Transcending Dimensions

4 Sep

Driving home the other day, after having a two hour coffee with someone twenty years my junior, I suddenly realized something. My trend to be friends with people twenty years my senior has expanded to folks at the other end of the spectrum as well. I realized that I had had dinner the other night with someone in her twenties, that one of my closest friends this summer has been someone in her twenties, and my dear friend, Charissa is nearing 30. Likewise, some of my favorite people are in their late sixties.

So often, we think we’ll have things in common with people our age, but that isn’t always the case. Just about everybody in my age bracket is consumed with taking their children to soccer practice and maintaing their mortgages. My older friends have finished doing that and my younger friends haven’t started. Some of my younger friends, still single, volunteer for humanitarian causes internationally, and some of my older friends, divorced or widowed, also do tremendous amounts of service. Then there’s my 75 year old friend who just got back from a cruise with her boyfriend who she met two years ago in a hiking meet up group. She too swims at the pool, has an active meditation practice, and wild, kinky blond hair like mine. I find this all fascinating. I am also amazed at the vast wisdom and talents of my younger friends.

Taylor Swift sings of shaking it off, but I also think in life that we need to shake it up. It’s important to have friends of all ages, ethnicities, religions, occupations and social classes.  Learn to speak more than your own language – literally and figuratively. Be in the world and your world expands.

My grandmother, who is 96 and on hospice care used to tell me she never wanted to be part of the Organ Club. “What’s that?” I asked her. “People in my age group who only want to talk about their doctor appointments and what organ is failing them. I just find that depressing.” So my grandmother always took an interest in younger people. She had many friends. As I move through my forties, I’m seeing the great wisdom in her mindset. We should never think that we’re getting too old to do new things or to connect with others. That is the beginning of death.

A few years ago, my friend Charissa and I took a road trip up the California coast. It was one of the best trips of my life. We dubbed ourselves Thelma and Louise because in that iconic film, Thelma was a bit younger than Louise.

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We weren’t this bad ass looking but we felt the incredible joy of freedom. It’s something to treasure, to hold on to, and to cultivate all one’s life.

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