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Now's The Time

Updated on April 25, 2016

Don't Wait or Put Off! Visit Now!

Often in life, we become busy, preoccupied, or caught up in day to day living and, when offered the opportunity or invite to visit someone, or even to just phone or e-mail them, be it friend, relative, former partner or member of a group we once belonged to, or anyone else we hold dear, we pass it up, saying to ourselves that there will be another time, when we have more time, when we have everything done, or when we have more money, etc.

We all do this to some extent, and some do it all the time. Luckily, where visiting friends and family are concerned, I learned not to do this, mainly because none of us really know if that person or persons will be there tomorrow, when we have everything done and all the money we need.

I recently attended a wedding for my cousin. Upon arriving the day before, I learned that my uncle had passed away. Now, he'd been ill for some time, but nevertheless you can never really be prepared for the death of a loved one. My uncle would have still wanted the wedding to go on, and everyone knew this, so it did. And I got to see many family members that I hadn't seen in a while, though I'd kept contact, either directly or indirectly with them. And I'm glad I did and continue to do so.

I've known people and have heard of others who rarely have any contact with family members and lose contact with old friends, sometimes for very petty reasons, or no reason at all, often putting off contact due to busyness or other reasons. Then they learn of the other person's death and come to regret that they never made the effort to visit or contact because they had that business meeting, or the money was needed for new curtains, or the trip was too far.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are certainly legitimate things and reasons why one may not be able to visit or make contact. If one has a spouse or a child in the hospital, or another serious problem that truly cannot be put off, of course they most likely cannot make it to the wedding or gathering. One cousin's medical problems kept him away from the wedding I attended.

What I'm saying is, if you love anyone, or even just like them alot, try to keep in touch with them and visit each other once in a while. Same for family, even if you don't like them that much. Sometimes, they will surprise us and show how much they love us. And, over time, we may start to see them in a different light, too.

And attend family and friends' gatherings whenever possible. I saw a letter in a column about careers, where this man was invited to the wedding of a dear relative, but it was to take place when he had an interview for his 'dream job', so he was torn, but he knew that he desperately wanted to go to the wedding. The career columnist said he should not pass up the chance to get his dream job, should not even tell or ask the prospective employer to change the interview date, and should skip the wedding!

I say the columnist was absolutely wrong. In another hub,that I wrote about buying cars, I mentioned that when a salesperson tells you, 'This deal won't last', you should remember that there is always another deal down the road. The same holds true in just about all aspects of life, except milestones! That dream job may not even pan out to your liking, but your relative is only going to have this wedding once! And many employers or proponents of an opportunity will understand the situation and are willing to adjust for it! If you miss your relative's wedding for that possible opportunity, you may come to really regret it. Don't pass up family milestones if you can help it!

If there are people who have been especially good to you, stay in touch with them especially. I know of a woman and her sisters who were very good to the woman's two sons. Yet, those sons turned into cold fish who stayed away from the family. This isn't right. The sons live within a 20 minute drive of their mother. When I noticed this, I was determined not to be like them. I later moved to where I'm living now, about 1,000 miles from where my folks and the majority of my family members live, but I maintain contact with phone calls, e-mail, and visits. As a matter of fact, some of my relatives see me more often than they see some of their relatives who live only a few miles from them!

So, do not even let distance deter you. In this day of e-mail and phones, you can talk to your friends and relatives in seconds. And do visit them and attend at least some family gatherings. And if you have someone that you love dearly who hasn't contacted you or visited, give them a gentle remider, just once, that it would be nice if they could come to see you, or call you more often, because, like you and all of us, they never know what tomorrow will bring.

I have many fond memories of my uncle, my grandparents, and of other relatives of mine that have passed on, because I never gave up contact, I never stayed away, and I visited them often, resisting the urge to 'put it off'. I don't remember what I paid, what matters of business I passed up, or sale I missed, but I remember the fond memories of friends and family.

And I have no regrets.

Alan S.

Poll Question: Any regrets?

Have you ever regretted not attending a family function due to business that could have been postponed?

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