Saturday, August 20, 2011
I saw an old friend yesterday and got caught up on the "nitty gritty" of lift that she has gone through since we last spoke. She shared some really heavy things and I feel guilty ..guilty for not being there, guilty for losing touch, guilty for being so self focused that I didn't even think nor notice that time was marching by and people other than myself are dealing with life too. Unfortunately, this is my MO. I took a personality test when I was younger and I was identified as a "beaver." (Just a suggestion: If you don't want to constantly be described as an animal, don't take Gary Smalley's personality test...or take it privately and never reveal what you learn. Instead of taking the test with your family and having them say, "well, you're a beaver" when you share stuff). According to Smalley, beavers are task oriented. They like people, but relationships tend to get in the way of tasks, so there's a bit of an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality to the beaver. This description does fit me...and yet I don't like it. I want to be one of those people that is a friend for life. I want to be one of those people that stays in contact with people and invests in people because I honestly believe that relationships and community are why I'm on this earth. They should be my focus...and yet, what do I tend to focus on? Chores, work, and the relationships that are connected with those things. I've been confronted by friends that say, "you don't contact me anymore. You don't call or write. I never see you anymore." And I feel guilty. I apologize and I promise to "do better." And I do....for a time.... and then it goes back to my natural instinct and we lose touch again. I feel like I should maybe wear a sandwich board that warns people of my friendship MO so they can make an informed decision before deciding if they want to be my friend. I've tried to tell people and they tend to get offended rather than understand. I guess I don't blame them. If a friend of mine told me "by the way, since you're leaving work, and work is what made us friends and it's what we have in common, please know that in time we won't talk anymore because that's just the way I am. It doesn't mean I don't care about you or wish you well or that I don't consider you my friend anymore. It's just that life's gone on." I actually said this to a former co-worker when she leaving the job for another position and she said, "uh...that's not cool." And I agree with her. But what can I do? I do try. I do make attempts. and then it falls by the wayside and I just let it go. And now my heart hurts for my friend who has gone through so much in the last several months and I wasn't there to help support her in her time of need.