Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coffee and Catch-Up

I had a chance to reconnect with an old friend today. The reason for our reunion over coffee is fodder for another blog entry another time.

I had not seen Antonio for several years, and we spent the first 20 minutes resetting our coordinates of each others' families:

What jobs were we doing now, and at what companies?
Where were our spouses working, and how did they like it?
Ages and grades and favorite activities of our children?
Exchange of photo displays and exclamations of how quickly kids grow.

Once the topographical mapping of each others' lives was complete, I broached the reason that I had contacted my friend to re-establish communication.

Communication between us had dissipated since we both changed careers and stopped working together. We tried to stay in touch, organizing quarterly, then semiannual lunches with several ex-colleagues to reconnect. When we were remapping our coordinates, we realized it has been 2 or 3 years since the last group lunch when we saw each other.

Our hour long conversation roamed from religion, to politics, to raising kids and school life, to business prospects in Silicon Valley and the impact of the recession on those around us. Fortunately, both our families are doing all right at the moment, though a change in direction of the economic winds of fortune could quickly upset the comfortable status quo.

I came back from the reunion very content, having accomplished my mission in recruiting Antonio for a special project. But I was also full of joy at having reconnected with an old friend. The relaxed conversation reminded me how much we think alike, share world view and values, and how much we enjoy each others' company. Life is so busy and it is centered on our children these days. It is hard to stay in touch with friends whose children do not attend the same school as ours, or are not compatible playdate ages. We have also lost the easy connection of co-located offices.

I am hoping social networking tools like Facebook will make this easier somehow, but I am afraid I have not cracked the code on that yet. In the meantime, I am hoping our next project together will give us ample opportunities to share more lovely conversation like today. Next up, time to organize a group lunch. Seems we are a few years overdue.

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