Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I just bought a new address book. My last one is at least ten years old, ratty, and I have grown to hate the cover. The new one is bright and cheery, ready for anything. As I carefully choose which names will go into the new one, and which will be burned with the old, I am shocked my the emotions this process is stirring. Why do I feel so much shame as I read through the list? I have not done these people wrong, but how many of them truly need to be kept on record? How many do I really want to ever see or hear from again? What would be the point?
At Christmas time I thought about all the cards and letters we received. Over 150 people cared enough about us to send their greetings. I didn't learn a thing. It did not help me to connect to any of them. I was not brought along in their life journeys through their newsy reports. I joked with my friends that the reason we don't write a letter is that nobody would want to read it, it would be too depressing. The lesson I learned from all of this was that the people that really cared about our lives, knew all about our lives, and the ones that didn't, didn't. No judgment, I didn't know about many of their lives, nor care, either. There are just so many people with whom you can have intimate dealings.
So, as I pare down the address book, dramatically, I think to myself, "This book now accurately shows a list of those we love, and those that love us." I'm lucky there is enough to call a "book". There's no shame in that.


Terry Whitaker said...

I just went through exactly the same process. Culling the friend list is so critical! It doesn't mean you don't ever see or associate with other people along the road of life, but we all need to stop extending ourselves to that when we want to extend ourselves to those we love, we have the energy and the resources to do it!

Anonymous said...

some people measure their net worth by the names in their address book-----what is your net worth-----is it measured in dollars and cents--------or are the new names' net worth in emotional support----are they rich in gererousity of listening-do they nourish your soul spiritually---take a good look at those names they say alot about you

Valentinegirl said...

As I get a little older (accent on "a little"), I am reminded that there are just so many hours in a day. There are so many needless interruptions in life, I find it's even more critical to be intentional and sincere with those I choose to share my life and time with. With that in mind, those who stay in my address book are there because we continue to choose each other - to provide support in some way to one another in our busy lives.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I wonder if you 86'd me?
What's next, the damn lyrics to
Dust in the Wind?

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