You don’t have time for everyone.
But, you better have time for a few.
This week, I caught up with a dear friend. She’s a globetrotter and now lives in South Africa.
During our conversation, we got around to talking about all the people she planned to see while stateside.
I commented, “You do an amazing job of staying in touch with these great people from our past.”
“I have to,” was her answer.
“A long time ago, I heard a speaker at a conference talk about the ‘special people’ who come into our lives. He had us make a list. So I did. It’s in my journal. At the top, it actually says ‘Special People’.”
“Every chance I get, I reconnect with everyone who is on there.”
She’d been in Spain the summer before and one of those ‘special people’ drove hours to make that connection happen.
Next week, her friend from Japan would be visiting.
And, she…she had a docket of brunches, phone calls, and visits for the next three weeks.
Some of her special people are my special people too, but aside from seeing highlights on a Facebook feed, I haven’t had a real face-to-face conversation in years.
The truth is, we don’t have a lot of time.
Time to connect.
Time to keep up.
Time to do all the things asked of us.
But, we do have time for the people who matter. The people who have shaped us. The ones we have grown (and grown up) with. And, to whom we will forever be connected.
- Make your ‘Special People’ list. Don’t feel bad if someone’s name isn’t on it. Instead, treasure those names who rise to the top and who have shaped you.
- Take one small action. Don’t commit to reconnect with everyone today. Pick one person at a time and slowly work through your list.
- Recognize that you may be adding special people as life moves ahead. Adding new names does not mean you need to let go of the incumbents. Like love, special people are unlimited.
Friendship really is one of the most beautiful, under-appreciated experiences of life. Personalities, journeys and life stages collide in just the right way to shape us. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable, learn and give subconsciously. As you review your list, take a moment of gratitude for each friend-collision that made you who you are today.
More on developing outstanding friendships is in Psychology Today.