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Keeping in touch

I realize now more than ever the importance of really planning to keep in touch. It's easy enough to say 'we'll be friends forever' but it's a bit more difficult than that.

I used to think that if you had to work too hard at a friendship or family relationship, it wasn't worth it. Being friends or family means you will just be there..when you're needed. You don't need to constantly be keeping up to date on each others lives.

Sadly, I used to see keeping in touch on a regular basis was 'working too hard'.

It's so easy to get caught up in day to day life. Everyone's busy and they have their own things going on - I was one of them. When I was working in Toronto, I felt like my life was consumed with work or money - or more correctly, the lack of money that I seemed to have. I seemed to be making enough but I was always getting stressed about getting in touch with friends for fear of having no money to actually enjoy myself in their company.

Now, I am on a very tight budget. And now, I make the effort to email, write, update this blog and even call people.

I've even made a Sunday date with my mom. This week was my turn to call. It felt so good to just be talking about every day stuff - my work, her work, crazy Cubs fans, my Dad's band - even if it was only for 30 minutes. When I lived hours away, we would spend over a hour on the phone and make fun of ourselves as we would prepare to say goodbye and then 'Oh just one more thing...' about 50 times before we actually hung up the phone.

What I hear a lot is that "nothing is going on in my life that is as exciting as yours." I remember emailing this to friends abroad when I was stuck in the T.O. rat race. But now, being on the other side, you really just want to feel like you're still part of their lives - who cares if you update me on your dog or your garden or even work. At least it's a little piece of you sent specially to me.

I don't mean this as a whining or complaining email - I remember feeling very frustrated with friends who would *demand* I kept in touch so I wouldn't want anyone I know to think that's why I'm writing this. I have a lot of great friends and aquaintances from home who have been so supportive and who, on a regular basis, stop their busy days to drop me a line.

I think I'm just angry at myself. Why is it I needed to come all the way across the ocean to figure out how to be a good friend/sister/daughter? (*she says, trying not to sound melodramatic*)

Or maybe I'm just surprised. I never really understood the other side. And really, I don't think you really can unless you experience some form of isolation from everything you hold dear.

It felt good to talk to my mom on the phone - it felt like a normal mother daughter chat. She made me laugh right near the end when I mentioned our Sunday *date* for next weekend.

"Okay I'll try to remember but I'm not very good at those things.(ie with four kids, my dad, a job and the bulldog, she's got a lot of things to remember in one week)"
(laughter from me and my mom)
"Well, put it on the calendar"
"I don't look at the calendar on Sundays! R, (as she spoke to my dad) we have to remember to call A next weekend"
(muffled noise of my dad's voice)
(laughter of my mom)
"Do you know what he said? Put it on the calendar"
(laughter from me and my mom)

Glad to know I have a *little bit of mom* and a *little bit of dad*

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