By Brenda Carrico
Do you already schedule time for the most important people in your life? If your answer is yes, then kudos to you. However, if you’re not or you have found yourself faltering in this area lately, remind yourself that loneliness can undermine your physical and mental health.
Love is the Key! Through every stage of life, friendships come and go. The relationships often end with such ease that we barely notice the absence of those individuals in our lives. Sometimes though, our special friendships end for trivial reasons; you didn’t like who they were dating at the time, or they moved far away. You may not even remember why you quit talking.
You just know that one day you woke up and found yourself missing that individual. Suddenly, you have the desire to call them or go to lunch to catch up. You had a connection and you miss it! But you let the moment pass because you believe too much time has gone by - they won’t be interested.
Building Relationships: Oh my, if someone had only told you how difficult it would be to make new friends later in life; especially if you don’t have children. People take for granted how many of their friendships developed out of getting to know the parents of their children’s friends.
You’re no longer a student in school every day with the ability to encounter like-minded individuals with similar interests.
In your work life, you may have found yourself stuck at a desk. Unlike the “old days” when you actually picked up the phone and had real conversations - most of your communication with others has become emailing or text messaging. Many find it difficult to really get to know someone this way to determine if they’d like to socialize outside of the workplace.
Consider one or more of these challenges to help you get started refiring emotionally:
CHALLENGE ONE: If you’re too afraid to call that old friend – send a notecard and let them know you’re thinking of them and would love to get together. If they respond, great! If they don’t, you tried. One of the greatest challenges we’ll face is making it to the end of our lives with few regrets.
CHALLENGE TWO: This is the difficult one but probably the most important; especially if you find yourself lacking in friendships. Join a club – any club; book, movie, dinner, foreign language or art. You could incorporate your need to exercise with joining a bowling or pickle ball league; maybe a walking/hiking/biking group. These days, whatever interests you have, you are bound to find a group that exists. Try any activity that gets you out of the house and socializing with others again.
CHALLENGE THREE: With your existing or new friends, start a Last-Minute Gang. The idea is to get you to participate in new activities that get you out of your comfort zone such as going to see a movie in a genre that you wouldn’t typically see or try a new cuisine. In Refire! Don’t Retire, if any member of your Last-Minute Gang calls you to do something, you’re not permitted to say no unless you have a legitimate reason – they’ve invited you to dinner and you’ve already eaten. Even if this is the case, suggest that you still get together for a different activity – how about going to an escape room?
Once you develop relationships, for them to last, you have to put the time and effort into sustaining them. Resist the urge to cling to your recliner for safety. Get out there and see what possibilities lie in forming or reigniting your emotional connections!
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The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.
Published for the blog on October 1, 2019 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.