My family is frequently annoyed by my overzealous attempted to plan ahead. I plan my life about 4 months in advance at all times. This, by the way, is making it super annoying that I haven’t found time to go to Coach and pick up my 2011 Coach calendar insert yet. Anywho, back to topic. I like to plan, plan, plan. Now, I know for people who are a bit more ‘plan as you go’ this can be frustrating or frazzling at the least. But the trick is, if you don’t plan ahead things just don’t seem to happen.
I may be a freak about booking my Christmas flights in August and talking about summer vacation over Thanksgiving break but in my defense – I get a plan and I get things done. If I say I’m going to be in Indy for a wedding in Oct, I’m there. If I plan to see my sister in the spring is Raleigh, I go. I’m consistent and committed when I set my mind to do something.
I’ve recently been struck with how frustrating it can be to be friends with people who aren’t thorough in their plan making and dedicated to the plans you make. Nothing frustrated me more than wasted time. I am purposeful in how I spend my time, even if that means that I write ‘block time’ in big letter across a Saturday and spend the whole day at the pool catching up on my latest novel. Some may say that takes the fun out of things, scheduling them I mean, but if it means that you actually get a day of fun – what’s so wrong with that?
What bothers freakishly OCD people like me is when the people you map out time to be with, don’t put the same amount of care into their time with you. I do not like to be kept waiting for extended periods of time. I hate excuses, as I firmly believe it takes as much effort to be late as on time. I also hate cancelled plans. Sure, you may get the bird flu once in a blue moon and have to put our plans off for another weekend but over scheduling yourself and giving me the ax? Doesn’t sit well. What that communicates, in my opinion, is that our plans just didn’t quite rank on the priority list.
After you graduate college and you get your start in the real adult world, you quickly realize that your relationships truly are what you put into them. What I’ve had to really work at in this department is that I truly loath talking on the phone. Hate it. I dread the sound of my phone ringing. I hate listening to voicemail. And my tendency is to never return a single call…I mean, can’t I just respond with a text or an e-mail?! While texting and e-mails have their place in the world, they certainly can’t always be a substitution for a good phone call.
I’ve had to accept that since I live ridiculously far away from all of my family members and some of my closest friends, phone calls are going to have to be a part of my weekly, if not daily life. That being said, I do frequently schedule ‘phone dates’ so that I know I can catch the person I owe a chat too and get the full scoop on their life when they aren’t trying to check out at the grocery store and I’m not in the middle of prepping for bible study or trying to watch one of my Dad’s games on TV. Ya know?
I have to say, if they do away with people being allowed to talk on the phone while they drive, I will be in serious trouble. While I respect that texting while driving is an unnecessary risk – I make most of my phone calls behind the wheel. Don’t worry all your cell phone crazies, I have a blue tooth! But for those of us who are in offices 8+ hours per day, in the gym an hr a day, and trying to keep up with about a million other tasks – the car is one of few places we can get phone calls made! I talk to one of my family members every morning on the way to work, and usually one every day on the way home.
I suppose to point of this entry is to say that how much effort you put into your friendships is a reflection of the value you place on them. Whether or not you mean to communicate a lack of priority, you may be doing just that. It’s worth putting some thought and effort into how to fit your life around your friends, and not make them feel like you're squeezing them into the cracks of your life.