Studies have shown that people are not really good at cultivating quality relationships with more than about ten people. It’s pretty sad really, that life isn’t cumulative. That is, by the time you’re, say, a 36-year old freelance writer and English teacher in Ketchikan, Alaska, you don’t have all your high school friends, all your college friends, all your teaching friends from California, all your writing and fishing friends from California in addition to the friends you have now. It’s a perpetual add and subtract through the different phases of life.
I keep in touch with a few friends from high school on occasion. Same with college buddies and old teaching friends. That’s what happens.
So, I made a point to contact five friends last Friday. It led to some great memories and memories are really, really important. Donald Miller wrote that if you can’t remember things, it’s like they never happened. I don’t remember when I read that, only that I did read that, and it stuck with me. You’re like your own private investigator looking into your past to see how things went down.
It’s not just about memories though. There are likely people you befriended because they were relentless in their pursuit of a quality life. The reason you may have lost contact is because time and miles separated you, but that sort of influence is so important. The easier and more comfortable things are, the more you might need to reach back and get that jolt from one of the old buddies.
Just because science says your circle is limited, doesn’t mean the influence has to be. Take the hour and reach out.