Day Eighteen (or, the day we discuss friends)

Today is one of my dear friends’ birthday and he reminded me I tell him happy birthday every year. First of all, do you know me? I love birthdays so duh. But, I started thinking about this whole age-time-distance thing.

When I moved to Norman in 2007, I don’t remember feeling concern about the friends still back home. I knew people like Audrey would always be around because we talked daily and weren’t just going to stop. It didn’t, don’t worry. We are still best of friends. As I planned a trip to visit her in November for her birthday, I realized this birthday means we have been friends fifteen years. I’ve been friends with her more than half of my life. How did this happen?

Then I started ticking off the friends who remain an important and loving presence in my life. I can count about ten people  I have known since age 10. Do you know how rare this is? I didn’t, so I did what you are supposed to do when stumped: Google it.

First of all, a study found having more than 10 friends translates into a roughly 10 percent wage increase in middle age. So thank you, fellow FHS alum, for my pending salary in 15 years. Supposedly, friendship has just as much (if not more) of an impact on our psychological well-being than romantic or family relationships. If you have a large circle of friends when you are old, you’re less likely to die earlier than expected according to a study in Australia. In bad news, if your friends gain weight you are more likely to gain weight.

I can’t find any statistics on longevity of friendships, but I can tell you from my personal experience if you are willing to invest in other people, they will likely invest in you – no matter the distance or time. I am very grateful for all of mine. I haven’t lived in the same town as any of these friends in six years and I feel just as close (if not closer to some) as I did when we saw each other every day.

So thank you friends. You know who you are, and I don’t thank you enough or tell you enough how happy I am to have you in my life. I will thank you again in middle age when I have a decent salary, in old age when you keep me from dying too soon and now because we live far enough away that your weight gain won’t affect mine. : )

Betcha didn’t think you’d get published research during these 31 days, did you? I am full of surprises.



PS: did you start singing The Rembrandts when you read my title? Same. *clap clap clap*

This is the eighteenth post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.



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