I've been absent lately.
I've been absent from my blog. I've been absent from my friends. I'm absent with my family - or at least tardy, and I'm absent in my life.
There is always something to learn and I'll tell you I'm getting sick of that fact. I want to learn it all and be done.
Here's my recent-est discovery. I take that approach (the learn-it-all-and-be-done) to far extremes in areas where it doesn't belong - specifically my friendships.
This morning an image came to me of books. I treat my friends like books. Now, you know that I LOVE books. I will read just about everything. I always read to at least chapter 3 before deciding if this book is for me or not. And when I'm done I usually remember part of the plot and some of the details. I usually remember that I loved that book or I hated that one.
And then it all kind of falls out of my head. I put the book on the shelf knowing that it will be there for me when I need it. Some books I've purchased multiple copies of so that I can share with others and always have one at home just for me. Some books I've loved so much that I buy extra copies to give as gifts. I keep track of my books on goodreads.com. I talk about my books with people. And then there are long dry spells when I just can't read another book. I'm actually in a space like that right now. Both of my boys have given me things to read lately and I've only managed to plug through one of them. I keep telling Brandon he needs to read my book recommendations before I read his...
I treat my friends like books. I read them once and I really take the time to savor all that they are and then I put them on the shelf for when I want them or need them again.
I'm feeling really grateful today that I have friends who tell me the truth. What a priceless quality in a friend. One friend recently helped shine a little light on this for me. And, in all honesty, I've been trying to work on it with my therapist but we're so bogged down on the other stuff, that the care and maintenance of friendships doesn't come up - only the fires and drama and how-to-deal with the mess I've created.
Here are some tidbits that I want to remember:
1) Ask your friends about their lives.
2) Ask them about their children.
3) Share honestly when they ask you questions.
4) Don't assume that they are sick of you, just because you (Kristen) are sick of yourself.
5) When you think of your friends send them a text or a note so they know it.
6) Keep trying, you're making progress.