good life with birte gröger
Part of cultivating a good life is having the right priorities for you and your relationships.
I have to admit that I wanted to suggest that you should make friends and family a priority. I still believe that these are the areas of my life I have to continuously work on. But your priorities might lie elsewhere.
I always see that for a lot of people their work and daily household chores become their priorities. An “I should” becomes an “I have to” in their minds and they spend their time with activities that don’t improve their relationships, their happiness, or, most often, their health. Although work and earning money is an important aspect of life, it is not everything.
When I left school and started making friends in college and at work, we were always up for an adventure. We met spontaneously or had big plans. It was a good time.
After graduation it became more and more difficult for me to meet my friends. I am 26 now and everybody is busy managing careers, marriage, or kids. It’s the time of life where everyone not only thinks about what they want in the future but also starts living it. Long-time friends may develop different interests, have different plans, and maybe even move away. It is hard to stay in contact. It is hard to not just think about your own future and your own dreams. It is hard to do something on your own and it is even harder to do something in a group.
So what happened? If I ask my friends to meet, usually it is impossible for all of them to have time to be together. Some are on vacations, some are not willing to drive the long way, and most of them answer that they have to work. I am always disappointed and I ask myself, “What is so difficult?” How can your work be more important than anything else? Have they forgotten how much fun we had?
I know the answer because I was the same. Good work leads to a good career and a good career leads to good money. In today’s business world it’s expected that “high potentials” show that they are flexible and busy in order to be accepted. I decided that although my career is important, I don’t want to lose friends or passions and hobbies.
I started to make my friends a priority. It isn’t always easy and I struggle a lot to answer calls and messages and participate in meet ups. I think you know the feeling of fatigue and weariness. But your friends need you and you need them. In helping and supporting them you will also learn more about yourself and become a better person.
Please don’t prioritize work over your private life and health, at least not over a long period of time. Be open for your passions and take time off for yourself and for nurturing your relationships. I hope that it’s not only me realizing the importance of strong relationships.
An older colleague said that I have to accept that in becoming older, nurturing friendships will not be the priority. I don’t want to accept that. Please remember that following stories on social media will not nurture your friendships. A “like” is not as valuable as an uninterrupted, 3-minute call with your friends.
My wish is that you think about your relationships and start connecting with friends in real life again. My best memories are the ones I made with family and friends. Maybe you don’t realize it right away, but you will at one point know that it was worth it.
Birte Gröger is a part of our Creative Team using the app. She currently resides in Berlin with her boyfriend and their cute little bunny named Okocha.