Friends for 65 years, these women came together to reconnect – Orange County Register
This February, I reunited with two college friends to spend a few days together in Scottsdale, AZ. We have known each other for 65 years since we were students. (You can do the math.) The three of us started out as young single women. As widows, we are three single women again, just a little older.
Our friendship has endured for a long time, despite living in different parts of the country and each having pursued different career paths and activities at this stage of life.
So what are three longtime friends with days of unstructured time talking about?
Fitness: That was a big deal. We each shared notes about what we’re doing to be as fit as possible, hoping to increase our chances of functioning optimally, both physically and mentally. We all go for a walk almost every day; Other services include a fitness trainer, Pilates and physiotherapy. There were some good reports with some high fives. For example, one friend deadlifted 80 pounds, another walked four miles every morning, and another who was struggling with some balance issues walked two miles a day and went to the gym daily. We expressed our gratitude for being able to do – what we did.
Family: This is about updates about children and grandchildren. A son starting a new job, a daughter adjusting to a new home and a son who is a child psychiatrist had expressed the huge demand for under-resourced mental health care. Throw in some golf, lacrosse, and volleyball for grandkids, as they all thrive with the occasional bump here and there.
Films and books: One night we were trying to find a streaming movie that at least two of us hadn’t seen. We picked the Oscar nominee for Best Picture Everything Everywhere All at Once. Our visit lasted 40 minutes, with two out of three vetoing it. We unanimously decided to see The Darkest Hour, a film about Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II.
Then there was discussion of the new movie, Eighty for Brady, starring Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin – stars with a combined age of over 330 years. Based on the trailers, the question was, “Are older women portrayed positively or negatively? The jury was out of sorts, save for a friend who thought the movie trailers committed “elder petting” — meaning patting an elderly person on the head and watching how cute they are. There was no consensus on this observation, although two out of three of us are excited to see the film and marvel at the actresses’ performances in the trailers.
Recommended books included Sonia Purnell’s Clementine, The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill, all books by author Elizabeth Strout, and columnist Steve Lopez’s recent book Independence Day: What I Learned About Retirement from Some Who’ve Done it and some who never will.”
The important: Makeup, sunscreen, lotions and potions were important to discuss. Then there was the quick online ordering of pants that would replace the moth-eaten ones. As for the schedule, there was none. Not hungry for dinner because of a late lunch? Scrambled eggs were perfect.
State of the nation and the world: That was hard to ignore. We discussed President Biden’s State of the Union message, the surveillance balloon from China and compared our political perspectives, sharing our concerns and hopes for the future.
After sitting around in our pajamas trying to solve the world’s problems, we returned to the topic of how older women are perceived by the entertainment industry and society. This poem was written by a friend, reflecting her (and our) thoughts:
Roses are red, violets are blue
Please show some respect, I’m over 82.
You can help me; You can give me a seat.
You can take me to lunch as long as you like.
But don’t try to patronize me.
And don’t say I’m great because I’m almost 83.
Say I’m hot, say I’m smart.
And think of me when you turn out the light.
Keep your red roses, your blue violets.
I may be getting older, but I’M NOT DONE!
Here’s the bottom line: Relationships matter, especially later in life. We know that social isolation is a health risk equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So let’s renew those relationships from the past and forge new ones from the present. Best friends count in later life; They are a lifeline to our health, well-being and happiness. And we don’t need many.
Everyone stay healthy and be kind to yourself, your friends and others.
Helen Dennis is a nationally recognized leader on aging and the new retirement with academic, corporate and community experience. Contact Helen with your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Helen at HelenMdennis.com and follow her at facebook.com/SuccessfulAgingCommunity
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/19/successful-aging-friends-for-65-years-these-women-came-together-to-reconnect/ Friends for 65 years, these women came together to reconnect – Orange County Register