I was talking to my mom today and she said, "In a marriage you're either growing closer or growing apart." Mama is wise, filled with common sense and been happily married for fifty one years. At first, her statement seemed rather simplistic, but really, it's simply true. Two people can't remain the same, day in and day out. So the movement has to be one way or the other. If you're not growing closer then you must be growing apart.
And, so, is this true also for other relationships, like with our children, our siblings, our friends? I know at times I've watched a friendship slip away. We no longer had things in common, we moved away, or one of us changed. At those times I noticed the separating drift and acknowledged it was what needed to be. Other times I've lifted my head, looked around and realized the gulf had widened considerably while I was busy.
There have been times when I stretched and stretched to grow closer to someone and we didn't grow closer. Only one of us was stretching. I've also increased the distance before when someone stretched out to me. Sometimes these were just ill-fated acquaintances and sometimes all that stretching and retreating happened in my closest relationships.
Mama's statement serves to remind me to be vigilant, aware of what's happening in the relationships I want to last.
Growing closer. Growing apart. Sounds like a choice.