Our 100th post got me thinking last week, that I am lucky to have so many friends. True, not all of the friends I mentioned are as close as others, but, I still hold them close to my heart and I wanted to let them know.
With another birthday looming, I have found myself reflecting over the past week or two- how much life changes, sometimes without your even realizing it and others it is more in our faces than you would like. At certain points in our lives, some friends come to the foreground while others fade away. Thinking about this made me a little sad, but, I know it is not something that always happens on purpose. It just does.
After reading an article called "You Just Gotta Have Friends," in the October issue of Self Magazine, I was reminded of the four different levels of friendship including "acquantances, casuals, close and lifers". Regardless of the level, each of them is important to our well being(Frankel, 2009).
In 1998, a study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor found that people who were isolated had an increased risk of mortality similar to that of cigarette smokers. More recent studies show that lonely people "get high blood pressure, sleep poorly and have weakend immunity". People who feel connected, however, "are simply healthier- they have better cardiovascular health and report a higher level of satisfaction," says professor of social psychlogy, Shelly Gable, Ph.D. (Frankel, 2009).
The article goes on to talk about how some people who form smaller networks of friends have found they can be just as valuable, if not more so, as those who have larger ones. I am sorry I could not provide a link because the article is not yet available on line, but, the issue is worth a read for this article and a number of others.
Keeping in touch when life gets rough or busy is hard, but, most of us are lucky enough to also have friends who all you have to do is pick up the phone and it won't matter how long its been since the last time you talked. I thank God for that and any time one of them chooses to place the call to me in return, she knows I will be there.