Anyone suffering from a bout of insomnia has seen the late night infomercials of how to lock in the freshness of your food. Most of us have even gone one step further and made a few random purchases to get a few extra days out of our leftovers, or that piece of birthday cake you’re saving for a “cheat day.” In a world where so much attention and resources are spent trying to keep our food from going stale, what are we doing to prevent the same thing from happening to our relationships?
Growing up it was so much easier to keep up with friendships and relationships. As kids we would countdown the days until our endless summer could start—when time stood still and hours seemed like days. Life was much simpler then. Our biggest worries revolved around whether our secret crush would circle “yes or no” when we passed a note asking them “do you like me?” Or would we make the team we just tried out for, or if we passed this week’s spelling quiz.
Making friends was a lot easier traveling down life’s highway while packed in a bus-full of your peers. It gave you a common ground to easily bond. As you saw these people regularly, it made it simple to keep that relationship fresh. Without the deadlines and responsibilities that weigh heavy on us in adulthood, our concept of time was quite a bit different back then.
Take time to make time
Now, that never ending summer we all look back on so fondly has been replaced with multiple deadlines crammed into a just few months. Those countless days at the beach have turned into maybe a week off (if we’re lucky) to find a beach, turn off our phones and just unplug.
With our new concept of time, keeping up with relationships has become yet another brick in the wall we must try to climb over. We are no longer all in the same bus, going in the same direction, sharing a common experience. Instead, we’re in our own cars, on different highways, going to a hundred different places—literally and figuratively.
As life becomes busier, we need to remember to step back and not let those that are important slip away. This goal can be applied to all different types of relationships, whether they be love, friendship or business. Having those small “check ins” to see how others are doing can not only drastically improve your relationship with them, but also can make a huge difference in the other person’s day. As we squeeze in all we can every day to nurture our jobs, let’s make sure we’re taking some of that time to grow our relationships.
Take time to reach out to that business contact you haven’t talked to in a while, catch up over a few drinks with a friend to see what’s new in their life, and go grab dinner with that loved one you’ve been missing. Time is a precious commodity, invest in keeping your own relationships fresh. Show others they are worth your time and effort, and see where those renewed relationships can take you.