Old Friends and Serendipity

I’ve heard it said that you never have time for the things you don’t want to do.  Someone mentioned to me that when they retired, they had a list of things they were going to do (or do more of) when they retired.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

And suddenly when they had the time, they still didn’t find time to do them.

Has that ever happened to you?  You had a windfall of time for whatever reason, and you still didn’t get to that thing on your list?  It was always “the next thing”?

I was afraid of that happening to me when I said I wanted to spend more time with people.  I secretly feared that I wouldn’t actually do it.  That maybe my constant traveling was an excuse for not getting together with people.

After all, I was the kid who was so shy in elementary school that I’d cross the street if I saw my friends in the center of town so I didn’t have to say hi to them.  (Sorry.)  What if I basically did the same thing again?  What if I just hid in my house?

Well, that’s not what has happened.  In the last week I saw a friend I hadn’t seen since our 10-year high school reunion (that’s just a little bit ago), talked with another friend about visiting her, and set up 2 lunches and one dinner for this coming week. Whew!  I wasn’t just saying I wanted to spend time with people because I thought it sounded good.  I actually do want to do it.

Several had seen my Facebook post about retiring.  And one hardly ever goes on Facebook any more.  She just happened to be checking it when I posted.  What were the chances?!?  As she said, it was serendipity.

Anyway, I see how much I’ve been missing that in my life.  Sure, I had times on the road with favorite co-workers, who I do miss.  But even the workdays in my office were on the phone with scarcely an opportunity for even a 5-minute conversation.

And there’s so much to learn, isn’t there?  To hear what neat things others are doing with their lives, or how their family is.  What they think about current events.  Anything, really.

I’m so glad I have this time.  It’s precious.  I’m sure I’ll get busy soon enough, and will have to schedule fewer of these times each week.  So I want to take advantage of the time I have right now.  I feel like someone who’s been starving and gets invited to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

If you’re starving for companionship, see if there’s some way you can manage to fill your relationship bucket.  I didn’t, and see just how much I missed it.  Maybe you can be creative – like do some work together, run errands.  Anything to have even a small amount of time.

I’m looking forward to the challenge, stimulation, and yes – fun of spending time with people.  New friends and old.  Of all different ages.

How about you?  Can you think of a few people you’d like to spend more time with?  What creative ways can you think of to carve out that time?  Leave a comment.  The more ideas the better.  I love to learn from this great community.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Thank you for sharing this Kathleen. An uncle of mine who lives not far away died suddenly on Boxing Day. I last saw him sometime in the summer. i had since then been telling myself I did not have time to go over and see him again. And how he is gone.So glad you are making time for friends from your past. Also have you read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and living in Einstein time? I am deliberately trying to live that way and not telling myself I haven’t got time! At the same time I still have deadlines and pressing appointments!

    • I almost missed my opportunity to see my voice teacher before he died. I hadn’t seen him for several months, and finally said I wasn’t waiting another day. He died 3 days after I saw him. It’s hard when we miss these opportunities and then they are no more. But I’m hope you’re giving yourself grace over it. Because you DO have plenty vying for your time and attention.
      I have read The Big Leap. I love the idea of Einstein time, and still haven’t fully figured out how to apply it to my life. Cliff Ravenscraft interview Gay a few months ago, and they got into it in a bit more detail. I may listen to that again.
      You’re right. You have deadlines and pressing appointments. The key is to make sure that they are all actually important and that you’re the one who must do them. Often times one of those two statements is not true for at least some of those pressing responsibilities.