Friendships take work...

Ohhhh, that's such a horrible picture of me! I'm the one on the far right.  This was taken a couple of weeks ago at Old Town Kissimmee, FL. We were out celebrating my friend, Melissa's, birthday. She's the one on the left, and there's Erin in the middle.

I have known Melissa since high school. I met Erin through her back in '07.  Erin designed this website, and is the blogger behind The Paperback Stash.  We used to get together every Tuesday with my husband, a close friend of ours, Niki (also from high school), and her husband, Ronnie. Then work schedules got in the way. After a while we just stopped seeing each other. At least all of us at once.  My husband and I would see Niki and Ronnie, or we'd go with Melissa to a convention, and Erin and I would communicate through Facebook. However, it was never often enough.

Well, Niki became pregnant last year, and Melissa, Erin, and I threw her baby shower. We started making time to see each other to plan this party. It rekindled a friendship that was never sour, but stagnant.  We had let life get in the way of enjoying our friendship.  Sure we'd always say "Let's get together soon" in a Facebook post, or a text, but it wouldn't happen.

We have since made more of an effort to get together. It's been hard at times, and I have come to the conclusion that it's OK to see one or two of my friends if I can't see all of them at once. It can't be an all or nothing with friendships. Friendships, just like a marriage, is about compromise and not forgetting what's important.

I have formed a closer bond with Erin than we had in the past. Sure, we were friends and we loved each other, but making time to see her and working on projects together has really secured a relationship that I believe will last through out our lives.

This whole experience has me motivated to rekindle my relationships with other friends of mine. Ones who I only talk to through the internet.  I don't want to forget that all of my relationships are important. Not just those with my family, my clients, and co-workers (those are important, too).  I want to make time for Niki and her family again. I want to make time for my best friend Cassandra, who leads a hectic life raising and home schooling three children, and who I have known since the 6th grade.  I want to enjoy this time that God has given me. It can not be all about work and obligations. It can not be all about my art.

Friends get you through tough times that your spouse and family may not be able to help you through. If all you do is check in on Facebook the essence of the relationship dwindles.  Friends aren't just for the tough times, don't get me wrong, most of this post is about the good times. I want to enjoy them, rely on them, and cherish them in my life, and I want the same in return.  Life is way to short to cast aside a friendship and list it "not important enough" to work at.  Work at it, have a coffee together, or drop by on your way home from work.  Just for a minute or thirty. Let these people know that they are important to you and that you are important to them.

P.S. Melissa and Erin, please don't kill me for posting these. Love you.

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