I’m at the Best Age for Best Friends

By D' Forman for Take Flight Summit

I like my age – I’m 59. I now have time, some disposable money, no authority figure to monitor my activities (unless you’re a conspiracy theorist), own my own car, can eat what I want, can make my own decisions and have some wisdom to go with all this that I didn’t have as a precocious teenager. This sounds pretty awesome and I’d like to share it with friends!

But I’ve heard members of my age group complain that it’s much more difficult to get out, make friends and have fun at this age. And I guess I can understand - making and keeping friends when you’re out of the workforce, days sometimes run together, don’t have the connection of kids in school and are at an age where girlfriend drama does not hold the appeal it once did (goodbye Kardasians) can be dispiriting and debilitating.

Here are a few ways to get over the hump, get out there, meet friends and enjoy yourself!

Keep a monthly wall calendar visible (not just on your phone) with your appointments. I know this sounds silly, but I find that having an in-the-face reminder where I’ll see it every day (the refrigerator door comes to mind) helps keep me aware of the date/day and also any upcoming commitments I’ve made. Revealing this scares me a little because it makes me sound like I’m doddering!

But first, you need to keep up with what’s happening. View online event calendars, the Meetup App and city magazines and guides that share events and conferences like the Take Flight Summit, wine tastings, trivia contests, local festivals, First Monday Trade Days, garage sales (if that’s your thing), museum and gallery openings and more. Pick what you’re interested in and invite a buddy or go alone. Going alone is not unusual and therefore, easier, in the case of Meetups. Happenings are happening somewhere almost every day! There’s no excuse for being bored or staying home!

Don’t fret that you're the one who reaches out to friends and acquaintances more often. Who cares even if they say no! Keep it up and you’ll have more friends soon enough.

Just because you’re not in the workforce anymore, doesn’t mean you don’t have enviable skills. Find a charity that could use your well-honed skills and get out there doing! I met many friends that I still have 10 years later running for Team In Training! Okay, so maybe I wasn’t skilled at running, but you get the idea.

And, probably the most difficult, to take a cue from Nike – Just Do It.

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