What does it mean to grow together with your girlfriends? Note — I purposely left off the phrase “growing old together”. If any of you have had friend for 10+ years, you can attest that those who stick together, grow together. Friends should want to see us succeed at every stage of our lives.
Let’s face it…we all get older. Having the right people in your life can make a world of difference in how you traverse each new era of our lives. Choose friends who challenge you spiritually, mentally, phsyically and vocationally. And, at every stage of your life.
I recently watched a great video on ageism. Ashton Applewhite’s Ted Talk entitled Let’s End Ageism is one we should watch periodically and in the presence of our friends. I did just that. Each week night for the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying communal dinners with my neighbor and her husband. She shared the above with me, then we talked about the video and what to do to eradicate the ageism stigmatization. To quote the caption, “It’s not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It’s ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. ‘Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,’ she says. ‘It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.’ Take 15 minutes out of your day and watch this. Preferably, watch this with a friend. Better yet — watch this with a group of friends.
Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.World Health Organization
This topic has weighed heavily on me. Physically, our bodies do undergo a methamorphis as we add years to our lives. This manifests in various ways. I am the eternal optimist and believe we can manage this process and stand up against the ageism stereotype. I believe a lot of it has to do with how we stay active, eat, sleep, process change, face adversity, embrace spirituality, practice mental hygene, in addition to many other daily practices.
One of the best ways to balance the life-process (preferred term in lieu of growing older) is to surround yourself with a solid group of friends. I am intrigued by the Okinawans and their longevity So much of it has to do with their relationships aka moai as a way of life that they embrace.
Mo•ai (/mo,eye/) Japan
- A group of lifelong friends
- A social support group that forms in order to provide varying support from social, financial, health, or spiritual interests
A great article hightlights moai and the benefits. As per the Blue Zone website, “Okinawan women, on average, live eight years longer than American women. Their moai is likely an important component of their long lives. In all five blue zones cultures, social connectedness is ingrained into the culture. While Okinawans have moais, Sardinians meet with friends each evening for happy hours and Adventists host weekly meals with their congregations. By finding the right tribe, you’ll not only add years to your life, but you’ll enjoy your time here just a little more.”
Life throws us many challenges. At certain stages of our lives we must face loss, change, retirement, and the other attributes of moving forward in life. Having a solid group of friends in your life to feed you, nuture you, hug you, and love you in place is critical to success at living. I am incredibly lucky to have a group of friends who are 100% committed to me being around to laugh with them for a long time. Moreover, they do all they can to nuture my soul, body and mind. Friendship love is a healing agent in and of itself. Cherish those friends. Grow forward together in the most positive way.
Your heart will thank you for the investment in these symbiotic relationships. Happy Living, my friends!
Author Angela Crossin is the co-founder of Business Women United. Once an in-person networking organization has now morphed into a hybird of in person and virtual gatherings. Angela is an attorney in the State of Indiana and community advocate. She started advocating for women at a young age and gathering girlfriends for bonding moments from as far back as she can remember. Angela believes we have to be, Good on the in to be great on the out! Having a core group of women in our lives to help us grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and vocationally is key to living well. Angela is happy to share her insight as a lifelong learner of connections and connecting. Angela loves the outdoors, dogs, food, adventures, and opportunities to learn.