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when-a-friendship-is-worthy-of-your-love2Happy New Year…mom style- 26 days in. It takes me this long to clean up my holiday returns, get the house back in order, and answer all mail correspondence that has been piling up next to my computer. I would be curious to see if I’m the only one dealing with insurance companies who have their own resolutions- to avoid paying your 2012 claims if at all possible.

Now that I am thinking clearly and relatively free until February break, I have some time to consider my own New Year's resolutions. This year, instead of resolving to show up on time, I have decided to hit the problem from the other end, by investing my time wisely so I am not over booked.

In that line, I find myself evaluating the relationships in my life. Do they work? Am I getting back from the relationships that I have invested? Do I find myself the only one who is proactively reaching out again and again? While cleaning my files, I have decided to make my New Year's resolution to clean out the relationships in my life.

Parting with a friend, or should I say giving the ring back, is not an easy feat.  A part of me goes into each and every one of the relationships I have developed. The hardest part is leaving that part of me behind. In moving to California, the distance has put things in perspective. I look back at my hometown and realize whom the people are that mean the most to me. I reach out with messages and phone calls, operating in a two-way traffic zone.

Here in California, I live in a small town, which I picked because of the geographical proximity to my husband’s job, and because of friendships I had made during his many years of sales trips. The relationships had been developed through fifteen years of yearly outings, where the wives would accompany their husbands. Seeing these girls for 5 uninterrupted days at a time, we learned about each other lives, families, and dreams for the future. I couldn’t wait to be a part of those lives beyond the short intervals of time we spent on corporate outings.

My reality was different than the vision. It didn’t take me long or that many unreturned messages to figure out why. The lives here are full. When I am with these gals, I couldn’t feel more loved or appreciated. However once departed, I am still the friend that lives across the country. This makes me sad.

On the other hand, I have numerous new friends that are investing time in our friendship, blessing me with random acts of kindness, and checking in on a regular basis to check on my day. Being typical me, I chase the friends that don’t have the time or the energy.

My new year has given me the space to reflect on where I am in my relationships and where I want to be. I don’t want to be chasing. I want to be investing.  All female, I need the nurturing and emotional support from people who have it to give and who are looking for friendship in return. I need to give back the rings to clear the space for people in my life that matter. Bittersweet in nature, it is time to spend a few days mourning the loss of relationships I envisioned, and embracing relationships that I have found.

For more of these stories with Wendy please visit her column www.lifewithwendy.com

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