Do you know who your 2:00 AM friends are? You know, the people in your life whom, if you were in trouble or needed help, you would not be afraid to call in the middle of the night? They are the ones who, without question, would come running. Jeremy and I are blessed to have several people in our lives that we can, with certainty, classify as “2:00 AM friends.”
Lately, in our conversations about intentional living and simplicity, we started making a list of things we truly value. High on the list was a phrase we borrowed from All Things E’s post – “fulfilling, soul-enhancing relationships.” Wow! That’s a pretty powerful and moving descriptor!
And that started us talking about the relationships we’ve formed, both new and old. For example, we recently traveled to Portland for a conference, where we were able to connect again with what I called “annual friends.” Every year, we attend this conference. There are friends at this event that we see only once a year. Each year, we get to know them a little better, become a little closer. And each year, we meet new people – people who sort of take your breath away with their intellect, personalities and skills. Amazingly talented, funny, awesomeness – Truly soul enhancing! Next year, they’ll be among the “annual friends,” and already I can’t wait to see them and to add more to the group.
And then there are those friendships that have been formed in our pre-retirement years. Often, they were forged as a direct result of our careers. It’s no surprise that many of my friends are educators, or that Jeremy’s friends come from the fields of architecture or construction. So what happens when you retire, and you no longer have that “day-to-day, in-the-office” contact? We’ve started paying attention to the value each of these people has brought to our lives, while making intentional plans to keep those friendships strong – phone calls, lunches together, notes and cards, invitations to just hang out, golf games, and yes, even social media has played a part.
If we didn’t make a conscious effort, valuable friendships could slip away during this Encore Voyage. It is because we value those “fulfilling, soul-enhancing relationships” that we must be mindful in taking deliberate actions toward preserving and enhancing them.
So how about you? What meaningful steps are you taking to cement your 2:00 AM friendships and to create new ones?