Quick post because I’m usually on a one-track mind in the mornings — but this is one of the best ideas I’ve heard in awhile and something I’ve struggled with as my good friends continue to scatter geographically.
Paul Ford writes about how to email with an old friend after falling out of touch:
An old friend of mine was on the Internet and came across an article that I had written, so she emailed to say hello. I was glad to hear from her. She and I worked together 11 years ago. We were once close but drifted.
I started to write a pro-forma reply. “Great to hear from you! Things good in Brooklyn. Two kids.” And so forth. But my email felt false and chatty.
I thought about it for several days. Finally I had an idea: What if I sent over list of the things I’ve learned in the last decade? It felt like the most accurate way to bridge the gap. Because then she’d know what had happened.
… Several days later she sent back her own list. It was a great list: About learning new ways of working, about being a mom and wife, and the way her body was changing. It was like an index to the book about her last 10 years.