Do you remember when you were a teenager and you would talk to your friends on the phone five times a day?! (That’s after spending the whole day at school together!) No decision was made without their input and no event was too insignificant to update them on. Fast forward to today when you have a spouse, children, a house, a business and very little time to yourself. Your BFFs have been relegated to the bottom of your to-do list and sometimes months go by between your visits. While drifting away from your friends is part of the process, you don’t want to drift so far that you can’t find your way back. Here are some good reasons to put your friends higher on your list of priorities:
If you don’t make time for your friends, they will fill that space in their lives with someone who will. Is that a sacrifice that you are prepared to make?
If you don’t, you will lose them. You can only turn someone down a certain number of times before they’ll stop asking. If you don’t make time for your friends, they will fill that space in their lives with someone who will. Is that a sacrifice that you are prepared to make?
They bring you out. Remember when you went scuba diving in Barbados? How about when you took an impromptu solo vacation to Korea? Where is that adventurous girl now? When you are completely focused on working and taking care of your family, important parts of who you are get swept aside. Your friends can help bring you back. They can bring out parts of your personality that you thought you left in your twenties.
It is a huge stress release. Have you ever noticed how good you feel after an evening with your friends? It almost feels like having a big drink of water after days of being thirsty. You feel understood, satisfied, and happy. Your friends know you and understand what you’re going through and chances are they have a few war stories of their own. When you’re with your friends you can talk about things that you usually keep to yourself. The release of sharing your challenges with others and the support that you receive from your friends makes it all feel a lot easier to handle.
The reality is that you will never magically find extra time to spend with your friends; you need to deliberately set some time aside. Stop and think about what’s important to you. What do you want out of your life? If having people to share experiences with is something that you value, then you need to make an effort. You’ll be glad that you did.