Friends that have become strangers….the sad reality of lost time.

It is always sad to see friendships dissolve in the flames of miscommunication and loss of interest. This is nothing new. As time marches on, losing friends is part of growing as a person. Interests change, we evolve as people, and life continues to provide trials and tribulations for us to overcome. In the hustle and bustle of life, friendships either strengthen or weaken. If a friendship is neglected or given a low priority it weakens. If cared for and nurtured the friendship strengthens. None of this is rocket science.

As people we either grow together or fall out of sync with each other. Friendships are no different. Time is a valuable commodity, and once it is gone there is no getting it back. You can’t make up time. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It is not difficult to send a text or place a call to people we care about. There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year. How do we not have time to balance our career and friendships? It seems that there should be plenty of time to dedicate to both. However, friends and family get placed on the back burner while we deal with life. A lack of vigilance allows our friendships to erode. Friendship is no different from any other type of relationship (marriage, career, personal). They must be kept safe in order to flourish.

I am the world’s worst about staying in touch. It’s not that I don’t want to stay in touch with people that I care about. My problem is a bit different. I am retired, and all of my friends are busy with their careers. How am I supposed to know when they aren’t busy? It is rude and disrespectful to interrupt people when they are attempting to work. Therefore, I don’t call or text as much as I should. I am attempting to correct this fault. You can always tell when a friendship is fading. It becomes easier to be apart from one another. Conversations do not flow, rather it becomes difficult to carry on a conversation and it is filled with long periods of silence. Thus, we transition into the field of broken friendships.

Don’t misunderstand me. There are friends of mine that I haven’t seen in years or spoken too except via text. We still get on fine. However, when you lose a long distance friend, it is not as painful due to the present absence of said friend. When you lose a local friend it is rather painful. You shop at the same places, eat at the same restaurants and the chance is great that you will eventually run into them. Then it evolves into a more painful version.

How do we avoid losing our friends? I don’t know. It seems that God places people in our lives to help us through dark times. Others He may place in our life to test us. There seems to be nothing that we can do to hinder the divine will of God. People that we think will never walk out of our lives, up and leave with no warning. They abandon us when we need them the most. It is life, and there is no stopping the wheel. Friends that we think will ditch us when the heat rises are the ones that stand beside us when things go south. I am thankful to have good people in my life. However, that doesn’t mean that they will be here to stay.

Perhaps the key is to just live in the moment. To enjoy being in the company of each other when life allows us a moment to catch our breath. Unfortunately, it does not always transpire this way. We are quick to cut people out of our lives based on supposed slights. These slights range from one end of the spectrum to the other extreme. I am guilty of falling prey to such imagined slights. However, words and actions must add up. There is no way that I can’t say that I won’t wield the knife and cut someone else loose. Life happens. Yet, I can say that I will only wield it when an individual has proven that they no longer want to be part of my life. It is my hope that every person that is currently in my life now will stay in it. However, that is not how any of this works.

At the end of the day, we must hold our friends close. We must cherish them and protect our friendship if we hope it will blossom into something beautiful. Otherwise, it is just a wasted effort.

You guys take care and I will chat with you all soon.

Freeman out.

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