Many of my closest friends no longer live nearby, are in assisted living or have moved to be closer to their kids. Most of the friends who are left in town are much, much younger than me. Is this a problem? I worry my friends out of town would judge me if they knew.
– Dawn A.
What really matters, especially in our advanced years, is not to care what anybody else thinks, but ourselves. It’s up to each of us to be in tune with what we need, who we want to be around, and how we want to show up. So let’s start there.
We can reframe this to: What do you want? What do you want to be doing? No matter who’s there, be fully showing up as you! Do these friends encourage and validate you for who you truly are and want to be?
One of the smartest strategies I have always shared is to ensure you have colleagues or friends across the ages; you have to stay connected. One of the biggest issues that affects older adults is loneliness – there is no good reason to self-isolate. We need our wellness quotient high at every age. It means you have to step over this age barrier that other people have created and show up. You’re as much needed for connection by others as they are for you! Studies show that multigenerational friendships are beneficial all around, allowing each of us to learn and grow through awareness of new perspectives.