When I was younger I played The Sims. There was a point in the game where in order to reach the next level you had to maintain good friendships with at least 7 people. This was always the point where I’d quit because trying to balance my Sim’s eating, sleeping, work, exercise, toileting and fun in addition to 7 relationships was too hard!
My life today feels just like that point in the Sims. Housework, gardening, spending time with the kids, spending time with the family, spending time with the husband, working on DBoP, meals, home maintenance… the list goes on. Even if I had no friends, my days would still be chocka… lonely for sure, but I’d still be busy from morning to night.
So, how do I maintain my social circle in light of an ever increasing list of responsibilities and an ever decreasing energy level?
Careful curation of my friends. I curate my friends, the way a gallery curates art. I carefully select those people who are a good fit with my life and I spend time and effort to maintain them. As time goes on and my needs change (like trends in art) I may find myself having to let go of some people and finding new people to fill the gaps.
Above all, the art on my walls, the friends in my life, are there to bring me joy. To add richness to my life.
Some of my friends are not easy to have. I’ve had friends say and do hurtful things… sometimes thoughtlessly, sometimes deliberately. I’m not advocating for ending friendships that hurt or that are hard. What I’m advocating for is acting with purpose.
Take the time to really evaluate what your friends bring to your life. And to your family. The friends you had before you had kids may not be the friends that add richness to your life now. And not just your childless friends. I’ve had people in my life with a parenting style I didn’t pay attention to before I had kids. But now that I have children, I’m reevaluating whether their impact on my life and my family is positive and fulfilling enough to warrant the time to maintain the relationship.
You have so little time, are you making each moment count? That’s what I mean about acting with purpose. That time you spent having a coffee with someone who used to be a close friend but who now you have little in common with… is that time well spent? Was it worth not getting the vacuuming done? Was it worth not saying a proper goodnight to your babies?
Curate your relationships. Act with purpose. Make every moment count. And above all, make time for those people who bring true joy and laughter into your life!