Friends after 50 – End of the Day for September 24, 2014

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I have noticed a trend happening for years now, but it seems to have accelerated lately. We once seemed to have a large groups of friends — real friends, too — not just acquaintances. Our parties were full of people who we really liked and it never seemed any trouble to have someone over for dinner almost any time we wanted. Over the years we also had several younger or at least single, friends who became part of the family for a while, spending large amounts of time with us and almost feeling like siblings or sometimes, older children, more than just friends.

Each year, though, our friends have peeled off one by one. Having children was one of the first big changes that broke us apart. As we well understood, children take a lot of time. While we all turn our focus inwards when our children our young, we made conscious efforts to find time for ourselves and our adult friends whenever we could. Several friends became non-blood relatives to our child — the uncles and aunts that he knew better than he knew his familial aunts, uncles and cousins. Other friend virtually disappeared. Beyond the occasional holiday newsletter — or Facebook message today — we hardly knew them anymore. Now, most of our children are old enough to have their own lives, but we’ve lost touch with our friends. Joseph is off to hang out with his girlfriend most weekends, so we have plenty of time, but very few people to spend that time with.

I can understand this in many ways, but it certainly doesn’t make me happy. I have seen my own friends, especially make friends, fall off, one by one. Now Rosanne and I have several “couple” friends and she has quite a few girlfriends she can hang out with, but I really don’t have any close male friends I can just “hang out” with. Now, let me be clear, I am not always the best person at hanging out, but I don’t think I drove them all away with my behavior. I don’t have the typical male interests like sports, cars or bar drinking, so this might have something to do with it, but as far as I know, those aren’t the deepest interests of many of my friends, either.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that, after 50, life can get a bit lonely. Everyone is so tied up with their own lives an the space for others in those lives is limited, if not nonexistent. I try to put together events and give people excuses to come out, even for an hour or two to share time with us and others, but inertia is a strong force and can often keep us in our chairs on most evenings. I know that feeling myself and this somewhat drives my efforts. I spend so much time at home — both “at home” at “at the office” that i NEEd to get out on occasion, even if just going to the local coffee shop. 

O am very thankful for the few close friends we have these days. Were it not for them, we might not do anything at all. There is one particular couple we can call spontaneously and, more often than not, they are up to do something — even something small like dinner or just hanging out watching a movie for the evening. I appreciate them more and more every day. They — and others like them — are our family now, being so distant from most of our blog relatives, We have had to develop a “family” of our own over the years and it is a bit depressing to see if getting smaller and smaller. I don’t’ see a way of correcting this trend, o I’ll just have to deal with it, I guess, even if I don’t like it.

Previously on End of the Day:

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