I'm all about protecting our time and saying no.
I've said no to many coffee dates, dinners, and late-night drinks. I value my sleep and my quiet time at home, and I protect those fiercely.
The other side of it that I don't say enough (or write about enough), but do very much believe, is that we have to make time for relationships. That means saying yes to friends.
But not everyone. Only those people we want to keep in our lives.
I have friends I'd lose sleep over, just so we could talk for a couple more hours. The people I'd meet in a city 2 hours away for lunch, for meaningful conversations over good food.
I see it as making deposits, adding to the friendship bank.
It's an investment of my time and energy, but not the kind where I'm hoping to get favors in return. I'm making deposits to make sure that they stay in my life for as long as possible.
And I like to be picky with those investments. I keep the circle small but the relationships grow deeper, weightier, stronger.