n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
We’re all busy. But what happens when you find that you’re becoming too busy with your own life that you aren’t finding time for friends and family that you care about? It’s not selfish to set aside time to continue building relationships. Even if you think you’re too busy, here are ways to show you care.
A quick phone call, text, handwritten note can go a long way (and doesn’t require a huge time commitment. Feeling extra thoughtful? Include a treat from the bakery, or better yet, something homemade to really show you care.
Get On A Schedule
Setup a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly outing and keep it regular. Whether it’s one friend or six, finding time to mesh schedules is tricky. When you do find a time that works, try to keep it consistent. Carving out 30 minutes for coffee or 60 minutes for a kid’s play date every week or month can help to keep bonds tight.
A Grand Gesture
One big event, rather than continued small get-togethers, can actually be better for schedules. Get multiple friends (or groups of friends) together for a dinner at your home, a weekend trip, or a big vacation. You’ll have something to talk about for months to come and one big event can be less time-consuming than many small rendezvous.
Know What Matters
Make time for those who are important, and know who should remain a priority. Not everyone can remain at the top of your list, and that’s ok. Which is most important to you: rekindling a longstanding friendship or networking to meet a new acquaintance?