Midlife friendships are special. I can say this with true conviction. First, because I’m a midlife woman and I truly love my girlfriends and second, because I have some good ones. Some really good ones in my life.
Remember your circle of friends back in high school? The girls who always had your back? Or shall I say, sometimes they had your back and sometimes they were sticking a knife in it, amiright? We were young and immature then and really didn’t know the true meaning of friendship. Sure they were there for a good time and yes, we could cry to them when we got dumped or farted in class and wanted to crawl under a rock. But, there was always ups and downs with teenage girls. Rivalry, jealousy, back-biting. It was a rocky time.
Fast forward thirty years. OMG thirty-fucking-years! I just threw up a little in my mouth. Give me a moment.
[deep breath] OK, I’m back.
We don’t deal with that same type of bullshit. We know who we want to give our time, love and loyalty to and that level of honesty and trust is incredibly refreshing. It brings an entirely different aspect into the friendship and takes your relationships to a whole new level.
The Circle of Friendship
My circle of friends now, really are the moms of my kids’ circle of friends. I’m sure yours are as well. Those are the women we are with a lot. Any woman with a child who played or plays sports knows this. Shout out to my hockey moms out there! I have an ’02 (only a hockey mom will know what this means).
I’m fortunate that my kids have amazing friends and even more fortunate that their moms are even more amazing. My son has grown up with a group of boys that are still tight even now that they are in college or have full time jobs. They still hang together every chance they get and it truly makes my heart happy to see those strong friendships. And my daughter has had the same circle for years and the drama is minimal. Which is rare to say about a group of girls.
I can honestly say that it’s because the moms do not allow it. We encourage conversation, honesty, patience and all things in the spirit of true friendship. And i’ve seen this flourish in my children’s friendships. Just like in any relationship, whether it is marriage, family or career, your children learn and mimic what they are surrounded by.
Why Midlife Friendships Are So Essential
Midlife women are going through a lot of shit these days. We need a strong group of women around us now more than ever. Right now, the women in my life are special. Not just special, but fucking amazing! They are there when I need to complain about the little things (laundry, lazy teens, bad drivers, gas prices, idiots, grocery shopping, etc.) and the big things (empty nest, aging parents, cancer, divorce, death, etc.). This goes both ways.
Unlike our high school friends, we now have decades of experience behind us. We’ve gone through real shit and have made it through. And only someone who’s gone through similar shit can empathize and walk you through your current shit.
How To Keep Friendships Alive
Like everything worth doing, maintaining good friendships takes work. Sometimes a lot of work. Well, not so much work, as time. Which is, as we know, is a precious commodity. A little time, a little effort, some empathy and sometime a whole lot of alcohol are the makings of wonderful midlife friendships.
Putting In The Effort: 7 Ways To Show You Care
- Send them a funny meme for no reason at all and tell them you love them or miss them or are just thinking of them when you saw this picture of two old ladies measuring whose boobs are lower, or the sexy fireman with a witty message about hot flashes. Whatever!
- Drop them a card. Yes, an actual paper card in the actual mail with an actual stamp. I love sending mail. Usually it’s homemade cookies, but cards are good too. Yes, I send actual home-baked cookies through the mail. Sometimes it’s good to be my friend.
- Meet for dinner. Or maybe coffee early Saturday morning if that’s all you have time for. It doesn’t have to be an all night fancy-schmancy dinner to be special.
- Had to cancel your coffee date because your mom locked herself out of the house again or the dog got sprayed by a skunk and now you have to go bathe her in V-8? Here’s a Starbucks card. “Have a coffee on me. Wish I was there xoxo!”
- Get your families together. You’re probably friends because your kids are friends, right? And who doesn’t love a Potluck, amiright?
- If you live close-by, go for a walk or hit the gym together. Is there anything better than get fit girl time.? Well, maybe chocolate, wine and yoga pants girl time. Whatever makes you happy.
- Help with chores. Sounds weird I know. But, if you love to paint and your friend needs their living room painted for an upcoming open house, then get out those overalls girlfriend and spend the day together.
- Simply, KEEP IN TOUCH! However that looks for you. Text, DM, phone call (yes, I’m a caller. I’m old school. Deal with it!). If you are super busy, or ahem forgetful, put a reminder in your phone, or a sticky not on the wall or string around your finger. Whatever helps you remember. Because time flies and before you know it, it’s been six months and you haven’t seen or even talked to your bestie and now you have a puppy because your friends weren’t there to talk you out of it. True story.
Surround yourself with amazing women and grow these friendships in this stage of your life. You will cherish them more than you could ever imagine. It takes some effort, as does everything meaningful. But it is so worth it!