Friendship: Midlife Connections
“Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive.“
– Anaïs Nin
1972: Meeting of the hearts, minds, and souls, i.e. 5th grade
1981: Joy– Best friends graduate from Iola-Scandinavia HS
1981-2014: We both played many roles through the years: wives, mothers, students, divorcées, among many others. We made an honest effort to connect and catch up whenever both of us were able. The frequency in which we had the opportunity to spend time together varied, but the depth of our friendship, and our ability to pick up right where we had left off, never did!
2015-2017: The past few years have offered us the ability to spend more time together and expand our friendship to a new level. Discussing our dreams and visions for how we would like to create our midlife experience came up often. These conversations included many dimensions of our lives, including our careers. A plan started to form to create a business with the intention to help others. We wanted to inspire, motivate, and normalize the experience of middle age, and add some fun whenever possible.
Read our post on Midlife Connection
But how? Initially we wanted to create a cool store and have workshops and gatherings, some to raise funds for neglected animals and domestic violence awareness, two topics near and dear to our hearts. We lived across the country from each other, so this seemed an impossible plan. Finally, one day, it hit me. I could create a website and we could blog and vlog about all we had learned along the way, and our current lives. And here we are!
What does our friendship mean to us?
Write a description of what our friendship means to me? To keep this to one or two paragraphs will be extremely tough!
Our friendship has spanned over almost our entire lifetime-since 5th grade to be exact. When I met Sandra she immediately became a wonderful friend and support person. She was accepting of who I am for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Sandra passes no judgment and is very forgiving. This is important– I am an Aries and have a strong, impulsive personality. As a Leo, she is up for the challenge.
When we hang out, it is such a great time no matter what we do. Most important to me is the fact that we are able to laugh and cry together through all of life’s ups and downs.
Above all else, I know in my heart our friendship will last a lifetime!
Our friendship has weathered many twists and turns. It is complex and multifaceted, and an important part of my life.
Over the years we have stayed in touch, some years better than others.
Our individual journeys add up to 4 divorces (2 each), higher education, poverty, domestic violence, career exploration, and six kids (Janet-4, me-2), a move across country to Arizona ten years ago (Janet) and many highs and lows in-between. Through it all we have managed to stay in touch.
Research has shown long-term friendships require nurturing and soul connection. Janet and I are proof that the many rewards of a committed, indelible friendship are worth the energy, time, and thought needed to foster a relationship.
I believe our friendship has survived due to the trust we have built, the history we have shared, and intermittent doses of spending time together and cultivating what began many years ago.
We have this brilliant ability to finish each other’s statements and partake in the insightful, yet, at times, wicked, but always honest discourse we share on the beauty, joy, and inevitable chaos life is.
We have a grand time together; Janet is a hoot and always up for a road trip or some new adventure. You have probably read the quote about friend’s who make you laugh so hard you pee a little? Yes, I can relate!
I love Janet for her uncompromising honesty, unconventional attitude, and adventurous approach to life.
Others might have difficulty coping with her lack of regard for meeting the expectations of others. I, however, find her ability to put the shit out there quite refreshing!
As a great Irish writer once said of friendship:
“A true friend stabs you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde
I believe our friendship has survived and thrived due to the trust we have built, the history we have shared, and intermittent doses of bridging the gap and cultivating what began many years ago. One day, we will be two elderly hippie-chicks raising hell in a gated community somewhere warm. A connection like this is priceless!