Meaningful friendships don’t just happen. Family ties are not maintained effortlessly. Forming and maintaining relationships requires a significant investment of time and emotional energy. Am I willing to make that investment?
I was invited to a Christmas party tonight. I was reluctant to go, because I knew that more Spanish than English would be spoken. Speaking and listening in Spanish is work! And my Spanish vocabulary is certainly limited. In the final analysis, I chose to go. I made new friends. We enjoyed a meaningful dialogue…in Spanish. They were most patient! I left with a renewed desire to practice my Spanish. After I left the party, I realized how lazy had become in forming and maintaining relationships.
I enjoy having friends. I like the idea of being close to my extended family. But I was reminded tonight that it requires commitment. There are so many barriers that impede the ongoing cultivation of friendships. Similar obstacles cause families to feel disengaged from one another. It’s easier to just skip the party. It’s too much trouble to make a phone call or send a text.
As a new year approaches, I hope to do a few things differently.
I am the king of procrastination, so I am thinking about making the phone call or sending the text when a person crosses my mind. Why wait until tomorrow? Perhaps that individual is on my mind for a reason…
My family of origin receives a grade of F regarding extended family. We failed. I mean we failed miserably. So…2017 needs to be a year to keep up with cousins, nieces, nephews, and the like. I must rise above the failures that characterized the past.
I am open to meeting new friends. I am anxious to get to know people from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and interests. I have gotten lazy in that area in recent years. And that is a mistake.
And finally, I am reminded of the need to be alert. Most people are reluctant to say “I am down” or “I am discouraged.” Paying attention is imperative. My radar is back up.
Forming and maintaining relationships requires a significant investment of time and emotional energy. Am I willing to make that investment? It can be a scary journey, but I think the answer is a resounding “yes.”