There are certain things you should never let slide such as:
- The birthdays of your spouse and kids
- The birthdays of your parents
- The birthdays of your grandparents
- The birthdays of your siblings
- The birthday of your best friend
- Your wedding anniversary (if married)
- Uttering (with real feeling) the words "I love you" to your spouse and kids each day
I don't say this to guilt trip anyone, for guilt is highly overrated and generally leads to misery, not action. I say it so that you make sure to do the following things:
- Create your own list of "I must remember these dates." Don't make it too big -- no one cares if you don't send a Saint Patrick's day or Halloween card.
- Examine each item, and decide what action you want to take on each. For some, it may be just a phone call. For others, it is buying and shipping a gift or setting aside a whole day to spend time together.
- Place each item with the corresponding time required in your calendar. So if your brother lives across country and you want to send a gift as well as call, put one date for "ship present to bro" and another (on the birthday itself) for "call bro and wish happy b-day." If you are really into organizing, schedule time to shop for and buy the gift as well.
- Get a system of accountability in place to make sure you complete the task. Sometimes calendaring the item isn't enough. You may need to send a post-dated email to yourself to remind you. Or have your assistant (if you have one) put it in his/her tickler system for you. Or put a huge post-it note on your bathroom window. Whatever it takes for you personally to get it done.
Human relationships are fragile. I have learned this the hard way by being "too busy" and letting some precious friendships slip through my fingers.I like this chick. She seems like good people.