Whenever I watch children playing together at the park, it always reminds me of a giant chemistry experiment. Like atoms spinning through the air, boys and girls whirl around, bumping into each other. Occasionally, they come together in small groups, only to be ripped apart by unseen forces.
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Yup. They’re beyond precious, my women friends. They’ve reveled in my joys, shared my adventures and pulled me through my crises. I treasure every single one of them.
Have you noticed that sometimes, when we are talking to a friend or family member, they suddenly get defensive? In such situations, we often wonder what we might have said to offend them.
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.
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.
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.