Make time for the people that you love!
Just the other day I tried calling an elderly lady (Aunt Cathy) in Adelaide, and I was told that she had recently passed away. I was not totally shocked, as she was close to 90 years old and she was not in the best of health. Aunty Cathy was my cousin's host family when he was there doing his tertiary studies many years ago. When my own brother went to Adelaide, she took him under her wings as well. She was like family.
Our family in Malaysia got to know her well and later when I came over to Australia, I travelled down to Adelaide with my family to meet up with her and her family. Since then, I would write to her a few times a years, in between calls. She was always so jolly and full of laughter, I can even hear her belly laughs right now.
When my cousin found out about the news, he was very sad. He hinted that he regretted not connecting with her as often as he would have liked, as he was very busy.
It got me thinking…
A few years ago when we celebrated my grandmother's 100th birthday, I remembered my grandmother mentioned to a few of her relatives, "… don't wait until another birthday before we talk again!".
That short statement speaks volumes – Why do we talk and see each other so infrequently nowadays? Why do we have to wait until people's birthday to make an effort to see or connect with each other?
It is very understandable that everyone is busy. We have to work, to look after our family as well as deal with other commitments in our lives. And I can fully understand that during the weekend, you are so tired that any spare time you have, you need that space to recover and recuperate.
It takes effort to find the time and energy to stay in touch and connect with people that are important to you. Think about: people that matter, people that make a difference in your life, people that bring joy in your life and lift you up when you are down… People that love you for who you are!
If we care for them, why do we wait until birthdays or festive seasons to connect with each other?
Are there any other ways to connect and keep in touch despite being busy?
Here are few suggestions for you:
- Connect through Facebook – this way you know what they are up to while not having to say much.
- Take advantage of the free apps like Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger etc to keep in touch. As long as the other party has wifi connections and a mobile device, there is always an opportunity to stay in touch.
- Send electronic cards or emails – a quick short note to stay in touch.
- Pick up the phone – for a quick chat while waiting for the water to boil? Or take a break from your work?
- Snail mail – some people prefer letters or a simple card. I would normally have blank cards and stamps at home. So whenever I think of someone, I would scribble my thoughts onto the card, place the stamp on the envelope and send.