Best Friends Forever

images22VE748LLife is very complicated these days. Everybody knows that. Between jobs, kids activities, family obligations, and so much more, most of us barely get the simple things accomplished each day. We remember to eat when our stomach growls and the laundry needs to be done because we run out of underwear, but a lot of things get left behind.

Sometimes things "left behind" are the most important things. Like old friends. This past weekend we had a wonderful visit from my husband's best friend in high school and his wife.  We have kept in touch over the years, occasionally, but haven't met in person for about 35-40 years. None of us was sure when the last visit occurred. We have never met each other's children, or grandchildren at this point. We live in different states, but in this day and age, that is hardly an insurmountable barrier to friendship. So when they said they would be passing through Chicago on their travels, we welcomed them with open arms.

What transpired was about 20 hours of reminiscing and laughter, catching up on the years, and wondering, wondering, why it took us so long. We each talked about how the years had led our lives in one direction and not another, our parents, our siblings, our careers, and the funny teen-age stories that even my children can tell after hearing them many times from their father. It was so funny to hear DeVon talk the about the same escapades in high school that my husband does, and even ask the same question. "Do you really think that egg came from our car? I think it was the guys with the firecrackers." Plausible deniability at it's best! "Sorry officer, we were throwing eggs, just not the egg in question."

I don't see my life slowing down like I thought it would after "retirement".  If anything, we seem to be as busy as ever. The difference now is that we are choosing our activities more than being forced into things by jobs or circumstance. I think Tim and I are in a kind of golden circle where we are healthy enough to choose activities, volunteering, travel and paid employment in whatever manner or combination of time suits us. That can't continue forever.

But, spending more time with people I enjoy, both old friends and new, has become a priority with me. Those friends from high school or college, the people who "grew up" with you, they are the people who knew you and loved you when you were just becoming "YOU". To reconnect with them, and, in a sense, your own young self, is one of the best ways to take stock of your life and chart your course for the remainder of your years. It's also just a lot of darn good fun!

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