“I keep meaning to reach out.”
“Let’s get something on the schedule.”
” We should get together.”
I don’t know how many times I have uttered those words to someone I’ve met over the last few years. The truth is, I would love to reach out, get something on the schedule, and get together. I just don’t have the margin to make it happen. I am not in the season of parenting that allows ample time for social gatherings and time with friends. Yet, I am built for connection and fostering relationships. It bothers me when I don’t have time to invest in new friendships the way that I would like to, and it can leave me pondering about the friendships that could have been.
One of the benefits of getting older is that I do often have a gut feeling pretty quickly about whether a new acquaintance may lead to friendship. After spending almost forty years experimenting in the friendship department, I have a pretty solid grasp on who is likely to jive in the friendship department. It’s the factor of time that keeps getting in the way. There always seems to be so little time and so much to accomplish. The days and months fly by, and all those good intentions of making new connections and forming friendships never materialize the way I plan.
The mature friendships (which also don’t ever get the time they deserve either) are the ones that often get the time when there is time to spare. These are the ones where an hour spent together bears much fruit because the foundation is so strong. These are the friendships that revitalize me because there’s already a shared history and a solid foundation. That doesn’t mean however that I am not thinking about the friendships that could have been.
I hope you know the friendships that could have been, that it’s not personal. It’s a casualty of limited time and resources during this busy stage of life. I hope that one day we will get that date on the calendar, and we can begin the process of building those foundations of friendships. I hope that one day when there’s more time, we can create those memories and conversations that allow a friendship to prosper. Until then, I hope you know I mourn the friendships that could have been.