Friends are a huge part of my life and I would imagine a huge part of most of the lives of those who read It’s Just Life. Friends are what keep us grounded, entertained and sane at times.
I have had the privilege of making and keeping some really great friends through out my life. One of the up sides of moving as a child and as an adult is the opportunity to meet more people and make new friends. I honestly have friends everywhere and it makes me happy.
When we moved to Iowa it was the first time that we did not have children in school which changed the dynamics of making friends a lot more than I would have imagined. Chris moved almost a whole year ahead of me and by the time I actually moved it was weird. There was no welcoming committee . Other than a set of neighbors who brought us beautiful flowers there was really very little to even suggest that there was someone new in town. The folks that Chris worked with had known him for a year so by the time I moved it was pretty low key and the welcome non existent.
I realized that if I was going to make friends it was up to me to make the move and figure it out. I didn’t have the built in “kids in school so the parents of the friends are my new friends” kind of thing going on. I admit it took awhile and it really was not until I got involved in the North Iowa Bloggers that I felt that I had the type of friend that I was looking for.
Moving back to North Carolina into an established gated community was another thing. I made really good friends right away and continue to find friends that really click with me. At age 62 I still find that I need girlfriends. While I will always have my BFF Ann (I mean no one will ever replace her!) I still find that I need other friends to complete my circle especially since we live hours apart.
Making friends at midlife is a bit different. I look for balance in my relationships. If I find out that we don’t have a lot in common it isn’t really a big deal. I like to surround myself with people both like myself and others who are very unlike me. It balances me out.
Older friends bring a wealth of experience and knowledge. I have learned so much from some of my newer older friends because they have lived their lives so well. I admire that.
Midlife friends don’t focus on the petty things that used to be the norm with friendships of younger days. If they do I pass. I don’t have time for that.
Midlife friendships fill different needs than the friendships of my younger years. I love to have the opportunity to talk to friends these days about their lives, their passions and their dreams. Just because we are at midlife does not mean that dreams are not a part of our lives. We probably have more dreams and aspirations if the truth is known.
Friendships at midlife are special because the baggage that may have accompanied us to this point in our lives can just be left behind without affecting our current relationship. I don’t need to know all the things from your past that drug you down. I accept you at face value for who I see you to be today. It’s a win win if you do the same for me.
I will never tire of meeting new people and making new friends. I will always have my core friends that truly understand me and love me for who I am but I will always welcome new friends into my life at any time. While I don’t feel that I have to have a certain number of friends I do not close myself off to the possibility of making more.
What I have learned over the years is that to have a good friend you need to be a good friend. That means making an effort. Not everyone can do that but to me it is easy. Friends are important. I cherish them. So I do the work to maintain friendships. Each of you is my friend so thanks for joining me today.