Friends: The key to happiness

May 01, 2022
Friendships are an importance key to happiness. Source: Getty

At our age, relationships are not just about your partner but about the people in your life and those around you. Many of us have friends dating back to our school days (60 years) or neighbours and past work colleagues that we have known for decades.

Having been restricted for the past 2 years in our movements, many of us have lost friends and weren’t able to say our last goodbyes or attend their funerals – causing us to become emotional and depressed. Now, restrictions are lifting and I recently had cause to look at the coronavirus website – that can be depressing in itself! It says if you are over 65, or worse over 70, we still have to take precautions as we may have weakened immune systems.

One way of getting those endorphins going is to try and focus on the happy times you’ve had with friends and maybe you can start to have regular get-togethers to talk over ‘old times’.

For the past 30 years, I have been part of a “ladies’ weekend” where a couple of times a year, 6 of us would book into a holiday home and talk, drink wine, eat, read, walk and shop!  Prior to Covid-19, we lost 2 of our ladies to cancer 6 months apart, which was devastating.  Following their deaths, we always “took” them with us (photos) and talked about the good and not so good times! Such as one friend, Carol, would always bring a make-up case and wouldn’t go out without wearing make-up, she also brought half her wardrobe saying “I never know what I am going to wear!”.

Another friend, Lois, was what I called a “real lady” until the day she got us kicked out of a holiday cottage! Carol and Lois were the ones we lost, but we always have a toast to them and reminisce.

If you and your friends are still relatively healthy, think about having a “ladies’ weekend”. If a few of you can get together, it helps to keep the cost down. We usually go out for lunch but bring our breakfasts and share an evening meal. Naturally, we have a happy hour where we indulge!

Facebook has been a helpful way of bringing old friends together. For the past 2 years, I have been trying to organise a school reunion but failed because of Covid-19.  I have all the names and email addresses and I have made it one of my goals for 2022 – before we get too old and decrepit to have a reunion!

Our generation used cameras, and if you’re like me you have thousands of photos (and not to forget slides) of many years past! What I now do if a friend’s special birthday is approaching, is get out the photos (and slides) and make a photo book for them. There are terrific deals on the internet. If I get a good deal, I’ll make two books – one for my friend and one for me. The receivers of these books get quite emotional and love looking at (as we probably said to our parents) the “olden days”.

Cherish your friendships. Unfortunately, during Covid-19, a lot of us “culled” our friends as it was difficult enough keeping up with family and we possibly let some friendships go. But I believe a true friendship is one that even after a few years, you can pick up where you left off.

So pick up the phone or send an email!

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