Last week, I was chit-chatting with a friend…..
I’d love to tell you I do this often but that wouldn’t be true.
Sadly, in my adulting days of planning life, running errands, laundry and working, I’ve lost simple time with friends.
It’s been slowly eroding away over the years and it somewhat bothers me. I’ve decided to do something about it.
In my own pathetic way of details and planning, I’ve started scheduling time with friends like another appointment on my calendar.
You would think if I was a good friend I wouldn’t need to do that but I do because it isn’t happening naturally.
This scheduled friend-time means just that, Friend Time. Not ministry time or event-planning time — but simply sitting and chit-chatting about all kinds of something along with a whole lot of nothing.
We used to do this as kids. We’d ride bikes to the park, race to the swings and compete for who could swing higher and jump further. After a whole lot of that, we’d settle down into slowly twirling in the swing and dragging our feet in a circle.
We created our own circle in the sand.
In those days, we might have thought we were talking of nothing.
But through that whole lot of nothing we formed friendships that circled into sharing bigger things like what we thought of boys, true love and kissing (ugh… gross!!!)
Those circles in the sand led to conversations about worries with mom and dad, and pressures from friends and school.
Simple days in the swing circled into sharing our larger dreams of college, careers and adventures of life.
So what happened to those days?
We’ve somehow convinced ourselves that growing up means leaving those days behind.
Planning, executing agenda items, scheduling our people and their activities run us ragged and we forget our souls need down time, dream time and a chance to find center again.
We need time for dreaming, sharing and simple days of chit-chatting with a friend.
So what keeps us from doing this?
• believing we don’t have time in our schedule
• believing we don’t have friends
• fear of rejection and sharing life with another
As women, we struggle with friendships and feeling alone.
We felt this as young girls too but at that time we had our mamas speaking into our lives… “If you want a friend, be a friend.”
And thinking of that is how I ended up scheduling my grown-up play time last week.
I’m learning if I want something, I have to make time for it. If I don’t, it simply doesn’t happen.
It can feel risky doing this because of past hurts and friendships lost. But then again, look what can be gained and shared if we make the jump and invite someone in.
Just this morning I was listening to a podcast on a completely unrelated topic and this little nugget stuck with me.
In this life, we’re all just walking each other home. We’re giving each other hope and encouragement along the way and we’re saying, “You can do this. You can fight this battle!” And when we lock arms and do this together then it’s not as scary and overwhelming. Instead it feels like, “She’s fighting her battles, so I can fight mine.” ~~~ Edie Wadsworth
When we share life together we’re not walking alone. There’s someone else with us.
So how can we make this happen?
- Ask someone to play – Sometimes we make this more complicated than it needs to be. Remember how when we were kids, we just went to our friend’s house, rang the doorbell and asked them to come play. We might make the excuse of, ‘nobody has time for that.’ But what if they did? How refreshing to do something “off-schedule.” Be spontaneous! Go for a walk, sit on the porch, drive to the park. Whatever it is — try something!
- Schedule it in if you need to – If we want something to happen, we have to make time for it. Invite a friend over and make it simple, no over-planning or major clean-up just sit outside and sip a cold drink.
- Start simple -Walk yourself to a quiet place — maybe even a park with a swing available — plop yourself down and call a distant-friend. Who says we can’t do that as well?
It’s about time together, even if it happens through a phone call. It’s the simple act of sharing time together.
Our time will be used up on whatever we allow to rule the day. So even if it’s just for 30 minutes, give yourself the gift of time in the swing. Twirl slowly, drag your feet and chit-chat away with a friend.
Twirling with you,
Jump into the conversation: I would love to hear your ideas!
- What’s something fun that takes you back to the simple days of childhood summer?
- How do you make time for friends?