Finding Time for Family and Friends

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It is difficult to find the time to commit to those you care about. In fact, you can often measure how much you value the relationship by the time you make for it. In a cold sweat the other night, I was woken to the sound of my phone ringing, on the other end was a good friend who needed help; it was late, and the difference between a good night’s sleep and being there for a friend. It wasn’t even a question, not even for a moment. We all have time to give to others, here are a few sacrifices we can make to be there for a friend.

GIVING AN HOUR

We always like to think that we don’t have an hour, that each moment of our life is perfectly scheduled and that we are all booked up. We always have an hour. Just think of the amount of time that you spend watching Netflix or Hulu every day. You have the time to call a friend and make sure they are doing ok. Reaching out to a friend, especially one you haven’t spoken to in a while, can make all the difference in the world. Never underestimate the good you can do with just an hour.

GIVING AN AFTERNOON

This is a little trickier, we are busy. It is very hard to find an afternoon to devote to a person or an activity. However, giving an afternoon can mean as little as taking a friend for lunch. When the world moves as fast as it does, grabbing a lunch and just talking can be a major help. If you can devote just a little more or know of something else that is going on in their life, offer the help there. Most of my friends would refuse, but each one of them values the offer.

GIVING A WEEKEND

Oddly, it is much easier to give a weekend than it is an afternoon. Helping your friend move their stuff out of the apartment after a rough break-up. When your friend needs a storage unit, and your help to move that couch out of their six-story walk up. When they need a reminder that they are not alone, even when it feels like they have lost everything. It is easy to be there for the big moments, it’s hard to be there for the small ones. Helping them find the right storage unit until they can get back on their feet, that’s a small moment.

GIVING A WEEK

I have only one friend who has given me this much. We have been friends for over a decade, and every day I am honored to count him as one of my closest friends. I decided long ago that I needed to move half-way across the country. He took a week off work, gave me a place to stay, food to eat and company until I got my feet back under me. I will never be able to repay the kindness that he showed me. But to him, it wasn’t a kindness in need of payment, to him that’s just what friends do.

It is easy to be there when things are at their worst, it is very easy to find the time when there is an emergency. What is hard, what tests the true metal of a relationship, is being there before. Helping through the small things. Recognizing the moment when a friend needs you most can be trying, but it will always mean more than you will ever know.