One of the difficulties of suburban existence is it has a sort of frontier aspect to it.
You and I go to work, kill something (do our work) and bring it home (get a paycheck) and take care of our families.
We are out for suburban survival. We are going it alone. We are all DIYers.
Sure we’re in close proximity to other folks.
Phil, for example, is my neighbor across the street. He is always willing to lend me a tool, give me some DIY advice, or share a beer in the driveway talking about a bunch of nothing.
For that matter, who has you on speed dial in case his or her world gets obliterated by a bit of bad news?
Who Your Real Friends Are
This morning, I met with my church’s men’s group. While I might not be able to call all of them, I know for sure that I can call minimum 4 if things started crumbling. And I’d be more than willing to accept a call from each and every one of them should they need it – an indication that perhaps I could call any of them if I circumstances drove me to my knees.
We don’t socialize very often, but they are true friends. We’ve built cache with each other such that each would offer a hand, a world of wisdom or encouragement, and prayer if the occasion called for it.
I’ve been a part of this group for roughly 8 years. The level of comfort with and access to each other’s lives has been hard fought over those years.
Just like we can’t decide one morning to get up, go buy a number at the local marathon, and run 26.2 miles without training, neither can we hit a point of crisis and hurry up and make a friend to walk through the thing with us.
Friendship is a slow burn, especially in the wild suburban landscape of quick hit, small talk interactions that are rife with “let’s make this quick” glances over each other’s shoulders.
It takes time, but in my opinion, it’s worth it. It’s a crazy world out there.
If your kid gets sick, you lose your job, or suffer some other setback, there’s only so much “going it alone” that one person can do before overwhelm sets in.
Living Simply in the Suburbs isn’t easy without others.
Having someone to call or being someone that can be called takes time.
I can’t tell you where to go find your new best friends, but I hope you have a few fellows or ladies you can lean on when leaning is necessary.
My only encouragement is to start building those relationships now.
If you sense that you are going it alone, that nobody can ask you the hard questions, or that nobody would bring you a casserole if your circumstances called for it, start taking steps now.
And do it in real life.
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