Many of my close friends don’t live in the Colorado area, so it is not as easy to get together for a coffee or to catchup at an event that I might see them at. Plus being a husband, a father of two teenagers with multiple activities, and trying to build a business doesn’t always allow for a lot of spare time. However, it is the relationships that we make and cultivate that truly impact our lives. My wife hangs some very poignant placards in our house that help remind me of the important things in life. Many are around family, which is one of my highest priorities, but there is one that I truly enjoy and helps me keep a proper perspective on things.
“Don’t let me be so busy making a living that I forget to make a life”
This one resonates deeply with me as I would consider myself a recovering workaholic. I thought when I first got married that it was may absolute duty that I provide for my family. I think this is something that is very common for a lot of men. However, what I failed to realize is that providing for your family is more than just a paycheck and “stuff”. I need to be present, emotionally intelligent, and present (yes I said that twice). Part of this is cultivating relationships with friends outside of your family as well. We were never meant to do this life alone but in community with others. Hence, the struggle I find sometimes when I don’t feel like I am keeping in touch with folks that are important.
So, now when I am thinking of someone that I haven’t reached out to in a while I just reach out and say hello and see how they are doing. With a very busy schedule I have found that my calendar and task list, which I use just one of each and it works across all of my devices, allows me to ping myself into making this time. Birthday’s are always a great excuse, because it allows me to let them know that I am thinking about them, that on a very important day (the day they became a part of this world) that I want to share a small part of it with them, and that I hope it is wonderful for them as possible because they have made my life better for being a part of it.
I would struggle with not talking to someone for a period of time, and thought that they would be upset that I hadn’t reached out to them lately and that they wouldn’t be interested in catching up. I learned that I was completely wrong, and the ones that didn’t want to catchup were not as close as I thought they were and probably better for me to spend my time and energy else where. I even learned that by just reaching out, that I would have some great conversations and we would pick up right where we left off and it would seem as no time had passed at all. This approach also allowed those that didn’t want to respond to opt out and this freed me up in not feeling like I wasn’t cultivating something that I should be. This was a hard learned lesson for me, but it reminds me often that the people that touch our lives are what truly make it remarkable. Life is a gift and one that we should share with each other, so don’t wait. Reach out to someone today that you have been thinking about and you will be glad that you did.