Staying in touch as time goes by

My wife and I have had an interesting period over the last three weeks.  During this time period we have attended a wedding each Saturday evening to celebrate the matrimony of the child of one of our friends.  When you look at the aggregated number of years involved we have known the families involved in these three ceremonies for over 60 years, with some being relationships of more than 20 years. 

We are extremely fortunate, blessed you might say, to have friends that we have stayed in contact with throughout this period.

While you may find my interest in weddings to be somewhat boring, there is a point to this.  In each situation I have built relationships with the young people involved or through their parents that have helped the newlyweds or aided me or others I know in other parts of our lives.  You might say that there is a networking stream involved in this process.  I’ll try to explain how this has worked and in doing so encourage you to keep in touch with others, not just for your own gain, but so that you can help them and their future generations.

The first wedding involved the daughter of a good friend and this young lady worked both in our region as well as in a region north of us.  Most of our interaction is through her younger brother, a soon-to-graduate architect who gained his interest in the design profession through a STEM program in high school.  My work in the AEC world should hopefully help this young man and his friendship with one of my children only cements this relationship.  It doesn’t hurt that his mother is also a professional recruiter.  We do have a lot of things to talk about.

The second wedding involved the daughter of another good friend from another segment of our lives.  When this young lady graduated from college she moved to our region and began a career in the recruiting world.  We networked some then and we have a number of mutual acquaintances through our similar work in the talent acquisition world.  It is amazing to reflect upon successful young men and women and their paths, even those you have known for over 25 years!  It made me extremely proud to see her progress and the strength of her relationship with her mother.  An added benefit to this wedding was our reconnection with a number of friends from this era of our lives.  It makes me feel good when I can reconnect with people I have not seen for years.  I try to not burn any bridges and this time together made me even more thankful that I didn’t burn any here.

The third wedding involved a young man who was a classmate of another of my sons at college.  The wedding was out of town and the groom’s family was kind enough to invite us after getting to know us during the common college years.  Our son was also a groomsman in the wedding.  I enjoyed the time together and the festivities, but seeing the young men and women who didn’t know one another prior to college come back together after two years was refreshing.  Some of them had not seen much of the others since they graduated in 2010 and to monitor their progress in such a short period of time was gratifying.  Their relationships were strong and I suspect they will keep in touch for years to come.

There is a point to my post today.  Here are my key thoughts:

  1. Never burn a bridge unless it is absolutely necessary
  2. Do your best to keep in touch with others, even if situations change
  3. You will be surprised how readily you can network across generations, especially if you learn to speak their language (Social Media; e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  4. Be sincere and pay things forward-work to help others and your reward will come
  5. Enjoy the journey-I have never been 53 before and there is a feeling of exhilaration in having the nest “empty” and see how the next generation of our family is spreading their wings.

Stay in touch; you’ll be glad you did.