This week, I made a decision that affected the blog: After weeks (and in one case, months) of attempting to get together with two different friends in neighboring cities, I re-prioritized and committed to commuting to visit them—two days in a row in different directions—even though it meant I wouldn't have mid-week blog time. Seeing my friends, connecting with them face to face, was just that important to me.
One friend is about to move much farther away—to Dallas, Texas—from Chicago. While I have the chance, I want to take advantage of our shared time, so I drove the hour-plus to lunch with her on Wednesday (and then treat ourselves to girly pedicures!).
The other is a childhood friend with whom I've been in touch to varying degrees since we met in the first grade. Our life schedules have been so hectic over the past year that we've missed out on our usual holiday-centered visits in our hometown. So, I drove two hours to Indianapolis where we met for an early dinner, explored the city's refurbished downtown, then treated ourselves to a little sale-based shopping spree.
Both visits had one prime focal point: conversation. I lingered over lunch in Chi-town and dawdled over dinner in Indy; wherever we were, we two (both sets) talked and talked and talked. We may have been trying on blue jeans or testing out toe nail polish colors, but somehow we managed to interweave deeper subject matter, things that really touched our hearts, into every conversation. And even more importantly, we listened to each other.
One testament to true friendship is listening. An important part of truly listening is making eye contact—something that just can't be replicated over the telephone or in text and e-mail messages. In a time when success is so rarely measured by how many true, deep friendships one shares, listening is key for life success in many areas—from personal relationships to work-based ones. How well do you listen? And just how do you know ...?
© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009