One cold afternoon last January, three friends and I started planning our summer getaway. Living in four different states, we enjoy an annual getaway together.
Seems like, with every year, we find ourselves regarding our women friends as ever more precious. We’ve learned that our husbands or partners cannot satisfy every need we have for sharing and companionship, but that’s OK because we have friends who share the interests that our partners don’t.
One of the things I’ve noticed about getting older is my tendency to try and keep things neat and predictable. I often long for a life that requires few changes and gives me plenty of time to control my own environment. I get it that this is a pipe dream, but it’s also not what’s really best for me.
These are turbulent times that we live in, and I am amazed at the uncontrolled and selfish conversing I see and hear lately. It’s everywhere! TV, social media, restaurants, ball fields, schools… everywhere! I believe everyone has forgotten “It’s just your opinion.”
I am a wife whose husband has cancer. I am a caregiver. I also work with people who have cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, and with their caregivers. I work with the grief that comes with caregiving and death that may follow.
As we age, we often find it harder to make friends. Many of the friends we still have are those we made as children, teenagers, or as adults with small children.
The world is changing for 60-year-old women. We no longer have the social context that we enjoyed as a wife, parent or co-worker. Building community and creating a network of like-minded friends is a challenge, but not impossible.
A few years ago I had a long term friendship come to an end. Four decades of love, laughter and jokes, gone. I felt as though someone had removed a part of my heart. However, that experience both taught me important life lessons as well as opened many new doors. Here’s what I learned:
Co-living is a new way of looking at independent living in a community. This is a new lifestyle of communal houses created and run by their residents.
Friendship matters more than ever as we get older. Friends keep us active and engaged. They keep us connected to the world around us.