Our OLD Chums and How to Love Them

The list of reasons why it’s great to be in our thirties is pretty long, and I’m sure you know  I could ramble for hours about this being the most excellent decade of my life so far.

And, since you asked, some of my personal favourites are: knowing ourselves more fully, having experience in many many areas, wisdom, more confidence and, for some, a bigger who gives a F— attitude.

But where there’s light, there’s dark so like all things in life there is a dark side to thirtysomeone life. Some culprits include the seemingly never-ending stack of bills, likely identity crises, pressure to get married and have kids, and an ever-slowing metabolism, and the urge to be in our jammies by 8pm on Saturday nights, only to name a few of the great ones.

But today I want to stay positive and add one to the list that I’ve actually never thought of before and it occurred to me this weekend when I had a friend visit.

We met in our first year of university. We both lived on the all girl’s floor and it was a pretty tight community. However, she’s been the only oneI’ve really stayed in touch with.

Now, she lives a few hours and lots of traffic away, but we’ve managed a visit almost every year and we went to each others’ weddings. Not bad.

And then when I got thinking really about how impressive that is, I realized that I’ve known this chick since I was 19, and I can actually say that I have been friends with someone for 15 years!

And I was like, Holy crap that sounds like a long time!

But how amazing is that?

In high school we bond with our friends and feel like we’ll be friends forever. And maybe we will or maybe we won’t, but at the time it sure feels like we are true blue soul mates and yet we’ve only known each other for maybe a couple of years.

In our thirties, it’s possible to have had those trusted amigos in our lives for much, much longer, making those friendships even stronger and more meaningful.

I’m so grateful to have known many of my friends for many years – even if it does make me sounds incredibly old (especially when we can reminisce about mix tapes, Saturday morning cartoons, not having a cell phone until we were 20).

It’s also quite a humbling feeling to know that I’m sharing this journey with great people I’ve met along the way, and it’s amazing to be able to watch our lives ebb, flow, or even change completely.

It’s double crazy to even try to imagine the girls that met all those years ago are now these women –  still friends, but really different from who we used to be, in so many ways. In point of fact, we used to party at the campus bar ’til close, drinking the boys under the table.

This past weekend we had a healthy dinner of salmon and salad from my garden, drank some wine and hit the hay at 10:30pm, like wild women.

So, it all sounds great, but there’s always that risk of of falling out of touch over time. So how do we ensure our friendships stay friendships so we can retain all the bragging rights of being friends for decades?

The simplest way I can put it is this: make it a priority. If a friend is truly a friend and you value that person’s friendship even the slightest, you make sure you go to the birthday party that might be inconvenient. You make sure you meet for coffee when you haven’t spoken in six months. You go to the baby shower you resent going to, knowing that your friend will never buy your dog a toy or a cute outfit.

Secondly, as a priority, make sure you are THERE – phone off (potentially), kids at the babysitter, and all your attention is on the other person.

It sounds like a strict regimen, but you will never deny that it is all worth it and so much more important that you had even thought when you were first making plans.

And it IS important. So when we do get the feeling that we’re really ‘getting up there,’  I hope we have made the calls, made the trips, and we’ll end up in a place where we see a great group of forever friends right there with us.

If you or a forever friend is ready to step into your thirties with confidence and success, I’d love to chat! Find out more at ashewoodward.com or email me directly at support@ashewoodward.com.

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