Reconnect With Old Friends

You’ve made good friends over the years… people you truly cherished in your life, friends who made you laugh so hard over a glass of milk, a cocktail or a box of tissues that you vowed you’d never lose touch.

Yet as the years go by, we move, they move, our immediate circle of friends grows and evolves, circumstances change – all making it more difficult to maintain contact with the wonderful people with whom we’ve shared fond memories. Just because the logistics of your friendships change doesn’t mean you have to lose touch completely. Modern technology is making it easier than ever to reconnect with old friends.

I just called to say…..
Obviously, the simplest way to catch up with an old friend is to pick up the phone and call them. If you’ve lost their number or lost track of their whereabouts, try a Google search, or a people search on the Internet. You may wind up with a work listing, or even need to dig deeper and look up their parents or siblings, or a mutual friend who has the gift of staying in touch. Once you find them, the details of how you did it, are a great way to start up a conversation no matter how many years have passed between you without a word. Generally the good will of just making the effort, and warm opening statements like, “I’ve been thinking about you, I had to find you, I remembered…” will melt any ice, if there is any. People understand the tides of time (after all, they haven’t called you either!).

Social networks
Networking websites are another effective and fun way to find old friends. Become a member of one (or all) of the social networks, Facebook or MySpace, a professional network like LinkedIn (to find former co-workers), or one of the school reunion sites like Classmates.com. Once you join, simply type in the people you’re searching for. Keeping a page on any of these social networks, updated with your photos and personal news, is a good way to make yourself easier to find, too.

Travel reunions
Some groups of friends have a yearly gathering in the summer or around the winter holidays when many of them are back in town to see family. Even if it’s just an afternoon or evening each year, it’s nourishing to chat with old friends to catch up on news and gossip. Other friends plan road trips to visit each other or they pick an attractive destination to meet (spa, mountain resort, Palm Springs, New Mexico) once a year. Of course, if you haven’t seen your best friend since they ran off to Rome to live with an Italian, it may be time to see if they’re open to having visitors, for a night or more, as you explore their part of the world. Or maybe they’re willing to meet you in a city you both want to visit.

The written word
The Internet and texting has made communicating short and sweet. And sure we can send E-cards or post a birthday wish on Myspace, but why not take the time to send a lengthy, meaningful handwritten note with an old fashioned pen and paper. A card on someone’s birthday with a handwritten note is a wonderful surprise. It’s an amazing feeling to find something besides a bill in your mailbox, and a letter or card says someone cared so much they took the time to sit and write you.

Close friends, some people say, are the “family” we choose to surround ourselves with. You may be very busy with your life, your job, immediate family or significant other, but we all know that at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like the bond of a good friendship.

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