Most of us would say that we try our best to keep in touch with the ones we love. We make the occasional call, text a quick hello or even find a few moments to meet for a cup of coffee or a quick cocktail.
People always tell me I am good at maintaining contact. They say they are bad at sending cards, remembering birthdays and are not sure how I do it.
The simple answer is 'I work at it'.
I do NOT remember every birthday, every new baby's name, every anniversary. I have to write this information down. Then I need to look at it, REGULARLY.
I find it amazing given the ability in our modern world to stay in touch in an instant, think social media, Facetime, etc., that it is still not that easy to do so.
Even though I try my best to check in with loved ones on a regular basis, one struggle I have always had is making a simple phone call. For some reason chatting on the phone is not something I enjoy much. I'd rather meet up with someone face to face. I have read this is common among introverts. There is a great article by Sophia Dembling in Psychology Today that explains why introverts may feel this way.
As you can imagine over the years this inability to pick up the phone has irritated elderly relatives, frustrated some loved ones and baffled friends. It's not that I don't speak on the phone, I can and do, for hours sometimes, it's simply not in my comfort zone. I have to be ready to spend time on the phone.
So if you don't HEAR from me on a regular basis, please don't take it personal. I will text you, write you a letter, drop a card in the mail, email you, send you a private message on Instagram, spend time with you face to face and yes, occasionally call you.
With that being said, I realize the importance of calling those I love and so I work at this too. I schedule time and make speaking to that person a priority. I do this especially since my mother passed away suddenly several years ago. I am beyond grateful that I CALLED her the morning she died. She was usually the one who called me.
If you struggle to keep in touch with those you love near and far, don't beat yourself up. Chances are those who matter to you know you love them. Life is challenging enough, why add on guilt for missing an occasional birthday? Send a belated card if you want but the important thing is to let that person know you simply forgot and that you love them.