Do we put them first?
Isn't it funny how more often than not, most of us are busy trying to impress casual friends, the odd colleague and of course our neighbours. We make oodles of time for them and slavishly follow the norm dictated by society. Impress and look good in front of others.
How often have you gone to a dinner, wedding, or party only because you should have? Those times that you would have rather spent at home with your children, spouse or just alone, relaxing.
Emigrating has some drawbacks, and not seeing family and friends is the main one. Until you've lived through it, you can't imagine what it feels like. Those trips back to visit ( and often they are very scarce due to a lack of funds ) are looked forward to with a feverish excitement and relived many times in your head even before you get there.
Months before the trip, you are already planning how and who you would like to meet. What haunts you are going to frequent ( eh, coffee shops not night clubs! ) and what foods you are going to taste. Yes, emigrating suddenly enhances the hue of all of the above. Everything is more glamorous, tasty and nice in your memory.
One of the main lesson to learn when you are living far away from family, is that time is precious. Really, each day of the holiday is a precious day. Holidays often pass us by in a flash and when you only have a few weeks to tank up on family and friends time, you have to protect that time for the precious present it is.
Then there are those moments when you understand that life has carried on for your friends and they don't have ( or make ) the time to meet with you. As bitter as it sounds, somehow it does confirm that those fragile roots you have created in your new home, are gaining solid ground and are in the right place.