’s like nothing happened…
We need to catch up
Come and See Me?
Around last week in August?
That would be brill.
Making new friends
New friendships have blossomed this year at my running group, conversation quickly shifted from where your kids go to school, to deeper concerns, hopes and fears, as we fill the longer and longer runs as we train together for a half marathon.
Other friendships have been cemented over coffees and cocktails, as ‘work from homer’ you need a local network of likeminded people.
Running and coffee or lunch dates punctuate my work from home week, and always give me new ideas to feed into my work.
Get out, get inspired
Yesterday I put the world to rights in the hot tub, and the conservatory of Eden Hall Spa, with Amanda from the Ana Mum Diary and Becky from A Beautiful Space, we made blogging plans, swapped tips, if only every meeting could take place in a spa, it really was the best place to reflect and I left full of ideas. Being afraid to take time away as a freelancer can be detrimental, I am always reminding myself that some of my best ideas come when dog walking, or when away from my desk, in this case, sitting in a hot tub.
It started with a quick whatsapp message to see who was around the night I was in London. Suddenly my phone seems to be beeping, whatsapp chats are filing moments when I would have aimlessly flicked through facebook. At the same time I text another friend. A message from an old friend I’ve missed pops up on facebook messenger, it’s like the universe has answered. Just a little bit of reaching out goes a long way, and before you know it, it snowballs.
Juggling homes, lives, kids, work can be exhausting, I’m not alone in worrying about friendships, here are some great reflections and tips gathered from other bloggers.
The busy person’s guide to keeping friendships alive
Don’t take it personally when friends aren’t in touch for a long time – life gets busy, but as long as everything is still the same when you get together, then all is well.
Andrea, All you need is love and cake
Show an interest in your friend’s life, even if you are at different points in your life. Don’t ditch them because they’ve had a child and are married, while you’re still partying the night away as a single.
Carolin, Mummy Alarm
Make time for your friends – I’m lucky as my best friend moved in next door to me but before then we used to do tea one night a week without fail.
Cass Frugal Family
I’ve known my BFF since I was 10, I only see her once maybe twice a year. We’re facebook friends but she’s rarely online as she looks after foster kids from broken homes. Her mum lives down the road and her sister I see quite regularly too. But when we get together, it’s like we saw each other last week. We don’t know the ins and outs of each others lives, which is probably why we’ve stayed friends for over 30 years.
My only tip would be that if you’ve not seen a friend for a long time or been in contact and you think it’s been too long, just go ahead and get in touch, chances are they’ve been thinking the same and just let time pass.
Clare, Seasider in the city
I have a friend who I have known since we were teenagers and have been pen pals ever since. The volume of letters has diminished but it’s lovely to write down everything that we have been up to etc like we used to do and received some snail mail
Sarah, Boo Roo and Tigger Too
Accept that your lives will go in opposite directions and you may have differences – especially if one of you is a mum and the other one isn’t. Find your common ground and try to talk mostly about things you’re both interested in.
Donna, Mummy Central
Acknowledge what is happening. State clearly your time is limited now but you still love them to pieces and cherish the time you DO have. That way others won’t think you just don’t care.
Becky, A Beautiful Space
I make a point of sending texts or emails out every 2/3 months and trying to get dates in the diary for a catch up. I suggest morning, lunch or evening choices and follow it through until something is firm. It might sound pushy but I find if I don’t continue everyone forgets as we’re all so busy. It works for me most of the time.
Mari, Mari’s World
I make my friends a priority. We all have long to do lists and they can get dropped further and further down them as days and weeks and months go by as not as important as other stuff, but, now I make them top priority, make that call, drop that message, meet them for coffee and am always glad to have done so. Life feels more balanced and in control as a result.
Anya, Older Single Mum