friendship

How often do you say, 'let's catch up soon' and then actually organise it?

Catch up soon. We should catch up. How often do you end a text, or a phone call, or an email, or a Facebook comment or a ‘bump into’ with the promise of a catch up? For me – all the time! Several times a week, probably, with various people. And how often do you ACTUALLY go ahead and organise the ‘catch up’? For me, hardly ever. Not because I don’t like the idea of the catch up. Far from it.

catching up with friends
Image via iStock.

Maybe it’s because I am officially an introvert – though most people I know would seriously question that statement. (I just did the 16 personalities test on Facebook so, yeah … I definitely am one.) Maybe it’s more because I’m a bit lazy … or because I’m a ‘busy’ mum … or maybe it’s because the mother guilt has me prioritising my children’s social lives over my own. (That said, I’m pretty hopeless at arranging play dates too.)

But think about this. Think about this little revelation that I’ve just had. I have a friend I really adore. I used to see her all the time. Often several times a week. It has dwindled down to catching up only once or twice a year. If it keeps dwindling at this rate, soon it’ll be only once every couple of years. I just calculated that I may only get together with her 20 more times in my life. Chances are a handful of those times she’ll be wiping my chin in the nursing home and I’ll be calling her by someone else’s name …

Image via iStock.
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It’s not enough. I’ll see my dentist more often. The thing is, I know that the answer to ‘how are you going?’ needs to be longer than ‘Yeah, not bad, how are you?’ or a few lines in a text. I know that I need to find out how my friends are really going. I need to actually catch up with where things are in their life. And it’s a need that I have been letting go unfulfilled for too long. With too many friends.

I wonder if social media is to blame? Is there a sense of catching up, of knowing what’s going on in a friend’s life because I saw photos of where they spent their last holiday? Of the photo-worthy (or not) meal they just had at a restaurant? Does social media give us a false sense of knowing?

Realistically though, as much as I’d be happy to blame it all on Facebook, I know I was every bit as slack about catch-ups before that time-sucker entered my life. Now I’m just a slack catcher-upper who knows where my friends went out for dinner.

Up and In author Deborah Disney. Image supplied.

But slack catcher-upper I shall be no more. I have just made plans to go out for a few drinks with that friend. I’m not going to ask where she’s been eating or vacationing. I’m going to eyeball her over a mojito and ask her how she is. How she really is. And when she asks me how I’ve been, I won’t just dismiss the question with a ‘Yeah, good, good’ - I’ll give her the ten minute exaggerated version of something funny or ridiculous that my kids or my husband did that day … the stuff she rarely gets to hear now … and we’ll laugh and laugh and then I’ll tell her something that’s been really worrying me or pissing me off and she’ll do the same, and then we’ll be all caught up.

Australian author, Deborah Disney, practised as a litigation lawyer prior to finding her true calling in the school pick-up line where she started typing a little story on the notes app on her iPhone one afternoon. Deborah’s first novel, Up and In, hit the bestseller charts on both Amazon and iBooks and has enjoyed international acclaim. Deborah is currently working on her second novel, which is about in-laws. You can connect with Deborah anytime on Facebook. You can buy her novel on AmazoniTunes and in all good bookstores.

How often do you catch up with friends?

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