Sunday, April 15, 2007

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

I was at a conference in Chicago this past week...only a quick trip to work on an event. It was so quick that I didn't even have a chance to leave the hotel...just quick arrival (woke at 4:30 am to catch a 7:45 am flight) on Friday and then quick departure (woke at 4:30 am to catch a 7:50 am flight) on Saturday...must have not been thinking when I booked these flights...probably was in one of my pre-menopausal moments where I wasn't sleeping. It was an exhausting trip...definitely cannot keep up the pace I used to...although when I arrived home on Saturday night I was so exhausted that I actually had a good night's sleep and didn't wake up until 8:30 am this morning...what a luxury.

I was thinking about this conference...about how I love this food conference...the reason I enjoy this yearly conference is not because of the food or classes or's because I get to catch up with old friends that I get to see once a year...old friends that I talk to once a year...and when I see them it is almost as though we've turned back the clock. We chat about the days before we had kids...we chat about our careers and how work is different today than when we started out (the days when there were no emails, no cellphones, and no high speed computers)...we talk about our life goals and where we each are on our journey (some of us are further along than we thought...others still have so much more they want to accomplish). We always say that we are going to stay in together...and not wait another year to speak to each other. But then, in the blink of an eye...time passes and another year goes by and it is time for the conference does it happen?

I started to think about my old friends...and how they have shaped my life...I'm so lucky to have such good old friends...the ones you can touch base with once a year and they know you...and you know them...the old friends you can reminisce with...and laugh with...and cry with...and talk about the future with...especially when you are getting older. It's the old friends that knew you when you were younger and they were younger too...the ones you grow up with in your career and your personal life...the ones who can count the years because they count how old your children are (I didn't offer that my daughter was turning 21 this year...didn't want to bring that up...enough with the counting). They know you before you had any age marks on your face...or aches and pains in your joints...or the days when you really had brown hair that didn't need to be dyed every six weeks to cover up the gray.

Yes, old friendships are so important in life. At 49, I think it is especially important that I continue to remember my old friends and make a pack for myself to stay in touch with each one before the next conference...before I turn 50.

As the Girl Scout motto says (those Girl Scouts are so smart...I was so young when I learned about the importance of friendship from the Girl Scouts...didn't realize that the words I was learning would have so much meaning in my later years):

"Make new friends...but keep the is silver and the other's gold."



Laura said...

From an old friend-- you are a blessing in my life, too.

france59 said...

Nice post. I'm almost in the same boat (47...and just back from my 30-yr. class reunion) and have blogged some of the same sentiments recently...including the Girl Scout song. Getting together with old friends does melt away the years, doesn't it?