I have a friends spreadsheet.
It’s been in existence (on and off) for about 18 or so months now.
I know that it makes me sound OCD.
I assure you, I don’t have an inkling of OCD in my blood (except for the library thing) and the only reason it started in the first place was because I was planning a gathering with a few girlfriends. I made a list of names. On a spreadsheet. It just grew from there.
My spreadsheet essentially evolved from being a guest list to a friend list.
I realised at some point that I was hanging out with the same people. ALL THE TIME.
When things went pear-shaped for whatever reason or when we started to get on each other’s nerves (it can happen, familiarity breeds contempt and all) I used to feel lonely. I REALLY battled because of the LACK of people in my life, specifically if a particular situation demanded a particular TYPE of friend.
One day I felt particularly lonely. My DH told me to make a list of people who I LOVE/LOVED hanging out with. He told me to include EVERYONE and make a project out if spending time with DIFFERENT people. Even if I hadn’t seen them in years.
I went to my computer and opened up a word document. Then I got distracted. When I got back to my computer, my son was opening up an excel document for something that he needed to do. And then it struck me. I STILL had my guest list from my party which didn’t happen. I could just ADD to that! Oooh I was too excited!
So I took that list and added to it. I then made a column for the date/period that I last saw the person and I also made a column for the last thing we did together (i.e. did we go to a restaurant, to a show together etc). I did consider rating my experience but THAT felt OCD to me.
My list grows and grows. I keep forgetting about people. Two weeks ago I went to Claremont and I ran into my friend N who used to work with me. We made a lunch date there and then. When I got home I ADDED her and I now know that I won’t go for years without seeing her again. I added another friend the other day who I hadn’t seen for more than 12 years! Quite by chance, AFTER she made contact with me. I had completely forgotten about her.
If your name is on my list, it means that I can see when I last saw you. IT means that I can keep track of you i.e. email you but PREFERABLY call you if I realise that I haven’t spoken to you in a while. It means that there are options and that I will never end up in a situation like my friend did last week where he had NO ONE else to ask.
Sometime last year I deleted my spreadsheet in a fit of rage.
A few weeks after that, I made another one. It’s still being used.
Now, I am not saying “go forth and make a spreadsheet”.
I am saying DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. My spreadsheet works REALLY well for me.
When people tell me that they need new friends, I tell them to make a spreadsheet. because, chances are they have forgotten half of the friends they have. They usually laugh at me and say that it’s OTT.
Maybe it is. BUT. It works. FOR ME. We all have our STUFF.
How do you keep track of your friends? How do you not let some of them slip “through the cracks” so to speak?