Connectedness to other is a key factor of resilience.
I recently returned from a trip to Florida. I usually make the pilgrimage in late February or early March. It’s certainly a good time to leave Maine for a week or two. The main purpose, however, is to visit two high school friends who I have kept contact with through all these many years. One I met when I was only three or four and we attended the first day of school together. The other I met in junior high.
Over the years, our lives have taken different courses. One is still married to the woman he fell in love with in college. The other has been divorced a couple of times and is definitely single. We chose different professions. One has worked primarily in the area of real estate renovation and management. The other chose to be a teacher. We all three left a small southern town that we grew up in, although my two friends have chosen to stay in the South. Both are considerably more conservative than I am, which means we often don’t agree on politics.
Many would see us as having more differences than similarities now. But I think the three of us don’t see it that way. We have our differences and our arguments, but we do it respectfully and usually agree to disagree. Given the present state of our federal government and congress, the ability of the three of us to do this gives me some hope for the future.
We’re getting older. We’re all well into our sixties. We often joke about who will bury who, even though we don’t talk that often now and only see each other one or two times a year. I believe, that when one of us dies, we will lose an important connection in our lives, a connection in the present and to the past. My old friends make me realize how important these connections are. We have supported each other through hard times when we were adolescents and as adults.
We accept each other with all of our faults. We trust that the other will be there in whatever way they can. Close friendships are important throughout our lives. Maintaining them needs to be a priority. All three of us have certainly been more resilient in our lives than we would have been without the other two.