Whether you are planning your wedding or you’re just living your life, one of the most important aspects of your life is your connections. And no, I’m not talking about who you know who can get you into the club or get you free tickets to concerts; I’m talking about your circle, the women and men that you connect with at a deeper level than just small talk. I’m talking about the people who know you at your most vulnerable and at your craziest, the people who are your family because you’ve chosen them to be not because of your blood relation. These are the people you think to call when you have good news to share and the ones you go to for comfort when the world feels like it’s going against you. They’re the ones who will always empathize with you even if they may not understand what you’re going through and they’re the ones who will give you the honest-to-goodness truth whether you want to hear it or not.
But even with how deep and strong the friendship is, have you noticed that as each year passes, the friendships often are harder to maintain? I remember a time when I could pick up the phone to see if anyone was free to go out later that night. Now, to go out with anyone, it takes time and planning. As we grow further into adulthood, we're not as "free" as we use to be and it can be so much harder to stay connected. Friends are married, have kids, have elderly parents, have jobs and obligations that we didn’t necessarily have when we were in our 20’s. It’s made maintaining friendships a little more challenging than before. Have you noticed the same thing in your own life?
I have. But something else I've noticed is that the more challenging it has become to stay connected, I've actually found out who I really want to connect with when I do have free time. It actually means my relationships are deeper and more special because our time together is often separated with weeks or even months of not being able to connect. And the 20 or so people I thought were my "close friends" in my 20s has whittled down to 6 women in my 30s. But these women know me inside out and even though it may take some finagling to find time to get together, we're able to pick up as if we haven't been apart.
So how do you stay connected with the people that mean the most to you? Here are a few of things my friends and I do to stay connected:
We work out together. Whether it’s going hiking or just going out for a walk, instead of going to the gym, we use the time to exercise together, which gives us about an hour, if we're able to schedule it, every week.
We plan early breakfasts. Saturday morning breakfasts at 8am with daughters. It’s ladies time and even though we do have to watch over kids, we’re still able to get some time in to talk and catch up.
We plan weekend getaways months in advance. And when I say months, sometimes it’s 6 months and other times it’s almost a year in advance. That usually gives us enough time to get husbands, boyfriends, kids, and parents scheduled and organized so we can take a weekend off together.
We meet for lunch during the workday. This way can be trickier, but if you have a friend that works near you like I do, we meet for a quick lunch. It’s definitely short and it’s a time crunch, but it works for quick catch-ups.
We take time off while the kids are in school. We’ll work half a day and then meet up for late lunch or for a massage before heading home to pick up the kids and meet spouses for dinner.
We combine family time. If your husbands are friends then we can have family time together where we all hang out. Granted, it can be hard to find time to slip away for some girl talk, but sometimes it’s better getting together and having snatches of private girl talk time than nothing.
No matter how you do it or what you need to do, it takes a commitment on both parts to schedule time to stay connected with friends. How about you? What do you and your friends do to stay connected? Share with us below!