A major fear of aging women is being alone. Staying engaged is one of the major predictors of living a healthier, longer life. According to the Administration on Aging, 37% of women in the U.S. over 60 live by themselves. Are you lonely? Are you fearful of a lonely future? Reconnecting with past relationships will help ease this loneliness.
A few years ago I was thinking about Joan, a classmate from graduate school. Joan and I graduated in 1994 from Temple University. Graduate school was challenging, intense, and social connections were limited. I fondly remember the supportive and positive relationship that I had with Joan. Out of the blue, I received an email from Joan! You can imagine my surprise! I strongly believe there are no accidents in life. I read the email and called Joan to connect for lunch.
Lunch was fun, animated, and filled with lots of conversation. We reminisced about school, and how we survived a major life event. We laughed, shared updates about our lives, and talked about the joys and fears of aging. Joan is a psychologist and shared with me that many of her women clients have fears of aging. We talked endlessly about how women deal with aging, loneliness and other concerns. We were oblivious to anyone in the restaurant. Our waitress asked us if we could pay the bill because the restaurant was closing soon. We talked for three hours. Our lunch was life giving. We don’t know why the universe brought us together again, but we were glad we followed our instincts.
Social media is only one of the ways to stay connected to friends from your past. If you are not comfortable using social media to stay connected, maybe this is a good time to personally reconnect. Maybe you are fearful to reconnect? What if the person rejects me and does not want to reconnect? What would we talk about? Maybe he or she has changed? These questions are normal. However, if you had a positive experience with this person, why not give it a try?
Face to face communication is still one of the most powerful ways to create a lasting memory. The fun time talking to Joan still lingers in my mind. We both look forward to reconnecting again at another time. We plan to reconnect with another classmate who was a lot of fun, and
helped us remain sane during our crazy graduate years!
Tips to reconnect:
- Meet in a public place like a restaurant; food is a great connector.
- Share your positive your memories.
- Catch up about your lives. You’re not meeting with a stranger- this is fun.
- Avoid expectations – you want to meet again or not. Just enjoy the moment of reconnecting.
Staying engaged can add years to your life. Plus staying engaged keeps you healthy.