You can’t make old friends

As you consider what you will pursue this year – I recommend pursuing people.

For many years Nicole and I have done something that will sound wildly offensive. We sit down and (separately) make a list of what we call our A friends, B friends, and C friends.

Here’s why. About ten years ago we were looking back on the calendar from the previous year. We were surprised at how many people we had seen that year, but how few we had seen more than once.

We were on track to have a lot of acquaintances and very few friendships.

So, for the next few months we decided to name the very few people we wanted to be friends. We decided to (try to) see them monthly. When we did, we showed up ready to both ask about them and share about us. This was our A list.

There was another group we wanted to stay connected to. We would be disappointed if we didn’t see them at least once in the next quarter. These relationships usually fall into the ‘old friends’ list. You can’t make old friends, but you can lose old friends. We didn’t want to. This was our B list.

Finally, there was a third group. They mattered to us, and yet in this season we knew we couldn’t prioritize every relationship. We’d still return their calls and invite them over, but more often than not for this season it would be in a group setting. 

We’ve done a list like this every year since. Now we ask our kids to play along. Who do you want to see in the next few months? And if they aren’t sure, we ask who they want to be closer to this time next year.

If we don’t, I think our calendar would lead us rather than us leading it. We may have a year full of fun dinners and birthday parties, without choosing the relationships you’ll carry with you.

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