Email is great for the big events in our lives, announcing a baby, moving, job changes, newsletter type events, but not so great for the little things that we laugh about together or the really hard stuff you can't write in an email. Struggles in marriages or with kids. Hard times in friendships or with our faiths. Things we don't want to write down. Things we can't write because we would be a bad wife, mother, friend. So I am trying to learn to use the phone to maintain and even grow friendships at a distance. So far I have mostly been practicing with one of my dearest who has known me since college and has lived very close to me, in the same room, and very far away, across the country. I have taken the chance to call at what I deemed a bad time just to say hi. Nothing big, nothing long. I have decided that in this day of caller id my friend would not pick up if she was busy or it was a bad time and that I won't be interrupting her with my call. Wish is funny because whenever I see a friend's number on my caller ID I am thrilled!
I use to do everything via email because when I used to get on the phone someone would start crying or screaming or fighting. Email was just easier with small kids because I could stop and start and stop and start. But now my kids are older and I have learned to walk away from Mommy's on the phone induced crying. I am okay with putting a closed doors distance between myself on the phone and my tantruming child. If the crying is really loud I will even close a few doors to muffle the noise. So I have started calling sometimes when an email would suffice just to get in the habit of actually talking to people. I did this recently with a friend in town. Not only did we figure out whatever it was that I was calling about but we chatted awhile and connected. It was fun, a lot more fun than email.