QUESTION: Recently I was involved in a discussion about having friends. The group was divided on how important friends are to us. Do you have any thoughts?
ANSWER: We all meet and know many people during our lifetime – some are friends and some are acquaintances. Both have a place in our lives.
There is a difference between a friend and an acquaintance. The dictionary defines “friend” as a person one knows well and is fond of; an intimate associate. While the “acquaintance” is defined as a person one knows.
Many studies have been made on relationships and they have shown that those having friends were healthier and happier and lived longer than those who did not have close friendships.
During a lifetime friendships change – most don’t last forever. They change with life’s transitions such as graduation from college, getting married, having children, moving out of area, job changes and retirement.
As we grow older we tend to interact with fewer people than we did when we were younger. This many times results in becoming closer to existing friends.
We should have both old friends – those who most likely know us best – but we should also continue to make new friends and enjoy new experiences.
With the old friends we can have meaningful conversations. Can comfortably talk about what is important in our lives and what our dreams are for the next chapter in our lives. You can share an activity that is not electronic, you can reminisce, and you can be a good listener.
While you are keeping this longtime friendship going you should also be making new friends. To make new friends sometimes it takes nothing more than just showing up at an event and simply saying hello. You never know what you might enjoy or who you might meet.
Other ways to meet new people is to sign up for a class or two, participate in a fitness program or become a volunteer. The Conejo Senior Volunteer Program can match you with an opportunity suited to you.
The Conejo Valley Village is a great way to meet new people, take part in a variety of activities and also volunteer your time to their program.
Being there for a friend when needed or having a friend there for you when there is a need is very comforting.
When making new friends try to make some friends with those who are older than you, some who are your age and some who are younger. This broadens the opportunities that you could enjoy.
A saying about friendship that I think defines the importance of it is:
“A treasure is not always a friend, but a friend is always a treasure.”
TUESDAY – July 24 – 1:30 to 3:00 pm – Presentation – “Protect Yourself from Financial Fraud” – California Department of Business Oversight will present practices that specifically target seniors – at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley. Presentation is free but reservations are required – call (805) 583-6363.
WEDNESDAY – July 25 – 1:30 to 3:00 pm – Diabetes Class – by Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurses Association at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. No reservations needed.
WEDNESDAY – July 25 – 9:35 am –“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” – baseball fans come join other fans for Dodger Game Day against the Philadelphia Phillies at the Goebel Stadium, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $5.00 and available at the Goebel Center’s front desk.
THURSDAY – July 26 – 12:30 to 2:00 pm – Presentation – “What is a Fiduciary and How do you Get One?” at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Make your reservation at (805) 381-2744.
TUESDAY – July 31 – 1:30 to 2:30 pm – Presentation – “The Importance of Lung Cancer Screening” – Dr. Ashim Arors, a board-certified pulmonologist will discuss the advantages of lung cancer screening by a low dose CT-scan – at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley. The presentation is free but seats are limited. Call (805) 583-6363 for reservations.
SATURDAY – August 25 – 5:00 pm – Hawaiian Summer Luau – at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $10 per person and will go on sale July 25.
Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are located at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 or call (805) 495-6250 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (please include your telephone number.) You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.