Family Matters! Losing Touch with Priorities: How to Stay in Touch with Family
We're gathered around our dining table, each of us with a mug of warm water in our hands. At first, the cool, crisp morning and peace fill the apartment, but one of my housemates breaks the silence. “Wow, we’re actually adults now.”
“Yep. The amount of time we spend with our family will only be less as we move forward.”
I still think about this conversation I had with my housemates; these impromptu, spontaneous conversations in our kitchen that stem from our study breaks are always the best. However, this particular conversation has been simple, yet the most impactful and… eye-opening. As a sophomore in university, it has been quite a new experience living away from home and not being in residence this year. You suddenly become a lot more independent and responsible: cooking, cleaning, studying, doing “adulty-things”, and running errands. It’s truly the first real taste of, well, growing up and learning how to be an adult. However, with all these matters keeping me busy aside, and especially with COVID-19 restrictions in place, it has made me realize how fast time is going by.
Here’s the catch: there’s a teeter-totter relationship that exists. As we’re busy growing up and reaching significant milestones in our lives, our parents are also growing older. We become less in touch with those that we love, and this is seen by the amount of time we spend with our parents, our siblings, our grandparents, and our friends becoming less and less. It potentially starts with moving out to a place on our own. Then, possibly video calling them everyday… to calling them once every few days… to catching up once a week? Once a month? Once a year?
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
We are like the baby bird that has been nurtured and sheltered in the nest all along but has now grown a pair of wings, strong enough to fly and embark in a journey to face the world. Yet, in all this excitement and craze, we tend to forget about the ol’ birds back home. And as we’re constantly striving to be the best version of ourselves where we’re in this continuous cycle of chasing our dreams, goals, aspirations, and successes, we’re blinded to recognize some of the most important things and people in our life.
We forget that there has always been a group of individuals in our life that unconditionally love, care, and support us. Be it, friends or family, these cheerleaders in our life have always been those that have been there for us during our highs and lows, made sacrifices, listened to us when we needed them to, and were also the ones that gave us heartfelt advice - whether we liked hearing them or not. And what’s the excuse we use for not connecting or checking in with our family and friends often enough? It’s the classic, “I’m busy.”
The reality is, we’ll always have an endless number of things to check off our to-do list - we are intrinsically engineered to never. Stop. Being. Occupied. When we reflect on our past, spending time with, having silly or thoughtful conversations, cherishing the little moments, the waves of laughter, the tears, and sharing the roller coaster of emotions that LIFE brings us, with the people that we love and treasure - these will be the most precious and valuable memories to look back on. Our ultimate happiness and fulfillment won’t come from our wealth, the career we’ve built for ourselves, nor the assets we’ve accumulated, but rather, the intimate relationships and close connections we make with others.
In this unpredictable and tough world, we rely on each other for support, guidance, love, and care. We, as humans, cannot thrive in solitude. In the realm of unknowns, we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, in a week, in a year, or a decade. What I do know; life is extremely short and we only really learn our lesson when it is too late and we are engulfed by regrets.
So, here are a few ways to stay connected with your loved ones (especially during these unprecedented times):
Schedule periodic calls or FaceTimes with your family and friends. I find this to be a super easy conversation-starter to hear about what they have been up to! Usually, this will lead into some pretty interesting conversations if you are hesitant to reach out to people just out of the blue.
Interact and engage with any updates or posts shared by your friends and family on social media. Aim for a consistent schedule and ensure you prioritize this — every other day? First Friday of every month? For me personally, I try to FaceTime my parents everyday when I am eating dinner; it’s always nice to catch up and share parts of our day with each other.
Send photos or videos of what you have been doing. I love sending photos of meals I have cooked in university to my parents and friends. It’s just a nice little way to show others that you are thinking of them.
Send or tag your family and friends in relevant videos or memes. Maybe it’s an inside joke or something you saw that reminds you of them! I often do this with my friends on Facebook by tagging them in memes or relatable content.
Cook a meal or bake some treats for or with your loved ones. I mean, who doesn’t love food? Although my housemates and I spend most of our time in our own rooms studying, we like to come together at the end of the week to cook a meal and watch a movie to unwind.
As you look back to memorable moments, photos, or just going about your day, simply text your family and friends to show you thought about them! Sending a spontaneous text to someone to check on them and to show that you care can go a long way.
Don’t take time for granted, show your care and appreciation to friends and family. We can all use a little extra love in this world <3.
Co-Founder & CFO