Today was a whirlwind of a day. I went to a meeting at school, followed by a trip to the grocery store, followed by library story hour, then a haircut for Silas, followed by his nap while I did some “work” on the computer, followed by a glorious afternoon soaking up the sun (ok so that part wasn’t so bad), followed by dinner and kid’s bedtime. Whew.
Why did I just give you a play by play? Because this is kind of a standard day around here. Lots of time in the car running around, lots of time with my kiddos, with a little productivity thrown in.
As I continue to reflect on the status of my friendships (recapped nicely here and here), I am realizing friendships at this stage in life are kind of like marriages. They can’t survive without dedicated time and attention.
While this might be a lesson from Captain Obvious, I am not sure is all that intuitive. In high school and college friendships require a different kind of work. Sure you have to overcome some immature drama, but you are together daily and have a ton of life in common.
Friendships in early marriage take work because you have to keep one foot in the single world and one foot in the married world, but it is kind of a nice weed out period where you find out who your friends are.
Friendships with young children become easy again. I mean there still is drama from time to time (oh my WORD that mom needs to discipline her child and stop him from beating on mine), but you find parents through playgroups and you all are in survival mode together. Those friends are your life line during the week.
But now life is just busy. My life is busy. My kids life is busy. My kid’s friend’s lives are busy. My kid’s friend’s parent’s lives are busy. Still with me? Net out: we are all quite busy. I try and plan a girl’s night out and we have to plan three months out. Add in husbands and it is worse. It is really hard to develop close relationships when you hang out once a month.
But Facebook is always there. So is Twitter. Add in Skype and I can “hang” with my online buddies 24 hours a day if I want. But here is the thing. As much as I love that, how close am I really getting in 140 characters. I can be whoever I want online. And it is easy to be a safe version of myself.
Here is the other thing. The more I just put out the safe version of myself online, the more I am tempted to sanitize the real version of myself. Everyone needs friends they can be real with. So what happens when you stop being real?
So why did I compare it to marriage? Because if we put the effort into it, it is so very worth it. Yes, it can be hard work to maintain, but if we can put down our walls, sacrifice our schedule a little and get real, we will be blessed with the deep relationships we all crave.
To this end, I am carving out some time in a busy weekend (the fact that it is in April and I already have things on the calendar is sad) to go to (in)RL.
When is it: A couple hours each on Friday & Saturday April 27 & 28, 2012 (you can find out if there is a meetup in your area and when it is here. If there isn’t one, start your own!)
What’s it about: Creating a catalyst for women to connect in real life, right where they are.
Why’s it special: It’s the un-conference that comes to your doorstep; just meet up with girl friends and tune in to our online webcast.
Who’s it for: For the women who’ve been hurt by friends, for the women who’ve been healed by friends, for the women who crave local Jesus community, for the women who wish they had the time, baby sitter or budget for a girl’s weekend away. So honestly, who isn’t it for??!!!
I love what my friend Lisa Jo has to say about it. And since she asked me to share about it with you, I thought I should let her do some work.
I would say their ideas fit pretty well with all I have been talking about wouldn’t you? Are you finding yourself craving something more in your friendships? Gather some girlfriends and dive into real life.