On Saturday I attended a celebration of life for my neighbor’s mother. Even though we both get busy with our lives and don’t spend a lot of time together, I consider this neighbor a friend. We’ve lived next door to each other for almost 17 years.
At the services for her mother, one of my other neighbors commented on all of the great friends our mutual neighbor had there to support her… and to help her organize the services. We agreed she is one lucky woman to be surrounded by so many true friends. Friends from work. Friends from the neighborhood. Friends who live nearby.
I realized my local circle of friends is considerably smaller.
It wasn’t always. But, since I run my own business out of my home, I no longer have work friends I see everyday. The work friends I do have aren’t local–we met at a conference or online and we live in different parts of the country, or world. Yes, a few of those virtual friends are close friends, but the miles between us mean we don’t see each other often. While we enjoy connecting by phone or email, it’s not the same as being there live.
I may have thousands of friends on social media, but let’s be honest, Facebook friends are not the same as in-person friends.
And, after spending so many years attending personal development and business growth conferences in my free time, I’ve realized two things have happened in terms of my friendships. As I’ve grown, I’ve drifted apart from many people. While we may live close geographically, we are in different places mentally and emotionally. Secondly, I think I spent so much time focusing on growing me and my business, in some ways I forgot how to just relax and enjoy life with friends. As a result, relationships fell away.
I’m definitely making changes in my life. I hope to one day be surrounded by as many caring people as my neighbor. Not that it’s a competition, I just believe that relationships are the cornerstone of life. Being successful means nothing if you have no one to share it with. And, at the end of the day, the success or the business probably aren’t going to mean a lot when what you really need is a shoulder to lean on.