In a time where we’re all “very busy” how do we make time for those that matter the most?
By Indira Kasaeva
Friendships like any other relationships require investment, and some effort, but in an age where we’re bombarded with communication through our phone, have families to keep safe and healthy, along with work obligations – when and more importantly HOW do we keep our friendships?
Every birthday celebration I look around at all my friends and feel an immense sense of gratitude for being loved by such different and wonderful people. There are those that I see once in a while and those that I interact with on a weekly basis (even though I want to write “daily”). The truth is, daily just isn’t possible, and although I consider my closest girlfriends my family, and as sad as it may be, I don’t even talk to my family every single day. The time in a day is split into a million different errands from work, time with my partner, social obligations, chores and I don’t even have kids yet! On some evenings there is no energy for anything else and life seems to be flying by at the speed of light. Despite all that, I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by three of my best friends, and around six more who are close. Now… it’s probably because they’re so awesome, but here’s how our little bunch keeps the sparks going. Maybe it will give you some ideas for positive improvements.
Sorrows and celebrations
They say friends are those who divide your sorrow in half and double your happiness, and this is the motto we live by. While we are not there having margaritas every week, when there’s something big to celebrate, we go all out. Genuine happiness for the happiness of a friend is the purest form of love, at least to me. I mean, you should have seen us at our best friend’s wedding – we cried more than the bride and those were tears of joy. And the same goes for the tough times. While there may not be much you can do to help, but simple physical presence is emotional support itself. If you call a friend and know that they will drop everything if it’s urgent, that’s all that matters. Being able to rely on your support system is what gets us through life, and you always remember the people who were there for you in your darkest moments.
Before 25, planning something was a piece of cake. All it took is one group text message, location and timing dropped and done. Now it looks faintly looks like a math formula that seems really damn hard to solve; one has work, another one doesn’t have someone to watch the kid, the third is sick and the list can go on. It takes one heck of a special occasion to speed up the process, but nevertheless it all works out for us. How? We are random. One friend just calls me up out of the blue and we chat, share updates of life and catch-up. She also can call me, ask me what’s the plan, and next thing we know we’re out together. Another friend, texts – she sends me random stuff on Instagram and we laugh about it, and in between know what’s going on. This one is also incredibly good at planning things: she strategically sends an IG post of a cute café, and then attacks with a question: How about breakfast on Saturday here at 11? That’s one question asked, location and time shared – 90% is a yes from me. I’d say no matter how long you haven’t caught up, seen each other, just do something. Call. What’s the worst that could happen? They will call you back (or not) or not answer.
Know your friends and don’t take some things personally
I am that annoying friend who will answer half of your message and suddenly disappear – gone with the wind. And I am SO grateful that my friends don’t get upset about it and simply laugh it off. Half the time I’m driving or busy with work – and completely forget. So, I’d say understand that we all have our lives filled with various stress levels and to-do-lists. On some occasions you make time because your friend needs you, another other time you need your friends to make time for you, and just SOME times both parties actually have time – SIEZE those moments. It’s a give and take, with some major star-alignment required.
Be frank and understanding
I am a person who takes friendships very seriously, my friends are the people I would call if things went REAL bad. With that, I am also the person who has a full-time job, Arabic classes twice a week, horse-riding on the weekends, and do my home chores religiously, amongst other things. If my friend was going through something and I didn’t know – I would be upset. We all try to live our lives the best we can, and in some instances, this means you might not know what exactly is happening with your friends. Things change so fast; you may have spoken yesterday but today something went down. It is impossible to be omnipresent therefore I always ask my friends – if things go South, anything in the world, just tell me. I am quite a busy person (like all of us pretty much), but I am also one that will come to babysit your kid if your nanny just cancelled. You need me, I got you. Communicating is essential to keep any relationship alive, and friendships at most.
You might not always have that one-to-one time, but at times, sometimes it’s all about how you make it work. Is your friend moving? Why not come by and spend some time with her, helping pack? She needs to take her baby for a walk – your company would most probably be very welcome. In the end its about being around each other, so make it simple and flexible. If you want to see your friend, it doesn’t have to a big thing where you guys go out and make a detailed plan. In the end it’s just some time with your soul that they need. Be fluid in the ways you see your friends and make time for them, for it’s always possible. You know what they say, when there’s a will – there’s a way.