Friendship Month in Review

This month, I found it challenging to focus on my resolutions. I did okay at the beginning of the month, and my friends helped me out a lot, calling me, arranging to get together, and just treating me with care and gentleness. By the end of the month, I’d lost steam.

A rundown of the resolutions:

Acknowledge birthdays. I did this. I sent a birthday card to one friend, went to a surprise 30th birthday party for another (although I got there too late to yell “surprise!”), and sent online greetings to everyone else. I think I only forgot one person. And I put on an early birthday party for my daughter, just in case our May is more hectic than our April. (One can only hope.)

Call one friend a week. I think I did this for the first two weeks. It was nice to catch up with a couple of friends with whom I’ve not spoken for more than a year. This week I talked with a friend I’ve not spoken with in even longer, but she called here and was actually calling to talk with my husband about a job, I just got to chat with her while my husband finished his shower. I enjoyed that, but I’m not sure I can count it.

Make three new friends. This was my big stretch resolution. I got closer than I expected with this one. Last week I struck up a conversation with a woman in my yoga class. We exchanged names and then this week she saved me a spot next to her in the weight lifting class we both attended. Watching her with others, I think she’s a quite gregarious person. I doubt the meeting was as big a deal for her as it was for me, and it’s certainly not a close friendship (I don’t think she’ll be bringing me dinner or watching my kids any time soon) but I’m counting it.

Have a mommy-date once a week. I did this once. It was much harder to arrange mommy-dates than I expected, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the person I met up with for tea was a friend whose only child is away at college.

I do feel myself pulling away from friendships here a little bit, which I expect based on my long history of moving away from friends but which is very premature. I get the sense that some of my friends here might be pulling away from me a bit, too, but I can’t tell how much is originating with them and how much is just a response to my pulling away.

Of course, I could be making it all up in my head, too. When I’m feeling anxious, my default response is to feel very much alone and to see everything as a proof that I am alone. With as anxious as I’ve been this month, I think I might be doing a lot of this. As a result, it’s difficult to tell if what I’m feeling is based on people really pulling away from me or if it’s just a result of the lens through which I’m viewing the world right now. If I walk backwards and you stand still, you appear to be moving away from me.

My mood also makes it more difficult to work up the energy to make the efforts necessary to connect with my friends. I didn’t go to a “moms’ night out” this month (that involved a hot tub at a Park City penthouse), and I decided not to attend a workshop today. I had good reasons for missing both of these, but not showing up certainly doesn’t help to build friendships.

I told my husband that if we didn’t have kids (and I wasn’t working), I would spend his job search time lying on the couch watching “The Price is Right” and eating kettle chips and coconut popcorn (with nutritional yeast on it…mmm…), ignoring reality until he had a job and we knew where we were going.

But we do have kids, and they don’t respond well to Sofa Mom. So I need to work to keep myself idling for a little longer until it’s time to hit the accelerator and move forward again, packing up, selling the house, making contacts on the other end, wherever that might be.

In that light, I suppose it’s best to keep on chugging along. So chug I will…

Check in tomorrow for the kickoff post for May – Service Month!

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