Before I disclose the secret ingredient, let me reveal that it is not love, sociability or friendship. At least not exclusively – despite the fact that these cherished values may encourage us to reach-out to others in the first place.
I’ll bet you’ve heard this plea a number of times in your life. In fact, I bet that you’ve heard it recently, even though you are in the “senior” part of your life. Of course, not everyone uses these exact words. But, have you heard something close to one of the following?
No matter how old we get, women have a need to bond, nurture, listen and empathize.
Less than two years ago, I moved from the Valley of the Sun, in Arizona, to Southern Oregon. While much research had gone into finding a nice permanent spot (actually more than 19 years of travel and thought), the actual move was rather spontaneous and a bit impulsive.
Humans are hard-wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Unfortunately, when it comes to making friends as an adult, our self-protective instincts can be our worst enemies.
Who is your best friend? If the name that just popped into your head was anything other than “I am,” you’re missing out! Ok, I know that it’s popular to say that you should “be your own best friend,” but, what does this really mean? More importantly, how can we go about building a stronger, more loving relationship with ourselves?
I never had a sister. As the older sibling to two boys, my childhood was spent dodging mud pies, swinging from trees and washing dirty clothes. Ok, I’m not really complaining. I love my brothers dearly. The point that I’m making here is that I never understood the power and value of sisterhood until much later in my life.
So much of our life is spent trying to please other people. While some women are able to find the strength to truly be themselves at every stage in their lives, the majority of us feel compelled to care what other people think along the way.
But, regardless of how we got here, the good news is that, now that we are in our 60s, we all have the opportunity to be who we really are.
Have you ever thought about the fact that, for most of our lives, the majority of our friends are “accidental?” When we are children, we choose our friends from among the other kids in our classes. When we join the workforce, our colleagues form the backbone of our social life. When we become parents, our life becomes an intricate dance of sports events, sleep overs camping trips and family dinners.
As we reach our 60s, many of us find that our social circumstances are changing. Our kids, once the center of our lives, are grown up and are pursuing their own dreams. Our careers are either winding down or changing dramatically. Many of us are dealing with a divorce or separation. As a result, many baby boomers find themselves having to make new friends again for the first time in years.