I relish aging with my friends.
I was texting with a close friend of mine the other day, and as I was typing, I was mentally adding up all the major life events we’ve shared together. From girls’ nights in our first apartments, to boyfriends, engagements, marriages, and her firstborn daughter, we have experienced milestones in life. Together.
I don’t want to belittle new friendships, or friendships that for whatever reason are short term. All types of friends bring enrichment to life – like spices, or a little zest, or a sweetness in recipe. I just want to pause for a moment and give those long-term relationships their moment in the limelight. Especially in this blog where I focus on the delights of getting older.
There is such a depth to a friendship of many years, and looking at someone and knowing the friendship was built over a long period of time. The years have a way of stacking up the memories that give a friendship such depth and meaning that is delightful, intimate, and an amazing investment between both people.
I can’t help but think that such friendships become a priceless treasure when people are older and want to recount the “good things in life” (that aren’t tangible items that society puts too much emphases on.) It’s a gift of the ages, for the aged, and something to look forward to with each passing year.
I’m discovering that as I get older, I view my mistakes very differently.
Maybe it’s because I had perfectionist tendencies, but as I grew up, I was always pretty tough on myself if I messed up. And I’m not talking major mistakes –just the slip-ups: the silly, day-to-day blunders that seem to be the sprinkles on my cupcake of life.
For example, when a youngster, if I dropped, broke, or spilt something, I immediately felt this sense of intense frustration bordering on anger. I felt it keenly (no doubt more than was necessary) and a smidge dramatically, probably followed with thoughts like, “Will I ever get life right?”
Now when I error, I often do something I wouldn’t have dreamed of years ago: I laugh. And I find others often laugh at their mistakes too.
One of my good friends was shopping on a website via her phone, making decisions, thinking ahead (as any smart gal does), when she suddenly dropped her phone. In her dance to grab it, she pushed the screen and it became unexpectedly aglow with bright confetti and a large font that read: “THANK YOU FOR YOUR ORDER!”. She was giggling as she recalled the experience, obviously finding it comical that of all the places on her screen to touch, her finger landed on the tiny “place order” button.
I couldn’t help but notice how carefree she was about it. She’d chuckled, checked the order to make sure it didn’t contain unwanted items and went on with her day. And we laughed together over this mishap. My younger self would be horrified.
I think back to my earlier years and even into my twenties, when an online shopping blunder like that would have devastated me. Now, I know to just check the order or immediately cancel, then verify it with my credit card charges later.
I’ve navigated online shopping long enough that I’m familiar with the ins and outs of it, and I can confidently say that I possess similar competency in many other facets of life. All of which took time and experience which – I hardly need to point out – is a fantastic benefit of aging; it allows episodes in my life that I used to find so dismaying to ironically morph into something I can laugh about.
My friend is turning 30. And she is hesitant about entering her third decade in life. She scrunched up her pretty face when she told me her upcoming age, and my heart melted for her. (After I quoted a major line from the movie Thirteen Going on Thirty: “Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!”)
I adore my 30s, and I want to share a few reasons why, to hopefully give the gift of encouragement to my friend as she enters this new phase of life.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the more notable incidences I can share; Of course, everyone’s experiences vary. But instead of bemoaning my friend’s age along with her, I want to give her a reason to look ahead with some eagerness. I can’t guarantee her 30s will be picture perfect. Mine certainly weren’t. I’ll type it out again for dramatic affect: Mine certainly aren’t. But I love myself in my 30s, and I’m hoping/believing she will love herself too.
Creator of Love, Auntie.