This post is inspired by the quote below – ‘To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.’
Post high school, I spent 4 years in Singapore – a good 3,000 miles away from the place I grew up. With that distance, I found it rather easy to let go of the many bonds I’d had from school life. With time and the change I experienced within, the 3,000 miles felt more like a 30,000 mile gap with the added distance in the mind, of course.
I kept in touch with a couple of friends who I spent time with. The rest, well, ‘I didn’t have time’..
And, last year, when I finally realized that not having time is not a valid excuse for not staying in touch, I began a slow and concerted effort of trying to get back in touch with those friends I’d been closed to and looked destined to be ‘friends for life’ with, those friends who had made me laugh and stood with me during so many tough times.
1 year, a couple of meet ups and many many emails later, I received an email from that buddy who almost never writes an email telling me that he’s all set to start work in a new place after a change of plan. And as I wished him ‘best of luck’, I felt nice about the whole effort. It’s not come easy because I’ve often wondered whether it’d be ‘awkward’ or ‘weird’ trying to get back in touch with friends who’d seemingly changed a lot.
The good news is – it was none of those things. Yes, there were a couple who got away and who didn’t feel the need to re-connect but for the most part, the response was one of joy and excitement.
I’m realizing more and more that there are more events in a day that can cause unhappiness than there are that make us happy. And in that, life throws us a challenge – every hour, every minute to fight for that right to be happy. The speciality about the fight is that it is one that we have with ourselves. And for myself, I’ve realized that working with a bit of discipline to create systems to do the little things in a day that contribute to my happiness tends to offset the many not-so-positive events in a day. (More on that in another post)
One of these little systems is writing a monthly/fortnightly/weekly/tri-weekly email to my old school gangs, friends, family – just keeping in touch. Many a time I’ve questioned whether it’s worth it but now, a year or so after having gotten this started, I can tell you that every bit of the effort has reaped a result worth it’s weight in gold.