Growing vs. Maintaining

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667 miles separate me from my sister Jamie.

594 miles separate me from my sister Tracey and my sister-in-law Kalie.
1,234 miles separate Tracey and Kalie from Jamie.
There are other things that separate us as well ~ time, finances, schedules and work. So we call, text, IM, Facebook and email to stay in touch, keep current and maintain our relationships, and I appreciate ALL of this.

But a few months ago, we planned a weekend to overcome all of that and meet in Chicago for a “Wicked” Sister Weekend. Tickets were purchased, reservations made, and anticipation built. Then life happened and my sister Tracey was unable to join us. (You can read about that here.) With non-refundable expensive tickets, Kalie invited her sister-in-law, Amy, (a perfect choice) to join the “sister weekend” and off we went.
It was amazing. It was so much fun. There was so much laughter. There was a really wonderful dinner, a fantastic musical, a great bottle of champagne, a hotel in the heart of the city, valet parking, cab rides, shopping, funny, funny lines we will remember for a long time, matching sweaters (not intended – which made it even funnier), a church service, a quite dinner, popcorn, and so much more.
We created new memories with each other, we grew new connections with Amy, and we remembered that removing ourselves from our day to day lives revives us, relaxes us and energizes us. We can’t wait to do it again, and we will as soon as Tracey can join us.
I value face to face time and shared experiences. This is why I planned a beach vacation for our families, why I meet my high school friend Diane at a favorite coffee shop when I am back in my home state, and why I drive 90 miles (one way) to meet my friend Barb for lunch. I know I can maintain my relationships with phone calls, texts, IM’s, Facebook and emails, and understand how tricky it can be to plan these get-aways. But I believe it takes shared experiences to grow the relationships.
If someone has come to your mind as you have read this, consider getting some time away to connect, laugh, share and grow your relationship. Its not usually easy to do this, but then valuable, important things ~ or people ~ are worth the investment.
(I posted A True Tale of Grace here yesterday)

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