How Do You Stay in Touch With Friends?
Five Group Health members talk about how they keep friendships going in retirement, with long-time friends and new friends.
My husband and I have met a lot of nice friends along the waterfront path we walk every morning, rain or shine. Afterwards, we all go to Starbucks as a reward. One single lady we walk with told me that meeting up with us every day is very important to her. I can’t say enough about walking. It’s a natural way to meet people, keeps us healthy and in great shape, and is energizing — both mentally and physically.
I haven’t gotten into Facebook or Twitter like young people, but I do keep in touch with my friends by e-mail. We discuss current events and topics, so it encourages me to read newspapers and keep up, which stimulates my mind and keeps me mentally active. My wife and I play duplicate bridge with a number of other couples, and take turns hosting dinner. I also see retired colleagues at monthly and quarterly lunches.
When I meet someone new, I invite them for tea. To get to know friends of all ages, I go to exercise class, am a greeter at church, and regularly attend auctions where I meet others who share my passion. If you have a wee talent, spread it around. I bake Irish scones and share them liberally. The most important thing is to be interested in other people. Ask for their stories. You’ll be amazed how many of us want to connect.
I have a group of old friends who are my age, and we stick together. We go out for coffee at 6:30 every morning — where we solve the problems of the world — and often go to a casino for breakfast. Many of us own and restore antique cars, and we take turns helping each other out. If someone has a problem, we're all there to do whatever it takes. There's always something to do, and we have a lot of fun.
My friends and family are very important to me, and I make an effort to keep the connections alive. I mail birthday cards to all my nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, and closest friends. I love meeting new people, and my volunteer work with the local historical museum and national park have made this possible. My friends and neighbors add so much to my life, and are absolute treasures.