Aging well,  Events & news,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing

Old friends

“She thought of how precious it was to be able to know another person over many years. There was an incomparable richness in it.” ~Alice Walker

Sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst conducted a now-famous study on friendship. In particular, he investigated how the context in which we meet people shapes our social network. One of his conclusions: We naturally lose about half of our friends every seven years. Given our ever-changing circumstances — we move, change jobs, get married — it’s logistically impossible to remain close to every friend we’ve ever had.

My dear friend Debbie and I touched on this topic yesterday. Deb and I met when we were both pregnant nearly 39 years ago, and our enduring friendship is wrapped in layers of shared memories and experiences. We’re also lucky enough to have kept a few older friendships dating back to our school years — another rare gift we don’t take for granted.

Do you still keep in touch with friends who knew you “back when” and shaped who you are today? Do you find comfort in connections to your past? ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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