Reaching out

“In all areas of life, successful people are the ones who make the effort. They ask for what they want, they initiate plans, they dream up the ideas. They don’t just sit and wait for other people to call or make things happen. The world opens up to you when you extend the invitation.”  ~Louise Hay

Three Cats Cafe at Leon & Lulu, Clawson / Cindy La Ferle

Yesterday was a near-perfect autumn day, thanks in part to an impromptu lunch date with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. 

I first met Karen several years ago when she worked for one of my doctors. Now that she’s retired, we keep in touch via email and meet for lunch occasionally. One of the things I admire most about Karen is her gift for reaching out to others and initiating friendship. 

In fact, I credit her for making sure we’ve stayed in touch — and especially for not giving up on me when I’ve been ill, out of town, or otherwise unable to get together. She’s the sort of person who checks in to see how you’re feeling, or drops a note when she enjoys something you’ve written or posted. Not surprisingly, Karen has an active social life and a long list of interesting friends. The more I get to know her, the more I discover how much we have in common, including our political views, favorite vacation spots, and the fact that we’re not on Facebook.

According to several friendship experts I’ve interviewed, lack of regular communication (including failure to initiate social plans) is most often cited as the reason why so many friendships drift apart. 

All too often, I’m guilty of saying, “Let’s get together soon” — but later neglect to act on it. Seeing Karen yesterday reminded me of how important it is, no matter how busy we are, to make time for the relationships we value and hope to keep. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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