This week I've just been covered up at work. I didn't leave the office until 9 on Monday and Tuesday wasn't much better. That hasn't left much time for blogging. I feel good if I get to talk to the fiancee for 45 minutes or so and get 6-7 hours of sleep.
However, something was bothering me today. Over the past year I've had several people who have come into my life for a few months, made a significant impact, and then moved on. Now with all of them I've told myself that I just wasn't going to let the friendship drop. I'd keep in touch often. I'd make sure that we'd have plenty of time to catch up now and then.
Right ... Tell me another one self.
The same pattern develops. For a while, you're talking every day or two. Then it's once or twice a week. Then it's once or twice a month. Before you know it, you can't even remember when you talked to them last.
The worst part is that at the same time I'm lamenting not staying in touch, I also know that I'm not going to do anything about it. Even if that twinge of guilt causes me to pick up the phone, that phone call doesn't change. Even if it does change things for a couple of weeks, I know I'll backslide again.
This is not a new phenomenon for me. It's happened before, but I don't generally have quite so many opportunities to observe it in a short time span. I doubt I'm the only one who experiences it. In fact, I know I'm not. Those friends who I keep forgetting to call don't call me much any more either. We've moved on and made other friends.
Sure, there are some people who will be life-long friends and you'll stay in touch with no matter what. That's not the rule though. There was a couple that used to live here that I spent tons of time with. He and I had similar interests in recreational activities and his wife and I had similar backgrounds. I had plenty to do with him and plenty to talk about with her. They moved away a couple of years ago. At first, I talked to them very often. However, when I got engaged I realized I hadn't talked to them in 6 months. When I called to tell them the good news, I found that they'd moved and forgotten to tell me.
I think pretty much everyone has had this happen to them. I'm also pretty sure that most people regret it when it happens.
All of this makes me wonder, do we each have some magic number of close friends beyond which we can't seem to expand? Do we all reach a point where to add one friend means losing touch with someone else?
I have no idea what the answer is and I don't plan to spend any time looking for the answer. It's just been on my mind.