I had drinks last night with an old friend. Someone who’s been in my life since I was a kid, and with whom I have a pretty enduring connection.
Like many people who no longer live close to where they grew up, I have a small group of friends from my childhood that I see rarely but regularly. We get together as a group every couple years and I wad see them individually once a year, on average.
Last night’s visit made me reflect on the value of enduring nature of the relationships we had when we were young. A few things that struck me:
- you can talk about absolutely anything with your oldest friends. We discussed everything from our parents health and how it feels as they lose their health; our relationships; how we’ve grown, changed or not grown or changed since our youth; our successes and failures and the need to embrace those failures.
- you can give and get really honest feedback. There are few people in our lives that are really invested in us, yet not so day-to-day involved that they can really push us out of our comfort zone with honest feedback that we need but may not always like to get. This friend, in particular, is amazing at understanding my strengths (and weaknesses) and pushing me to push myself. It is sometimes a little uncomfortable – especially when he gets on about how i can and should ‘create’ and ‘build’ more things, rather than trying to be the background influencer…. tough but it is good stuff to hear.
- as you talk about everything, you reflect. After spending time with him – or this small group of old friends – I am always prone to reflect on where my life is going and should be going. Nothing radical, but its a great taking stock exercise.
- finally, drinking til closing time on a Wednesday night is something I experience all too infrequently as a get older – happy to keep it infrequent, but also happy to still be doing it once in a while.