Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Got Lazy...

Three years ago when I moved to tiny-town one thing was blatantly obvious. If I was going to make friends here, it was going to take some effort on my part. In a small town where everyone knows each other it can be a little tricky to convince them you'd be an excellent addition to their little group.

I was on a mission to make friends. I'm certain I scared some off with my neediness eagerness.

Don't get me wrong, people were always kind and friendly to me, and I never felt like they were purposely trying to exclude me, it was just the simple fact that most groups of friends have an unspoken limit...most of the time we're not even aware of it, but I'm convinced it's true.

We get comfortable in groups. It's a weird phenomenon, but it happens to me all the time...it always has. We find those that we have some connection with and we settle in.

I eventually found my niche in tiny town. I've made friends and acquaintances. Connected who's related to who. And formed a group without even realizing it. Has our little group ever intentionally tried to make someone feel excluded? Absolutely not. Is there a chance that we've made someone feel excluded just by being together...probably.

Which brings me to my point (finally). Once I settled in and felt comfortable with the amount of friends I'd made, I stopped trying. Stopped reaching out to make new friends. Got lazy. Real lazy.

Same thing happened in bloggy land. Last year when I first started, I commented on all kinds of new blogs, visited the blog of any new commenter's...desperate to find my niche. And once I did...the familiar feeling of comfort set in and I thought to myself, as I often do, good enough.

And now I hear God whispering....No Sarah, not good enough.

Deep down I know I'm missing out on great new friendships, both real and bloggy ones. Now, I'm not talking about numbers of friends here, because balance is always involved. I'm talking about noticing and recognizing those around me in the same way I noticed them when I was searching for friendship.

So...out of my comfort zone, once again. And if you're new here, I will find you...consider yourself warned ;) And to all of you who've stuck with my boringness and become such good friends, reading and commenting so faithfully, THANK YOU! It really is part of what makes blogging so much fun.

Here's to doing better than enough.

38 comments:

  1. Sarah, you are just so dang lovable!!! Love following your blog, you make me smile, and that is good enough!

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  2. I think that's one reason I'm glad I don't have more commenters/followers than I do...I'd feel compelled to keep up with them all. And I have to strike a balance.

    I've never quite gotten a handle on this bloggy thing. But I certainly enjoy yours!

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  3. You're honesty is always so refreshing to read!

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  4. Great post. Very insightful and so true of me, too. I think you're right too, about the unspoken limit, although I've never thought of it like that. I'm guilty too of settling in and then neglecting to look around - maybe for other people who are still looking for a place to fit. Thanks for the awareness today. I needed to hear that so I can open my eyes - and a reminder to not be unintentionally exclusive... because being unintentional is still not a good enough excuse to. :)

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  5. Love this ... and proud to have been a faithful commenting blogger friend since the very beginning!

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    Thanks for your honesty.

    Thanks for sharing yourself {the good and the not-so-good} with so many many people.

    ** You may just be the only Christian some people will ever know!

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  6. I hear ya, girlfriend! :) I think being in the ministry also puts us in a weird spot, sometimes... When people find out we're "church-y people" - there's an immediate stigma attached to us. I've lived in a small town, and now the big city - and both places have been hard to make friends for exactly the reason you mentioned - everyone already has their "circle" and they don't really need more members. Very disheartening for someone new in town. The good news is, my husband and I have become hyper-aware of this phenomenon, and have, in turn, been on the look out for the new-comers.
    (And it's especially hard for an introvert... It takes a lot of work!)
    Hope you're having a great Wednesday - thanks for the post! Hopefully, it will open all of our eyes to those around us!

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  7. I think I am a little on the lazy side too... I am glad that you brought it to my attention.

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  8. what you have said here about friendship circles is oh so true. i don't think i've ever had it spelled out quite like that, but you are right on!

    i think anytime past college that making friends is more difficult. b/c we each actually have some true responsibility after that...other than hanging around the dorm all day!

    love your blog!

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  9. I've been reading for a month or two and I love your blog! I thought I'd overcome my own laziness and actually let you know I'm here!

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  10. Good post and reminder that I need.

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  11. I'm so glad I've found your blog.

    I could have written this post myself. I'm still struggling to connect and make friends in the small town I live in.
    It's tough.

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  12. SARAH! way awesome post! way.
    WAY TRUE!
    SOOO need to look around, pay attention, reach out...



    "give me Your EYES... give me Your EYES... (are you singin with me)...... give me Your eyes..

    this goes right along with Linds post today.

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  13. excellent post--as someone who grew up in a tiny town I related...as someone who has moved a bazillion times I related...as someone who got comfortable...I related.

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  14. I just really needed to hear (read) this today. I'm having some Christian issues and you inspired me so much. The Lord has been talking to me. Not whispering but talking about being more bold in one particular group of friends we have. They refuse to let others in and that has really been nagging at me. I needed this today. Thank you so much.

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  15. Posts like these are why you are so endearing, girl. I relate to every word, esp. in this season of my life. I'm comfy enough in my own little circle(which happens to be just my family right now) that I rarely venture out to see what else God has for me. Comfy, or just plain apathy? I think it's a little of both for me.

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  16. I just re-read my last paragraph and SHEEESH I should have proof read that one. Yikes.

