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Fortyologie – Day 11: LYLAS

texting in the 80s

In some ways, relationships seemed easier back then.  I don’t know if they were for sure but my memory of things has a fuzzy haze to it and I don’t remember having issues like the ones we have now.  There wasn’t cyber anything…no way for someone to splash their dirty laundry or yours publicly for all to see.  If something big was going to go down, then you were going to have to show up in the alley after school to see it happen.  No video evidence would be left, tweets or status updates to tell the story.

Friendships feel more complicated today.  We are communicating electronically.  Anything we say is potentially public information.  A quick screen shot means our private conversations can be flung far and wide by the recipient.  What you meant for one pair of eyes can be broadcast for lots of eyes to see in a few moments.  In some ways I think this requires us to be more savvy in our relationships.  We need to be thoughtful not only about who we are friends with but how we interact with them.  Do we trust them completely?  Should we be more guarded?  We feel connected to more people but perhaps in more shallow ways.  It’s confusing for me at 40 and I would venture a guess that it’s tricky for our kids too.

I struggle with how to navigate waters with my children that I’m just learning myself.  I keep thinking that my age group, as parents, is in some sort of strange “in between”.  We didn’t have technology as part of our relationships growing up so we are learning it now.  Our parents didn’t have this particular challenge and our children won’t have it either as they will have grown up in this age of technology.  I pray all the time that I’m not screwing this up big time.

At any rate, what does this have to do with friendship?  Quite a bit actually.  The change in communication styles/habits has deeply affected how we relate to others and that change is here to stay.

Friends are important to us at this stage of life, just as they have always been.  The challenge I find is that I have less time and energy to devote to friendships.  I love people and enjoy spending time with other women but am working very hard to guard the margins of my life.  In the end I can rely too heavily on electronic “friendship”.  I feel like I’m keeping up with people I love and enjoy when I see their latest Facebook status.  Texting is a comfortable and easy way to check in  quickly while I multitask, checking items off my list while being a “friend”.

The issue of lack of time pushes me to relegate friendship to the fringes of my life.  I believe strongly that my main priority needs to be my husband and children.  Beyond that I have a home to keep up with and jobs to do that bring in income.  We are blessed to have lots of family in the area and the sum of all of that leaves little room for girl time.

friends quote - jon katz

So how do we keep up with friends that offer us something that the other relationships in our life can’t?

  • Find time/make time to grow friendships.  This can be lunch, a quick cup of coffee, a glass of wine and Facetime or even exchanging Voxer messages.
  • Put effort into real relationships (meaning person to person, talking and relating) and not just quick online interactions.
  • Evaluate the relationships you have to determine if they are healthy and worth the effort you are putting into them.  You may need to pull back from some toxic relationships.

I’m sure there are other great ideas too.  Maybe you would share an idea in the comments?

In the end, relationships are built just like we did it 20 years ago.  You show up, spend time together, voices mingled, hurts shared, belly laughs ringing out and that can’t be done through technology.

 

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3 thoughts on “Fortyologie – Day 11: LYLAS”

  1. I think friendships change over time because of the stage of life we are in. Our focus has shifted, and even though maintaining a friendship is important, it may take a backseat to what is currently in need of our time such as children and family relationships. What I love about TRUE friendships is that when we do make the time to connect, it’s real, it’s meaningful and it picks up right where we left off. Nothing toxic-only true. I am so very thankful for the small group of friends I’ve had my entire life. I wouldn’t be me without them- and that includes you, Al. Thanks for reminding me how important you girls are in my life and always will be. If this were a note it would be folded just like the ones in the picture and signed LYLAS for sure!xoxo

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  2. Yes Courtney…history has forged a deep bond. What a great assurance to know there are people there when you need them even if the majority of our time in this stage of life is spent pouring into the people right under our roof. We can reap the benefits of the time poured into each other years ago and we keep watering that soil when we can. Thankful for friends like YOU!

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  3. So I’m in the wonderful position of having found the most wonderful friend, and just spent the second weekend together in two months. Given that we are normally 6000 miles apart this presents challenges. Keeping in touch is no problem, spending the time together we so love is more complex.

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