|Image from here|
I try to keep in touch with friends but if I am truthful, I often only manage an email, a quick text message or the dreaded Facebook. An actual phone call from me is a rarity these days!
When it comes to actually seeing people, I find child-friendly ways to meet up (parks, picnics, kid's parties, BBQs, beach adventures, camping trips, weekends away together) and this at least keeps my friendships ticking over. I love to spend time with the important people in my life, but many of them have as little space in their lives as I do, so it isn't easy.
Socialising with friends (without the kids in tow) has become a casualty in my life. It isn't that I don't want to, or that I like my friends any less, it is just that I don't really have time to go. I often say 'no' to gatherings, events, or parties these days.
Going out at night isn't just about the time that you are present at the function. It is the time it takes to travel there and back (I live a fair hike from most of my friends) and to recover from the reduced sleep and extra alcohol consumed (I have never been one to shun a good time!).
Saying 'no' is not a popular choice. It is rarely accepted without a 'valid' reason (like a sick child or illness myself). "I don't want to" doesn't seem to cut it for most people but for me saying 'no' is often the only choice.
I don't know if it is a sign of growing up or growing apart, but I would rather be fresh for my family than party into the wee hours of the morn wishing I were 10 years younger (and looking less like a Nanna in my chosen ensemble that I purchased in the 1990s).
I miss seeing my friends and having an actual conversation more regularly. Saying 'no' has been a hard lesson for me to learn (I have always liked to be 'included') but it is the one thing that really helps me stay on top of all facets of my life. When I lose my mojo (even for a day), all hell breaks loose around here.
What about you? Do you say 'no' to social events? How does it make you feel? How do you manage to maintain relationships with people outside of your family?