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  17. Yeah, I'd say I'm the one on the outside looking in saying "gee that's a fun group wonder if they'd let me in?"
    Not YOUR group per say, but any group.
    I've only had one or two friends at a time.
    I thik I'm too much to handle. I'm to needy I guess. I'm not a "how's your day?" lets chat kinda gal. I'm more "let's talk about feelings and how's that working for ya and share your life's story." kinda gal.
    I think the fact that I don't tolerate BS hinders me. By BS I'm talking the fake nice-y-ness people do. The yeah, let's get together and it never happens because OMG I'm SO super busy.
    I'm sorry but you are TOO busy to have a friendship?
    Huh. Guess I don't need to be your friend either.
    I don't settle in, I make myself comfortable, I'll move some freakin furniture around if I think it will improve the room.
    I am so glad I read your perspective because frankly I was begining to think something was wrong with me. When in reality we ALL have different ways we do things. So thanks.

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  18. I've been thinkin' about this a lot lately......I agree with you. I want to do more than just "enough" in both real life and bloggy land.

    I've been blessed to know you, Sarah, and so many others....there are so many more folks that I could be blessed by.

    Thanks for the reminder, friend.

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  19. Interesting insights into the little communities we form. I find it so easy to get lazy myself. Thanks for pointing that out! ;-)

    -FringeGirl

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  20. I can completely understand as I am the new preacher's wife in a small town where everyone went to school with each other since they were in diapers. But God is good and I feel very blessed with the friendships that God has already brought to me in the short time we have been here. Thank you for your faithfulness to encourage people like me with your struggles that seem to mirror my own. God Bless!

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  21. I love your blog!!! You are an awesome person and I can't imagine people not flocking to you! You have a great personality and smile!

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  22. Thanks for the reminder! I had the opposite experience of you -- went from a tiny-town and a tiny church where I had my own "circle" to a BIG church and felt like I would never find my niche. Now that I have, I realize I have been lazy myself in looking around for others who are new and are feeling the same way I once did. I always swore I wouldn't forget how it felt to be the outsider looking in...but I sort of have. Love reading your blog, it is so refreshing!!!

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  23. Thanks so much for your post. I am the "new preacher's wife" in a new town and I'm struggling to find "my" group. I think it is especially hard when your are the wife of the pastor, people assume they have to show me their "best" side. I appreciate your honesty! May I begin to reach out and not wait for people to reach in!!

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  24. So true, my friend. I've been trying to explore new blogs when I have extra time, but you know everything in moderation. I mean, my family's got to have clean underwear and a hot meal.

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  25. so true!! funny, I have just been thinking about this in regards to my life...

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  26. Sarah- Our last church had 1200 members and the town had 3000. Everyone was related, had their own circles and it was hard to fit in. I thought of it as almost a cult. But I did find my friend in a couple a years. I understand about the blog thing too. I am so new on here and I have tried to keep up, join new groups and I am exhausted!!! I work fulltime, my kids are 15 and 20 but I am still running. I would love to spend the whole day sometimes making comments but I know it can't happen. I always enjoy your blog- thanks for your wonderful comments.

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  27. True, so, so true! The whole issue of friendships can be a difficult one at times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

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  28. I love your heart and your honesty.
    Mom

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  29. boring... that is not what i would call what you write. funny & refreshing are much better words to describe your post!

    you're awesome!

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  30. i've often found myself in that position since i've moved..."needy" to find friends and then also wanting to branch out and meet new bloggy friends. BOTH are coming along after some effort. :-) and you are never BORING! never!

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  31. I'm the new girl in a town I've lived in for 4 years. I spent so much time working and in school when we moved here that now I realize I have no friends. Oh well. One good thing about having a great hubby. He's my best friend too. Someday, I'll make great friends. It's just hard when I had SO many friends in high school, and so few now. Ok, I'm rambling. Thanks for being an inspiration.

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  32. I think that everyone can get in a rut where they began to become lazy and not branch out. It is unrealistic for us to think that 1 friend can be everything. You were in the same boat as a lot of us...and I am glad I stumbled on you because I love reading your stuff!!!

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  33. You know i love your girl - and as far as "sticking with your boringness..." no way. :) You are highly entertaining!

    I hear you - it is easy for me to settle in too. As far as blogland goes, though, I find it really hard to strike a balance between getting around to everyone and just getting off the computer and giving my family time. I think it will always just be an ongoing balancing act.

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  34. Very valid point...and i've been there...on all accounts! I have to agree with blogger above...moderation is a good thing.

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  35. love.this.post.

    and i SO needed to read it today. I'm going through something like that right now.

    When I first started staying home i lost all my girlfriends from work. I only knew of 2 or three stay at home moms. one was my sister-in-law.and one was my cousin who lived 4 hrs away. i had some of the same feelings you mentioned and was always trying to find my niche. Poor David, i would break down crying all.the.time. that i had no friends. I prayed and prayed! and really it wasn't until i started blogging that i built great relationships with women i have never met. (this was 7 years later) i've started making more and more friends here at home and after reading this post realized that i have too become lazy! do i go outta my way to speak to the mom who is by herself at the playground when i'm with a couple of friends. no, why, don't wanna step out of that comfort zone. don't want to have to come up with stuff to talk about, and on and on.....

    thanks SO much for this post!

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  36. I totally get the search for a niche (did I find it? not sure...) as well as the dislike for living outside the zone o'comfort. Thanks for your honesty here!

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  37. It is easy to be in a niche and comfortable. Thanks for this reminder. I am such a homebody that not only might I be hurting and depriving myself of those awesome relationships but I am more than likely hurting my children in the process too. THanks for this great reminder.

    *Shay*
    P.S. I really really love your blog.

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  38. I totally understand! I get comfortable way too quickly.

    Your blog is wonderful. It is nice to visit with another minister's wife!

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