Lake Living: Reasons to Nurture Your Friendships
There are actual health benefits to spending time with friends. In fact, research shows that social ties are twice as important as exercise when it comes to life expectancy (according to Life Science). Do we need any other reason to keep in touch with our friends? It’s good for our health.
Once a year, I get together with my sorority pledge class. Immediately, we regress to the "good old days." Any new "pimples" in our lives are washed away in hugs, love, and understanding. Each year, the lines that crease when we laugh get bigger, but the Delta love is always the same. Belly laughs … oh how I love laughing about nothing important.
Today, I caught myself eavesdropping at lunch. Two older women were bragging about spending time with their granddaughters, who were probably about five years old. They cackled and clapped as they shared stories and pictures of their families.
My most recent “frequent lunch” and occasional exercise group of friends are about 15-30 years my senior. Once a month, we try to get together and paint or lunch – whichever we feel like doing. I love the wisdom they share and have come to realize that at any age, we all need a big girl cry and hug sometimes.
All great friendships are rooted in love, and love is the greatest of all.
At some point in life, we try to find the one person who completes us. Those relationships thrive most if there is a friendship and common interest to fall back on. Rather than using dating sites, one of my friends chooses travel groups and camps for grownups to nurture her sense of adventure with no obligations to please.
A recent client moved here from Brazil to finish her degree at the University of Alabama in nutrition. She has since found a group of Brazilian students to remind her of her home. These relationships, and the flowing language they shared at a recent gymnastics’ meet we all attended reminded me that yes, the world is big – but opportunities to find those with common ground are everywhere if we’re open to those around us.
So, what are you doing sitting alone reading the paper? Get plugged in. Call an old friend, join a small group, or a book club. Four Square, Facebook and other meetup apps can help you find people with similar interests.
Not too fond of people? Pets have their benefits too. They help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and reduce depression and loneliness.
There is a difference between loneliness and being alone. We can all learn to nurture being alone. When I paint and when I write, the world disappears – along with all of the troubles within it. I close my doors, turn up some 70s tunes, and let everyone else disappear.
But when I’m done? I’m eager to share the results with friends. It’s the natural cycle of life. Who do you need to share something with today?