The Slacker Friend (day 5)

selfcenteredIt was one of those moments where you feel your heart jump as it’s pounding its way out of your chest. Your eyes open wide – literally and figuratively. You whole body goes into fight-or-flight mode automatically. Only….there’s nowhere to flee and no one to fight (except yourself).

I had that moment tonight when I wrote a check and realized what day it was. I’m not sure I had written the date any time earlier in the day. If I did, it didn’t resonate with me that it is a special day. It is a friend’s birthday today. A friend I saw (a few times) today, yet I did not say “happy birthday” to him.

This is a wonderful, generous, caring friend and for his birthday I gave him…..NOTHING. Not even a hug and a smile. How could I do that?? How could I not remember it’s his birthday and tell him/show him how much I appreciate him?? What kind of friend does that??

I can sit here and make excuses. I have many: the time change; busy day; lots of phone calls; sick kids; time cards; staff issues; weather changes; my shoes felt funny……I’m sure I could come up with more of them. They’re not valid, though. The only valid excuse is – I am self-absorbed. I am so focused on my problems (or how other people’s problems affect me) that I forget important things like friends’ birthdays.

I hate this part of who I am. I often consider ending this blog because I wonder if it is contributing to my narcissism.  I have to actually tell myself, in certain situations, to remember not to talk about myself but to focus on others. How sad it that?!  It shouldn’t be that hard, right?  I mean – I do think about other people.  I wonder how people are feeling, I want to help when others struggle.  I worry about friends and strangers.  When I’m shopping I often pick out things for anybody but me.  And I certainly don’t think my life is that interesting that anybody wants to hear about it.  But, I open my mouth and out it comes “I….” or “My…..” or “Me, me, me!”

Do you know that in this post alone the word “I’ has been used 30 times – and that doesn’t count the personal references using other pronouns.  ((sigh))  I know the self-centeredness has increased more recently because of a desperate sense of survival, relying only on myself.  (Okay – so there’s more things I need to work on, let’s just focus on this egotism for now).  I even avoid most fund-raisers because my robust dislike for crowded places overtakes my passionate desire to help.  It makes me sad that I have let this take over my life and I have become a slacker friend in the process.

I wish I could hug my friend now.  I want to tell him that I did have his birthday written in my calendar.  I thought of him last night.  I had planned to wish him the happiest of birthdays filled with every wish-come-true.  I wanted to buy him the best treat.  I’m sorry!  Someday I’ll learn to be a better friend – the kind that will NOT forget to say “Happy Birthday” to you!

One thought on “The Slacker Friend (day 5)

Add yours

  1. Sometimes the most important details get forgotten despite our best intentions. It doesn’t diminish them, it just reminds us we’re human. Don’t beat yourself up. A friend will understand & accept your shortcomings. Another given day, it could be reversed & you too will forgive.


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