Come March, it will be five years since I left a full-time career in the corporate world after 14 years in the rat race. Again, as I seem to be saying rather often these days, time flies.
The circle of people you connect with change when you move from one phase of life to another. In my student days, my good friends were my class or coursemates and friends with common interests. When I was working, I spent lots of time with colleagues and a handful of childhood and close friends from university days. Some business contacts also became personal contacts.
As I moved on, and grew older (can't escape using that word unfortunately), got married and started a family, the people I connected with also changed. My single friends were preoccupied chasing their careers and busy with their single lives while a large chunk of my time was spent juggling career and family needs, connecting mainly with friends who are parents with young kids, comparing notes and sharing parenting complaints, stories, and ideas.
Now, after almost five years as a stay-home mother, again, the friendship circle has evolved. It now includes parents of school and extra-curricular classmates, and other interest groups mainly.
When I used to have only one or two strong cliques of friends during my student days, I find that now, my friends are more diverse, separated into different categories - old childhood friends, ex-colleagues, family friends and parents of C's friends. Some from the past remain, some have become distant, some have grown closer, some don't seem to be interested in maintaining the friendship. Priorities change, focus and interests change. Hence your circle of friends will change I guess. Does that mean I ignore and forget those who are not within my current priorities or interests? No.
Thanks to technology and all the available networking sites through the Internet, finding lost friends, reconnecting and keeping in touch with everyone is much easier now.