Life in the Boomer Lane was just visited for a couple days by two long-time friends -- Judy, whom she's known since 9th grade, and Susan, whom she's known since 5th. The years of our lives have been filled with whatever fills years. We marvel each time we are together that we pick up exactly where we left off. We eat, we laugh, we look back and we look forward. We know we are in a safe space in which we can share anything, with the knowledge that there will be no judgement. Whatever the topic, there is only joy in the ability to share so freely.
For many of us, friendships change throughout the years, depending on where we are in our lives. We may connect first with the little girl next door, since next door is as far as our tiny world allows. Seamlessly, our world expands, from next door to the block, then on throughout the neighborhood, assorted schools, sports teams, offices, interest groups. As our eyes stretch across the ever-widening borders of our world, they land on others who become an integral part of it.
For others, friends are the constant in an ever-shifting and sometimes overwhelming and frightening world. Parents, spouses and children may hurt us, may disappoint us, may leave us. Friends offer more than consolation. They are the soft landing we crave. They are also the evidence we need that we, too, can be what they are.
As many of us age, the friendships we sustain and the ones we form take on a new dimension. We make the shift from friendships as shared experience to the sense that we are part of a community of women that has no specific interest or goal or geographic boundary to identify us. We have simply our age. We are women at midlife and beyond. We have passed through whatever experiences we have chosen or have been chosen for us. We have spent our energies on others and have discovered that there is energy left for ourselves or for the world, whichever we choose. We have formed, and sometimes reformed, families. We have survived, and we have failed more times than we can recall. In the process, we have learned to let go all expectations other than the ones we create.