It started with a book. One evening while staring at the bookshelf looking for something good to read I found it, an old friend. A great book that I hadn’t read in years, probably since I was in junior high. Immediately I knew I wanted to revisit the well worn, dog-eared pages that I enjoyed years ago. Funny thing is, although the story hadn’t changed, I had. I had new life experiences, a mind capable of more critical, abstract thinking. In some ways the story had changed for me – there were new meanings and new connections. The story still resonated in the same way. It was still entertaining and joyful, but from now on it will be remembered differently from when this book first made its impact on me.
Next, a few days later I received a group email from a very dear college friend of mine reaching out and connecting with the good group of friends we had made while in school. Forming study groups, staying up late at night cramming for the test the next day, getting coffee and relying on each other through the stressful times. We do this, start a group email, about two or three times a year just to keep connected and updated on each others current events. As you can imagine our lives since being college-somethings has drastically changed to working professional family-somethings. Yet the same good memories and connections remain and keep us bound together still today. Instead of meeting at the coffee shop with our pile of books, tired eyes, and highlighters at the ready, we are meeting up at parks with our kids, Commiserating about how time flies and being parents of toddlers.
Lastly, as stress and the busyness of life have increased of late, I find that the old coping skills that were once so helpful are once again helpful. Admittedly, it took me a bit to remember them and practice them regularly but I am pleased that they continue to have the same calming effect. Though perhaps the circumstances around which they are employed are different now, they still work wonders. Often I find I have this conversation during therapy sessions as well. The people I see in my office, this is not their first time dealing with some difficult life stressors, yet they are resilient and have skills. Often when we talk about things that have worked in the past or maybe new skills they can try now, they may remark “oh yeah, I used to do that and it worked well.”
Be it entertaining, connecting, or healing, remember that sometimes it is good to reconnect with old friends.