CAGAYAN DE ORO

Wabe: Age-defying friendships

Timeout Corner

IT IS important to cultivate friendships with people of varying age groups, younger and older. There is beauty that comes with having a diverse set of friends. We all don’t have to be completely alike, to like and get along with each other. What’s important is we have one another.

It is essential to treasure genuine friends because they become the backbone of our support system.

The other day, we celebrated my good friend’s birthday. I fondly refer to her as Queen Elsa. We have a decade age gap, but we have both agreed that we belong to the Forever21 club. When we first met, it was the peak of Frozen fever (the Disney movie). I sang to her “Let It Go” and introduced myself as Princess Anna. We’ve been doing crazy, zany stuff together ever since.

For her birthday bash, we partied in SuperStar KTV along with our other mom friends. They are our zumba sisters ranging from the ages of 33 to mid-50s. The idea of a karaoke night was our friend and her best friend forever Noemi’s idea. Queen Elsa took it up a notch and asked us all to wear flower crowns. We’ll be goddesses for the night. Walang kokontra!

Being in the company of girlfriends who know how to have a good time can make us feel young. Why be a boring, old fart, right? As we sang and danced our hearts out that night to the golden hits of our youth, we mommies felt 16 again. We laughed off life’s stressors. I swear, with the right crowd, defying aging becomes easy. Lakas makabata!

Friendships with older and younger people help to expand our horizons and broaden our perspective. These friends help us to see and understand that there’s a world outside our four walls of comfort. Engaging with a varied group allows us to open our minds. We learn from the people around us who bring onto the table their own experiences, opinions, and views.

It is rather easy to get stuck seeing the world from just our own point of view. However, there’s no growth in insisting that only our own opinion is right. Being surrounded by people with contrasting personalities bring in new insights on issues such as family, love, career, and the like. With someone older, we can learn from the wisdom of her many past experiences. For instance, when we have a problem, those with a mature outlook are ready to offer sound advice.

They knock some sense to help us realize that this crisis is not the end of the world.

Someone younger still has the zest for life. This person reminds us to face things with joy and a light-hearted eagerness to seize the day. The young ones also tend to be more fluent in technology and they teach us about the current hip trends. Since younger friends have more energy, they also inspire us to be active and in good health. In our group, this is Aireen, and as I type this, I cannot help but fondly think of her “bungisngis” (giddy child-like mirth).

Surrounding ourselves with a varied set of friends also teaches us to have compassion and empathy in our day-to-day life. We are all not perfect and we all have different crosses to bear so we need to learn, understand, and accept each other. Remember, the feeling of companionship in old age has been proven to be a strong predictor of lifespan. Many studies indicate that having a solid group of friends is linked to a longer and healthier life. After all, as the saying goes, no man is an island.

Friendships are unique relationships because unlike family relations, we choose to enter into our “friend circle.” Friendship is a relationship with no strings attached, except to the ones we choose to keep ties with.

For us women, we are each other’s emotional support system. From shopping, doing manicure/pedicure, giving advice, being a shoulder to cry on, keeping secrets, lending an ear, and boosting self-confidence, we can count on our gal pals to get the job done. Healthy female friendships in our life is definitely something all women can benefit from. We all know a true friend is hard to find. So when you do find one, hang on tight!


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