I was thinking this morning about what keeps people together. Most people don't really worry about it- either because it isn't a big deal if they DON'T, or their relationships are so simple that things never get too far off the path. My relationships with other people have never been simple and it is always a big deal to me when they don't work out. I have birthdays written on my calendar of people that I knew in high school and even though I haven't spoken to them in years, I still feel a twinge of guilt if I don't send a card (have even sunk so low as to send a "birthday text" if I remembered at 2AM) I have a hard time when relationships drop off.
This has changed since my daughter was born. I forgot to send a birthday card to my father in law, missed two anniversaries of individuals whose weddings I was in, and read about the birth of one of my best friend's child on..facebook. How did I miss these things?
I was busy. That day Purslane was probably going through a growth spurt and I spent 24 hours nursing her every 20 minutes. Or the USA/Algeria World Cup game was on, and I didn't talk to anyone. And maybe it was that day when I did 8 loads of laundry, planted my garden, put away all my pregnancy clothes, took a nap with Pursy, did yoga, finished thank you cards and made a spinach quiche for Allie and Jeremy.
While doing all of these things, I have let some friendships drop off. One of my dearest friends from nursing school has tried so hard to keep in touch with me, and I always listen to her voicemails with a smile- but haven't called back yet. I am so glad Julia spent the money to fly out and see me after Pursy was born because I hadn't returned her emails or voicemails yet either. The exception has seemed to be facebook which I navigated regularly while Pursy was napping or I am getting ready to go to bed. I looked through vacation pictures of individuals I am not sure that I even know, commented on status updates from my old pastor from NOLA.. basically spent time with individuals who were low maintenance enough that it was a 2 second thing to have a relationship with them. There was no catching up, no long conversations that might be interrupted by a crying baby, no pressure. I have never really bought the excuse of "I have been so busy" as a reason to stall relationships but I finally understand- and give myself a break.