01 Feb Making Friendships at Midlife
Is making friendships at Midlife much different than other times of our life? I was thinking about this after coming home from the Influencers at Midlife Conference. Many of the topics we discussed were of importance to us in this stage in life, and I think this question is something I would love to hear your answers to myself!
Friends Growing Up
I had a best friend in elementary school and up through high school. My girlfriend and I were practically inseparable, like sisters. We loved to sing, dance, makeup choreographed songs to Barry Manilow ( our 4th grad hero!) and just loved being in each other’s company. I think of those days and how important it was for me to enjoy her presence and all of the fun and good times we had. We would dance on “the boat” and make up fake names if guys we were interested in, came up to approach us.
She had a bunk bed and we would stay up for hours talking. Mr Bill was on the tv. We both had roles in the HMS Pinafore. I could tell my friend anything and we would go out and do things all throughout my school years. On the fashion front, I remember dressing in some crazy combinations of clothes, both her and I making home made signs that read “Beep if you like us!”… now, that wouldn’t happen today.!
.I do miss that type of friendship, but know, as we age, that friendships do change. They can grow, or circumstances in life can alter the course of things in life. She had married and moved away, so we lost touch. but It did make me think those were special times.
Now, this quote is so true. If you can’t be yourself with a friend, who are you? This is the epitome of friendship being connected to someone as they are. Now, Jim, probably had some peyote when he said that but he was right! 🙂 My hubby is my best friend. My little shih tzu pups are my buddies, but they listen to mommy no matter what!
As I get older, I often wonder how people that are either no longer employed, due to health, or are retired, no longer in the workplace, make friendships? In college, I was at the Music School. Lots of people to hang out with, friendships formed over blues and jazz music.
After college, I joined ECP where I met my husband and made friends through the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh, through outdoor activity.
Working at home can have its challenges, where I need to make time for the people I have met, the friends I have developed over the years.
I can honestly say I have made some wonderful friends through blogging, even if I haven’t met some in person, I have gotten to know them through the blog and beyond through correspondence. I look forward to spending time with some ladies outside the “blogosphere”.
When I became sick with EDS and severe pain 10 years ago, there weren’t many people on my radar. Sickness can do that with people. I needed to take time to myself to be functional and in less, pain, so that was my priority.
Often, I do think we seek out people who with have things in common, but also find people that can let us be ourselves and grow as a person. Do you find joining clubs or groups as a way of making friends at this age? Do you have a few close friends you enjoy spending time with that value you and your company?
From a health standpoint, social interactions are crucial as we get older. The NIH Center on Aging discusses the benefits of friendships and social interaction in lessening blood pressure, depression, loneliness and in lessening the chances for diseases like Alzheimer’s and some cancers. People with better friendships and social relationships have shown that they continue to learn and may have a longer life.
I would love to hear your thoughts on making friends at Midlife
Have a wonderful weekend!