Sure hope this blog makes sense as I've had a rough week losing another friend. My last male friend taken at only 54 years of age. Don't get me wrong my very best friend and partner in life will always be my dear husband Malcolm. Science says it's impossible for men and women to just be friends and for the most part I agree. I am not one who really thinks a married woman should have a male friend. But I met Sean O'Brien when I was 22 years old, (before we even met our spouses) and damn I just could never get rid of him! HA! I set him up with so many college friends when we first met. Then my husband realized even after we got married that Sean was going to be the one male friend that wasn't going to drop off. But he also knew we never had a relationship, we were always just buds. (Thanks for putting up with us Malcolm and for trusting that you are my true love!) Sean and I were wild when we were single with no direction and usually up to mischief. When we each got married our friendship changed as it should... it found direction and evolved as we guided each other along the way sharing notes on how to tackle the bumps in the road that came up throughout the years. We had two meeting spots Carmelite Monastery or a local coffee shop. That's where we laughed, prayed and tried to navigate the compass of our lives. The talks were raw, the friendship was true and the navigation not always easy. The last five years the hardest of them all. Alas my Irish friend you no longer have to fight... you may now rest. God has put you on a course for eternal peace.
Oh my (deep breathe) friendship at midlife is hard. I feel like we are in the midst of adjusting to changes in our lives so there's no room for patience because the changes aren't pretty. We definitely don't have any time left for mean girls! Bye Bye Bitches! But really, midlife gets weird because your friends are a range of ages and stages... not like when you were in high school. Some are empty nesters they are doing new things working on redefining their relationships and families. Others are welcoming grandkids and traveling more to see them. Yet others are picking up and moving cities all together. So begins the friendship shift. Nothing intentional just life in motion. Throw in the lost of a few good friends and your world becomes a little more fragile. There are many other reasons that cause friendship loss at midlife. I've said it before, I believe we all get a little more selfish as we age, because time is precious. We start becoming very particular with who we want to spend time with... not to mention we start cherishing more alone time.
Studies show for women in general it is very important to have good female friends. One article I found says that we need friends in midlife more than ever! The studies also say surface friends aren't enough... we need true friends. It helps us through stress and with all that we have to deal with as we grow older. Down sizing into new neighborhoods with new people and new changes. No longer having kids and school or sports activities, to help us not only make friends, but plan our weekends. Dealing with aging parents, retirement, and health issues. It's a lot to swallow and a heavy cross to carry alone. I am so blessed to have True Female Friends. Friends who help me carry my cross, pick up the pieces, celebrate tragedies and victories. Maybe that's why it's just so hard for me when a friend is taken away. As I said it's been a tough year. The big guy upstairs has taken some good ones. Maybe it means I have new friends coming? Maybe my job is to spend more time with the ones I still have? I can honestly say that being a good friend isn't always easy. But to have a good friend you must be one, and taking the time to nurture a friendship is worth every bit of work it takes. This Thanksgiving I thank God for every one of my friends. The ones who have passed and the ones who are still here to celebrate life. May God keep you all in his special care until he brings us together again. Téigh le Dia mo chara na hÉireann- Go with God my Irish Friend~
Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...