Last Friday night, I went to a friends engagement party. Last Saturday, I went to my grandma’s 96th birthday party. Last Sunday, I went to a surprise 40th birthday party and this week my husband and I invited people over to celebrate another big event. After attending an overwhelming number of celebrations, I noticed that without friends, celebrations and life just aren’t the same. Maybe getting old is difficult because you don’t have as many friends or people celebrating each milestone with you. Maybe with each milestone, it can feel like there are less and less friends to care for you and appreciate who you are. So if you want to age well, I’m convinced that amidst the career driven and personal goals, we young people need to remember that aging will be much less stressful and overwhelming if we keep and make new friends along the way. Friends – you just can’t do without them.
At my grandma’s party, I realized that the 40 or so people that we invited, were not just people we had called to fill the seats, but they were truly people who were friends with her and cared about her. That’s what we all need when we “grow up” to be that age. My grandma has always valued relationships and to her benefit, day in and day out, she has people of all ages (from 1 to probably 80 something) writing letters to her, calling her, giving her gifts, checking up on her, and just watching her back. I think aging can be lonely sometimes, and lately my grandma’s noted herself that “being old can be so sad and difficult.” While she will admit that she herself is blessed to have many people who love her, she often thinks of other older people who aren’t as lucky. Just last week, she told me “Being old is so difficult. When you’re old you need people to help you with everything. Sometimes you can’t even get a cup of water on your own! People don’t bother with old people.”
In my grandma’s case, people are excited to bother with her and I’m convinced it’s because she values her friends and is always open to make more. The fact that you need more help as you age is so true, however, because while you need more help, what if you don’t have anyone there to help you? That’s where friends can play a vital role whether you’re 20 or 50, or 100.
And after a night hanging out with friends of my own, I have to say, friends are like cupcakes that take you through the hard days and help you celebrate the good ones. Here’s to friends!