August Challenge: Be a Better Friend

Image of friendship - two friends holding up flowers

Today’s post isn’t about money, but about intentional living.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about friends that I have lost touch with. Two in particular. Both were great friends of mine in college, but in the years since, between moving and life changes, we just sort of stopped talking.

I still consider them dear friends though, and I miss having them actively engaged in my life. It has been so long, that I’ve reached the point where I’m nervous to reach out to them. What if they’re angry at me for not being a better friend? What if they reject me?

I’m a hard-core introvert

In every personality test I’ve ever taken, I’ve gotten results saying that I’m an introvert, I’m logical, analytical, and I like knowledge. People skills are not my forte.

I’m not particularly shy and I really do LIKE people, I’m just usually quiet around them, and I do need alone time to re-charge.  I’m comfortable with silence and tend to think everything is ok even if we go a while without talking. But I’ve learned that other personality types don’t always perceive it that way.

I’m not a “life of the party” personality, I’m a “huddled in the corner of a coffee-shop with a book type” of personality. In my mind, sitting in a coffee shop with a book and a hot drink, surrounded by other people, but not necessarily having to interact with them, is a great day. But sometimes, even I need people, and I do crave connection with friends.

I’ve often been jealous of people with charisma and the types who seem to make friends easily wherever they go. I admire their skill with people, but it’s just not something that comes naturally to me.

This is something I want to be better at.

A life with lots of money isn’t worth it if you don’t have people to share it with.

Family is important to me and I have consciously made steps to prioritize them in my life. Mr. FC and I moved to be closer to both our parents. Since I’m a working Mom, I consciously clear my afternoons and weekends for spending time with my daughter. I have good relationships with both my sisters.

I don’t plan to give any of those thing up. But I think between all that, I have let my friendships suffer. Even this introvert is starting to feel it and I know that the answer is to reach out.

My life is rich with my family relationships, but friends are important too.

I think I’ve also been feeling the friendship pinch because of the way motherhood is playing out in my life.

There are literally five houses in a row on my block that all have young kids and I’m the only working Mom. My neighbors bond during the day out on the front yard while I’m working.

Two of my closest friends in town are also SAHMs as well. And I have ZERO judgment toward them! I am happy that they are happy with their decisions, but it has changed the dynamics of our friendship since they do so much while I’m working.

Few of my colleagues have kids and my work friends bond over beers while I’m putting my kid to bed. Among my college friends, I was one of the early ones to have kids so I feel like that has led some of them to drift away from me.

I know some friendships naturally come and go over time, but I think I could be better about consciously reaching out to all of my friends more. I don’t regret my decision to become a Mom when I did, but I don’t want to sacrifice my friends because of it. I think I just need to make a more conscious effort to show my friends they are important to me too.

So here is my August challenge to myself:

  • Reach out to my friends more.
  • Spend more time with the ones that are actively in my life
  • Reach out to the two long-lost friends that are on my mind – at this point I have nothing to lose.
  • Let them know that I value their friendships and show effort in maintaining it.
  • Call my sister more

Simple enough, right?! Hopefully.

Have you ever re-kindled a long-lost friendship? How did it go?

How do you balance, work, family, sanity time, chores, and time for friends?

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. I feel kind of like I wrote this post. I can totally relate to being introverted but still needing friends. A lot of my friends from medical training have had babies in the last few years and have essentially disappeared from my life, so I have been putting a lot of effort into meeting new people with more time. It’s tiring though and a lot of work at times!

    As a single childless person, my one piece of advice would be to not write off your childless friends. It can be harder for people with/without kids to be friends, as the life stages are so different, but your childless friends may be sitting around feeling lonely and missing you too. I certainly miss my friends with kids!

    1. Making new friends is hard! And I definitely don’t want to write off the childless friends, they’re the ones I miss the most. I’m going to try reaching out to them. Wish me luck 🙂

  2. Other than the introvert part, I could have written this post (the moms on my street are SAHMs too). I got to connect with two high school softball friends last weekend at one of their baby showers and it was SO good to see them. Somehow it had been more than two years, and they live less than an hour from me.

    1. I’m so glad it went well! I’ve found that I often work things up in my head about approaching people, but the vast majority of times, people respond positively. It’s amazing how time can fly by and before you know it, two years have passed… I totally know what you mean.

  3. You are spot on that money is useless if you don’t have someone to share it with via experiences, etc.

    Identifying a problem is a major step and it is nice to see you put it out as a challenge to yourself. Hopefully you meet the challenge and reconnect.

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