Sometimes Life Gets In The Way Of Friendship

by Lauri Walker
Originally Published: 
Seb Oliver / Getty

I miss my friends. I know they are right there for me just as I’m right there for them, but I don’t get to spend as much time with each of them as I’d like anymore. I don’t know why we’ve drifted.

Nothing happened. No dramatic hair flips or arguments. No one stole my favorite shirt or said my kid was ugly or anything like that. We all love each other just the same.

It is just work, kids…life.

Today, I bumped into a friend I used to chat with all of the time. We met through work and I’ve always valued her kindness, wit, and honesty. We would talk about our professional ups and downs and we celebrated each other when we succeeded. We were cheerleaders for one another. For some reason we haven’t talked in a long time and I’m not sure either of us realized it was happening.

It was wonderful to see her and have the opportunity to catch up for a few minutes. It was almost like “old times,” but as our conversation ended, I realized I was sad.

I miss her.

Have you ever wished you could just hug your friend a little tighter? Talk a little longer?

Why does life have to go so fast?

Why can I not make time for everyone and everything, every day?

Because life and adulting.

Because motherhood.

Because we work hard and that takes time. There are deadlines to beat, meetings to run, and bottom lines that depend on us. I have a fulfilling job that I care about and I want to get better at it every day.

Because we devote ourselves to our families and that takes time. Not just carpools and homework or running to this practice or that doctor appointment, but also taking the time to be present in the moments of quiet.

I need to be there for the after-school conversations about what happened on the playground. I need to high-five my son for helping his friend stand up to a bully and I want to comfort my teenager when he’s struggling with the emotional ups and downs of becoming a grown-up. I choose to actively listen to my husband and take moments for just the two of us.

Because somehow I think I’ll manage to carve out some seconds in the day for just me, alone. Maybe in the pantry. Or the bathroom. Eating the chips I hid last week while I just breathe for a minute.

And then we still have the mundane chores that come with keeping up a house and buying food and paying bills and blah, blah, blah.

All that takes time, too.

Because there is only so much I can outsource to the grocery delivery service.

In the middle of all of it, I’m still trying to make sure my family is taken care of in the best way I can, do my best work, and make my friends feel cherished by me.

I try.

But I fail all the time because there is just not enough of me and not enough time.

Sometimes I feel guilty about the friendships that have drifted, but I’m understanding more and more that I can’t be all to everyone all the time, no matter how much I want to — and neither can my friend.

Neither can any of us.

Don’t we all feel like this sometimes? Some days we have the world on a string and some days the string trips us while the world laughs?

So instead of feeling sad about what I can’t do, today I’ll choose to start reaching out.

I can’t spend hours with everyone all the time like I want to, but I can take advantage of moments to check in. I can let the ones I care about know I’m thinking of them and that I love them.

“I haven’t forgotten you and you are not less important to me because we have to focus on different things for a while.”

I might have to do that with a text from the school pick-up line or a quick phone chat on my lunch break.

Maybe the best I can do some days is send crazy selfies from the grocery store checkout line, but you know what?

I’m going to do it because I love my people and I want them to know it.

The world spins too fast, but our friendships will come back around with it. The best ones always do.

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