Like most of us in this geographically spread out but tech-connected world, I have friends who live in different parts of the country and abroad (Gill being Exhibit A!). I feel like they’re still part of my inner circle even though we don’t talk very often anymore. They’ve been part of such formative times in my life that I know that we’ll pick up right where we left off.
Still, I’ve been wanting to reconnect with them, to know what’s happening in their lives and to feel the joy of their presence. So this year I made this one of my goals on my 19 for 2019 list: “Once a month, schedule a catch-up session with one friend I’ve been out of touch with.”
Zeroing in on that goal by seeing it every day on my fridge has helped me make it happen, which has been a highlight of this year. The longest study on happiness is clear that THE key to a long, happy, healthy life is satisfying relationships, and I’ve felt those benefits in laughter, shared experience, and support.
I texted one of my college roommates last week when she came to mind, and we ended up scheduling a Google Hangout over the weekend. It amazed me that we could go from being out of touch for a year or two to suddenly connected again.
Catching up with old friends feels like being wrapped up in a soft quilt, warm and safe. I know that I can be totally and fully myself with them, and they will still love and support me. And I, of course, am happy to do the same for them.
Like the Girl Scout song says, newer relationships are precious, too, and it gives me a big happiness boost to have coffees and lunches with my girlfriends here in Jackson, and family hangouts with the friends who also have young kids. I recently reached out to someone I’ve always wanted to get to know better and met up with her for a lovely morning coffee.
Is there an old friend you can connect with today, just to say, “Thinking of you”? A potential new friend you can invite to grab a coffee or a beer sometime soon?
Relationships, new and old, take some nurturing, but even little touchpoints here and there – a quick text, a link posted on a friend's Facebook timeline, a tag in the comments on a post they’d enjoy – pay big dividends for our health and happiness.