Does anyone else miss the simplicity of your younger days when you were guaranteed to see your friends pretty much every day? You went to school together, had lunch together had sleepovers at the weekend and whatever else took your fancy.
Of course this can’t stay the same as we all mature and have different interests and different lifestyles. This is one of the reasons a show like Friends will always stay popular among people, because it shows us something that we all sometimes wish we had. A life where your friends or loved ones would just walk into your house every day without warning and constantly be there knowing the smallest details about you. I mean everyone else loves that episode where Monica and Rachel lose their apartment to Chandler and Joey right? Everyone else would love to try out a quiz with their friends based on how well you really know them.
The thing is that is exactly why it is so well loved because in reality nobody could maintain that. Outside of work your friends will have other friends, work colleagues and family they also want to spend some time with. They will also have their own hobbies and most likely want some time alone after a hard day at work. As a teenager I loved the idea of having a life like that in Friends where your best friends would turn up and you would do everything together but now I genuinely wouldn’t be able to hack it. I love my friends and enjoy their company but I would lose my mind if they just turned up at any time of day.
We all had that moment as we finished high school where we promised our friends nothing would change and we would always make sure to see each other all the time and we would have nights out and go for dinner and loads of other things. Of course reality is very different. You meet new people at university and most of your time spent with friends then is purely nights out. Nights out are fun but the hangovers following aren’t.
Then things change again when you all graduate and get adult jobs. This is something that has taken until 3 years after I graduated to really come into full swing. While at university I started work at Starbucks and gained basically a second family. I loved that I then basically saw some of my best friends every day at work and this only got better once I graduated after deciding to stay on at work there for a year to give myself a bit of time to sort out what I really wanted to do. As well as this I got into a pretty good rhythm with my friends from school thanks to stuff like whatsapp where we all managed to stay in contact.
Fast forward to now and I have to say I am in a bit of a slump. If I don’t have someone telling me that I need to be somewhere or that we have something to do then I will seriously be that person that gets home from work and never comes out again. Seriously if I’m in bed after 11 I feel I have stayed up too late. I want to see my friends (most of the time) but I also enjoy my own company and time to myself after work.
So my solution?
Honestly I don’t have one but I think it should start with being more realistic with how often you can actually meet people. You can’t possibly see all the people you want to see every single week. Right now I am in a position where the only person I feel I have to see at least once a week is my niece because she is still so young and I am trying to build the best possible relationship with her. Everyone else does seem to take a back seat and that is my responsibility as much as theirs.
By all means make time your friends but do not run yourself into the ground. The best thing about good friends is that they understand life gets in the way. Be realistic and keep in contact and things will begin to happen. At university I saw my best friend a lot and right now it is maybe once a week. Sometimes longer but the thing is accepting that has made things so much easier because neither of us are being crushed by this pressure that we have to see one another.
Don’t get me wrong sometimes I feel bad for going extended amount of times without seeing people but as long as I make sure they know the reasons why then I am ok. Adult life isn’t always fun and the time you spend with your friends is never going to be as it was at 18 or when you were 6 and played with them at the park every day but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The time spent together now is probably more precious so you make the most of it when you see friends.
Anyway long story short, everyone relax. Make time for yourself because you won’t function otherwise but continue to make time for your friends no matter how small. My best moments of a week can sometimes be meeting a friend for coffee or yes even meeting my friend at one of our fitness classes.