• Keeping Friends

100 Friends to See Before You Die

Published: May 21, 2008 | Last Updated: May 17, 2020 By | Reply Continue Reading

Childhood friends, school chums, colleagues, neighbors, teammates and virtual friends—women accumulate hundreds, if not thousands, of friends based on where they’ve been and what they’ve done over the years. Friends are the living scrapbooks of our lives.

But every relationship doesn’t stick. In fact, very few of them do. It’s easy for friendships, even very close ones, to slip away–sometimes for no real reason at all. It just happens. A study of the friendship patterns of 10,000 people in the UK found that the average Brit collects 396 friends over a lifetime but winds up staying in touch with only one out of 12 of them.

This week a friend with whom I was once very close was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I hadn’t spoken to her in almost a decade and now I fear there might be time for only a brief reconnection, even though she is special to
me and our friendship was an important chapter in my life story. Yes, we live in different states and no longer work in the same office. But why hadn’t I kept up the relationship? Was I really that busy? Maybe there wasn’t time to
see her, but the ease of staying in touch via cell phones and e-mail make the excuse of being busy sound lame.

I know I’m not the only woman who is dancing as fast as she can. I once tried to introduce a close friend who moved to Washington DC to another close friend who already lived there. I thought they would enjoy each other as much as I enjoyed each of them. “I don’t even have enough time for my own friends so why would you ever think I would have time for yours,” said the DC native. And I understood.

Recognizing that life is finite (is that a new insight?), many of us have started composing “life lists” to set priorities. People are thinking about where they would like to go and what they would like to do before kicking the bucket. It’s not surprising that the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die became an instant best-seller.

The film The Bucket List, which opened earlier this year, chronicles the story of two men, each with one year to live, who escape from the hospital where they meet to hit the open road and live life as they please.

Life is short. My suggestion: Make a list of the friends you truly want to keep in your life. To make the goal achievable, you don’t have to list 100 names and you don’t have to actually see those friends (unless you want to). You can just make ten phone calls or send ten e-mails, whenever it’s convenient, to tell your female friends how much they mean to you, before they disappear from your life.

This blog post also appears on www.HuffingtonPost.com/Living

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