Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Friends as You Age

I was talking to my mother the other day about her sister (my Aunt Donna). My aunt lost her husband a couple of years ago to lung cancer. She lives alone now both her girls live some distance away. They would like my aunt to sell her home and move closer to them. My mother told her when she moved recently it was the hardest thing she has done. Not only was it physically hard because my mother is now in her 70's but even harder was the fact she did not have any friends. I asked her why it was so hard for her to make friends. She said I'm not sure because I have always been very outgoing but the older I get I find myself going to Church getting up and coming home. No one talks to me and I do not talk to them. 

I find this same thing happening with me at my age. It never really dawned on me until my mother and I were talking about it. I think it is strange how no one talks about this stuff as you get older. Why is that?? But it is true, making friends as you get older is harder. My mother explained it to me that you tend to keep to yourself. You have to force yourself to speak to others. I started wondering, why is this? Does it have to do merely with age?

Do people think the old people have nothing of use to say? 
Do people think older people are entirely senile?
Why do older people keep to themselves?
Does the age of a person intimidate others?

I found out in speaking with my mother that it took her about a year to get to know a few people in her Church. I have noticed that each time I move it takes a while to get to know people. The same goes with work, if I do not make an effort people will not talk to me. I have to be the outgoing one. It seemed to be so much easier when I was younger to make friends. Working in the hospital has been a blessing because the diversity in age and culture is vast compared to other places I have worked. I have enjoyed this spice of life as I call it. I have had the opportunity to work with my so many different nationalities in my current position. Each have enriched my life. Perhaps this should be one of my New Year's resolutions, to make new friends at work and in my personal life.

A few months back I took a cooking class which was so fun! I sat in between three gentlemen, two gay, the other married. As the night progressed I found out the married man and his wife enjoy hiking. Every Saturday, they meet with others at a designated location where a guide would lead them on an early morning hike. He told me the hiking group was made up of mostly people around our age. I told my mother as we were talking on the phone I needed to get involved with this group and others like it to make friends. She agreed. 

Time is relentless. It slows down for no one. If we don't act now, change our ways, we have no one to blame but ourselves. I do not want to wake up one day and realize I never did anything. To start off the New Year's right (drum roll please) I went online found some clubs to join in my area; a hiking club, a wine club and a jazz music club. Go me!!