You're an adult, maybe even one lucky enough to have found a mate, maybe even one lucky enough to have found a mate with whom you have actually mated.

Oh stop, it's a technical term.

Anyway, let's also assume you have a career. This isn't an easy assumption these days, especially if you took someone's supposedly sound advice about government jobs being secure as a nuclear missile facility. And for the heck of it, let's take the scenario one step further: You are an adult, with a mate and children, who has a career about which you fake enough enthusiasm to somehow stay off the boss's list of who gets the ax during the next round of budget cuts.

Clearly, I'm talking about you, not me.

(Laurie McAdam/MCT)
(Laurie McAdam/MCT) ( McAdam )

No time to spare

Let's also postulate that you somehow, after pouring the necessary time into all those concepts to make them work, have seven or eight minutes left each week to try communicating with your spouse. By the way, hobbies are no longer an option; those are for people who have a semblance of control over their own lives, which you gave up years ago. And we can't even begin to factor in things like the time required to be a sports fan.

Because it is typically difficult to accomplish all these things -- especially while keeping up with which characters currently are being eaten on "The Walking Dead" -- you rightfully complain about how difficult it all is. You would forgo sleep, but who sleeps anymore?

And then one day you see a picture on Facebook, or actually pick up an old school yearbook, and you remember what it was like to have friends.

What a concept.

Friends typically get sacrificed when one becomes what America likes to define as fully functioning adult. And it's a giant mistake.

Friends need to be almost as important as everything else in your busy life. I remember once reading something written by a father who said he wouldn't let his daughter marry a man who didn't have many friends. His logic was simple and sensible: Men need friends to keep them in line. Men need friends to mess with them and keep their sense of humor sharp. And this writer didn't want his daughter to have anything to do with a man who couldn't laugh at himself.

Breath of fresh air

This point was driven home last weekend when we went to two social gatherings plus a party to say goodbye to the old Contra Costa Times building, which will soon close and where I spent the better part of a couple decades with some of the most fantastic people on the planet. Sure, I was the only one who showed up at the party dressed as a nun, but that's another story.

It was nothing less than an awesome weekend. It felt better than going on a long, free vacation.

My lovely wife makes a point of seeing her friends on a semiregular basis, because really, anyone married to me needs people she can vent to. She decided a few months back that I've allowed myself to fall into a rut that catches so many adults: We don't make time for friends. So she sent me on a trip with some pals, and it was one of the best weekends I've had in years.

I came home wishing I wouldn't have spent so much time not spending time with people I care about. And that's going to change.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com, Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.