Cheers to Friendship!
I just returned from a visit with my best friends from college. We get together every year or two, and get caught up over slow, lingering meals (you must visit Hugos in Houston to try the Classic Mojito); indulge in hot stone pedicures and manicures (my fingernails, with their bright pink polish, now look more like my grandmother’s than my own); and hold late night talk sessions that truly are reminiscent of the strange sleeping hours of our college days gone by. And as much as we enjoy being together, making it happen takes planning and money and saying “no” to many other things that could demand our time and attention during the appointed weekend. We are all mothers—need I say more?
But we keep up the ritual of getting together and I’m betting that its solidity gets stronger as the years pass. I can’t speak for the other three of the foursome, but for me, the more I come to realize how shifting and impermanent the “forms” of life are—the jobs that will change, the crises that will resolve, the houses that will decline, and (most certainly) the bodies that will age—the more I value some of life’s less concrete but more lasting forms, like friendship.
And since Midlife has a reputation for being rough—what with all its tendencies toward self-doubt and life reevaluation, and how suddenly and potently the related feelings sometimes storm in and take over—having strong friendships during Midlife is essential in my book. Friendships that help see us through the rough spots, and more importantly, to see the Midlife Shine just beneath (and sometimes as a result of) the rough.
So with this post, I cheer again our foursome (albeit without the fondly remembered Mojito in hand) and our vulnerable but open Midlife hearts.