the wonderful world of veena.

16 October 2013

becoming intentional / keeping in touch.

I mentioned yesterday that I am attempting to become more intentional in my communications with friends, and I wanted to talk about that a bit more.

At Caitlin's Bridesmaids' Luncheon a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Gaga, Cait's maternal grandmother. As Gaga lives in California, I had often heard about her but had not before had the opportunity to meet her. At lunch I sat near her and got to listen to her talk about her best friend of 50 years who was also in town for the wedding.

To think of being at an age where I can say I've been friends with someone for 50 years seems incredible. And not just friends, but friends who have shared every milestone, every up and down, every celebration and sorrow with each other.

She spoke of the intentionality that it takes to maintain a friendship like that over the years, no matter the distance or the circumstances. The calls, the letters, the visits. All the things we tend to take for granted in this digital age.

I will sometimes forget that I've not spoken to or emailed a friend in too long, because I've been following their posts on Facebook or seen their pictures on Instagram. I still know vaguely what is happening in their lives, but I'm not present in it, I'm not participating. "Liking" someone's status or commenting on a photo doesn't necessarily mean that you are actually active in someone's life. It means you're out there on the fringes, but it takes more effort to maintain those ties.

I have friends I've not been in regular contact with for a number of years, but not because of a lack of interest in their lives. Often I use the excuse that my nomadic lifestyle makes it difficult to keep in proper contact with people, and while that is true to an extent, I cannot continue to use that as a crutch to fall back on. I want to be more active, more involved in my friends' lives. I want to participate again.

So I am making an effort to be more intentional in my interactions and communications with my friends. I emphasize "making an effort" because I know it's not something that is going to change overnight. It's something that will be ongoing, and I will take some time to find my rhythm, my routine, but it's something I really want to work on.

I'm starting slow. Emails. Random postcards and letters. Skype chats. An occasional phone call, when I'm feeling a little crazy. And hopefully I'll get back to the point where it's something I no longer have to work on but something that just comes naturally.

Thank you, Gaga, for reminding me to take time to treasure those people I'm lucky enough to call friends.

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