Not only am I super busy right now, juggling the needs and desires of my family at this transition to work/school/rush time, but my social life has spiked the last few weeks.
Among my circle, there are so many birthdays in August that we are attending a party every single weekend of this month -- plus some during the week! We've hosted at least three... four?... big gatherings of our own lately. They are all starting to blur together quite honestly.
Plus some friends from my past have been re-emerging. Like right now, my oldest friend just texted to say that she and her son will be flying in in November and can't wait to visit. Awesome!
Not so awesome is that several old friends have suddenly reappeared from the mists of time because they are having intense personal crises. Gulp. I really don't know what to do for these people. Of course, I'm sympathetic. And I care and wish them well.
But I really do have my own, very busy, very focused life going on. I can't just drop everything and rush off to aid someone else.
A few weeks ago it was an old friend, calling nonstop. The calls this week are from a mother-daughter pair who are locked in conflict, maybe with some traumatic influences that I really don't even want to find out about. They want me to stop at once and come see them so I can mediate their conflict in person. Frankly, I don't know how that is supposed to help; I'm not magic. They seem to have more faith in my intervention than I do.
This troubles me deeply. It makes me so sad when people I care about are struggling. It makes me feel even worse when I have no idea how I'm supposed to help them. Just powerless and drained by their problems.
Plus there's the whole notion of reciprocity. I have learned to highly value the friends who are actually there for me when I need them. To me, it's a key definer of a good relationship. All of these "friends" certainly haven't been present in my life the last few years when I was smoothing things out and getting my act together. They were off being busy with their own affairs. But now that they have a need, they want that to take precedence. But it doesn't quite work that way.
My true friends, the ones I'm making the effort to get to all the parties for, have indeed been there through their tough times and my own. If one of them had a crisis, I would drop everything and go to help, even if it meant drastic reshuffling or missing work deadlines. But for people who haven't shown much interest in me lately, I think it's fair to wish them well from a distance and -- in the meantime -- keep typing on my grants.
I hope things work out for them all.