Christmas, a time for connecting with old friends. In the week between Christmas and New Years Eve, people consider the age-old tradition of setting New Years resolutions. Already I’ve seen countless memes wishing the end of 2016 away as the year to forget. When we look back at 2016, we remember endless months of campaigning commercials; the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series after 108 years, Brexit from the EU, Samsung’s misstep with the explosive Note 7. But even more than that, remember the good stuff…and good stuff in 2016 exists. Like my beautiful niece’s first birthday party, laughs shared with coworkers, parties with friends, and the first date that led to a relationship.
Recently I reconnected with two great friends. Joy comes in the big life-changing moments, but look for joy in a text or message from a friend. Recently I experienced a few reconnections that felt right. One good friend reached out after several months to see how things were going. Memories came rushing back. Over a year ago we worked together in a very rural community. In a place without family nearby or close friends, she problem solved like a champ for me both in my professional life and my personal life. She served as a sounding board and encouraged me. Our professional relationship changed to friendship. We celebrated wins and puzzled through life’s issues. Neither one of us grew up in our newly adopted community so we depended on each other for support. Since then, she and I both seized opportunities to move closer to family, but I know when we meet again, we’ll pick up where we left off. Sometimes people come into your life for a reason and they stay with you.
My second long last connection reaches way back to five years ago, and really even longer than that to my long gone college days. We first connected over ten years ago in class. From friends to roommates, we bonded over shopping, TV shows, our love of travel, and books. Roommates and best friends, we chose different paths and moved on from each other. Like friends do, we ran headlong into disagreements and our friendship fizzled. We continued to be Facebook friends and keep up with the other on social media, but I assumed the closeness we once shared finished. After exchanging birthday greetings and the occasional card, we slowly started to reconnect over our love of books. Recently we started to discuss the latest works by our favorite authors. We still message each other and only time knows what happens next. People surprise you and sometimes they come into your life whether you realize you need them or not.
So for 2016, let your complaints go and celebrate moments of joy. In the words of classic holiday song “Faithful friends who are dear to us. Gather near to us once more.” So friends, however you celebrate the season, “have yourself a Merry little Christmas.”