At the end of month 2 of our 12 Months of Wellness, were wondering if youve had a chance to reach out to a loved one you havent seen in a while.
Some of us here at alive have had some interesting experiences recently when we’ve reached out to special people in our lives.
For example, I called a loved one over the weekend who is particularly shy about phoning. She knows my life is busy and she’s always been hesitant to pick up the phone and call. It was a good experience all around. She was very relieved to be able to share some news about a health scare that we chatted about for a while.
Then, she surprised me by telling me she’d done some reaching out of her own: she’d called a relative who’d been estranged from our family for more than a decade. She was thrilled to share this news, and it was clear that both of them were happy that she’d made the effort to call. They both intend to keep in touch more regularly now.
Stuart Harries, Editor in Chief: “I have several family members who are shy about picking up the phone to call me. They want to talk but feel that my busy schedule is something they don’t want to interrupt. Despite my ongoing pleas to ‘Just Call!’
“I’ve found that it works best for me to simply take the time a couple nights each week to reach out and make the calls to those close to me who are shy about taking up my time. While the onus is on me to make these calls, I’m always so happy that I have reached out and made the effort. There’s no doubt that the people I call are also pleased with our chats!
“I must admit that I consciously switch it up … making sure to not call the same person at the same time each week. I don’t want my calls to become something usual or expected, and I don’t want to impose on the schedules of those I call who might end up thinking, ‘I’d better not go out (or do whatever) … because Stuart always calls at this time’.”
Ellen Niemer, Editor and Creative Services Liaison: “Sometimes we hesitate to contact people based on our own misconceptions about how we think they must feel about us—especially if a lot of time has passed. In the fall of 2011, I learned that a long-time friend of mine, who lives in Toronto, had breast cancer. We had kept in touch sporadically by phone and email and sent cards for special occasions, but I hadn’t been back to Toronto in 14 years. She had visited me several times.
“Her diagnosis prompted me to book a flight and go to see her, because I knew I’d regret not going. Despite the fact that she’d started chemotherapy treatments, we spent quality time visiting, walking, talking, eating, laughing, and being together.
“Now when I think of someone, I make the effort to call them or drop them a line, because life is short, and it only takes a minute to let someone know how much they mean to you. And the best part of my story is, my friend still talks about the great time we had—and she beat her cancer.”
Bryce Tarling, Editorial Assistant: “I spent some time living in Japan a few years ago, where I made many friends. It’s been difficult keeping touch—especially with the 17-hour time difference, but the other day I had the opportunity to chat with an old colleague over Skype. It was a great chance to reconnect with a part of my life that I haven’t thought about for a while.”
Amanda Pentland, Graphic Designer: “I messaged an old friend the other day. We have a great time when we see each other and we always have so much to talk about; however, our lives don’t align. We both realize we’re very opposite and therefore can learn so much from one another.
“We tend to get together once or twice a year to catch up. We plan on getting together in the next week or so as she mentioned she would help me and teach me how to do my taxes. I always look forward to spending time with her. When we do get together, I learn something new and am thankful that our friendship remains despite our very busy lifestyles.”
Have you made a plan?
While it might seem we’re too busy to fit one more thing into our day, reaching out to reconnect seems to be an energizing experience in most cases. Have you reached out to someone you haven’t spoken to recently? Or maybe someone has taken some time to contact you?. Share your stories via blog posts or Facebook comments, or by using the Twitter hashtag #2013alive.