Monday, October 11, 2010

Keep on Keepin' On

A decade or so ago, when I was not long out of college and in the early stages of my career, my parents encouraged me to open an IRA for my retirement. Even though retirement was (and still is) several decades away, they knew that the sooner I started planning and investing toward it, the better off I'd be in the long run.

And so after meeting with a financial advisor, I opened a Roth IRA and set up my bank account to make automatic payments to the IRA each month. I'm not the type of person who checks my investments every day or even every month; typically I just glance at the quarterly statement, give a little "Hooray!" or a little sigh depending on that current statement, and then file it away. I know that it's going to be a long time before I touch any of the money in that IRA and so there's not really a point in obsessing over how it's doing on a day-to-day basis. I have to trust that my investments will pay off down the road.

That's good advice for me to consider as well in other areas of my life. Right now I'm having a bit of a rough patch with a friend. We go through periods where we're extremely close and hang out all the time, then other times where life pulls us in different directions. Currently we seem to be on different paths and don't see each other very often. This friend has a lot on their plate and there are times when I don't want to bother them with what's going on with me so I just don't.

I can see that not talking to them is not a good thing for our friendship. I think I've been focusing on how our friendship is doing day-to-day and responding accordingly. If they have time to talk to me or we get to do something together, then I feel like all's well in the world. If they're too busy and we don't talk for a while, I feel really distant and not always wanting to invest more in them when, at that particular time, perhaps they can't give me the return on investment that I want.

So I'm realizing that I need to view this friendship as a long-term investment. Sure, there are times when I'm giving more in this friendship than they are, and there are times when they're giving more than I am. There are probably always going to be those up-and-down periods. I want to keep investing in this friendship and trust that, in the long run, it will continue to pay off. Some of that investing may mean communicating better with this friend and letting them know about my struggle to share what's going on with me when I sense that they've got so much on their own plate. I guess that's something I'll have to get over. After all, honesty is a big part of a successful friendship, right?


Jana said...

Sometimes you have to give 100% to a relationship and you will get 0% in return. But you do it because you know it is worth it. Hang in there. I know things will turn out for the best. And I also agree that honesty goes a long way.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Jana. I know all friendships and relationships go through these times--still doesn't make it fun, though. But you're right, things will change and I need to keep on investing in the lives of those God puts in my life and not worry about what they can give in return.