Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mid-Life Friendship Crisis? Is there such a thing?

Mid-Life Friendship Crisis

I have been pondering this question for months now. Do you find yourself needing or wanting to change friends in mid-life? Is this the women's version of the mid life crisis? The friends that I had over the past 20 years ago have dwindled to a treasured few. Have I changed that much, have they? Or is it both? I find that we have always had different interests but that never seemed to bother me or give me the feeling that the bond we had is gone. Now I feel that the connection I have with some of them has dwindled to a slow drizzle. Have you ever found yourself in friendships where they mean much more to you, than you do to them? That can't be healthy can it?
It sank home a few days ago when I showed a couple of friends what I thought was a cute post on my blog and they had no interest what so ever, never really looked at the screen. They don't follow my blog and have no interest in that aspect of my life. I don't think the majority of my friends even realize that it bothers me so much that they have so little interest in my blog, my life, or my love of being creative. This is not just a hobby, this is a big part of my life.
Then I have to ask myself, have I moved on from friends and made them feel the same way? My best friend from high school adopted a child over 10 years ago and I thought to myself at the time, well I don't have children so she'll understand when I don't get involved with all the aspects of raising her little girl. I buy Christmas and birthday presents but was that enough? Now I look back and think, was I involved enough? Did I make my friend feel like I had moved on even though I will treasure our friendship till the day I die?
So, here lies the question how do find new friends at the age of 50? Do you try to make new friends or explain to your old friends how you feel? But then, are you putting them on the spot by asking your old friends to change for you, and is that fair to them? Either way I think we'll just fall back into the old version of our friendship. 
My the answer to this question has been to look for new friends. I plan to remain close to the few old friends that I still have and, accept the fact that our friendship has become different and in some cases,limited. At the same time search for new friends that have the interests and beliefs that I have. Going to artistic events has been a life saver for my creativity and the beginnings of new friendships. I plan to be pro-active in my search and try to work on new relationships! 
Because of this friend mid life crisis of mine, I need to realize that relationships change so, I need to stop wearing my feelings on my sleeve when my old friends don't, get or, have no interest in what I'm doing. In this crisis the need to accept and move on is the only I think my old friendships will work. The way to a healthy me is to move on and add to my rolodex of creative and loving, supportive souls, any takers??

31 comments:

sherry said...

so heartfelt and wonderfully written. Find myself in exactly the same place

sugar Creek said...

Well I find the same thing happening and I'm 41 and my best friend since 5th grade has just dwindled as well. She lives a few blocks away and out kids go to the same highschool and I've tried numerous times to get her to go do something! Shopping, lunch, anything! I find myself thinking the same thing as you!

Kim said...

I know exactly how you feel...I have found that the community of artistic women online...thru blogs, online workshops and Facebook has been a real life saver. Kinda sad that these new online friendships feel so much more real than the ones I had in 'real' life but I am so grateful to have found them...The one constant for me is that I am keeping my hubby, he's a good one! lol

Sweet Old Vintage said...

I think many of us have found ourself in that very position and bear the same
feelings..We do change through the years and our interest differ..we have these feelings for a number of different reasons... I like to feel at my age I have matured and don't need things I thought I needed in my life ....especially friends who at this age still can't get their life straight....

Sandy Navarro said...

Cindy, I am so glad to have met you and now call you my friend. I'll ride shotgun anytime any place girlfriend!

Love ya!
Sandy

Pent-Up Photos said...

Your feelings are so typical of so many of us! Isn't it the strangest thing how some of our online relationships are so much better than the real life friendships? I met my BFF through blogging several years ago and she has truly become my best friend! She is always there for me. We never go a day without texting and/or sharing thoughts and experiences via emails. I love the new friends I make through blogging, shows and workshops! They all share that love of the creative and appreciate the time and effort we put into our blogs and art projects! Welcome to your mid-life friendship crisis! It is really not a bad place to be!

Malisa

Pent-Up Photos said...

By the way, I am SO stealing some of your photos! Hope you don't mind! Too late! :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Count me in! I love having lots of blogger girlfriends! It seems like we have so much in common and I can really enjoy myself on my blog! And if someone doesn't like what I like...they can hop to the next one! I love it! We need all kinds of friends, I think! Enjoy your afternoon! ♥

C'est moi Claudette said...

Well Cindy girl, you know we talked about this together didn't we? It's interesting that you posted about it. I know it's been weighing heavy on your heart . You know my true feelings about this, so need to go into it again.
Man, you are on your second post, and I haven't even downloaded any of my pics, or thought about what to post first, lol.
All I know is that I met TRUE friends on this trip.
Love you from Canada
xoxoxoxoxo

gracie said...

I can relate to your questions. I have now made strong connections to my blog friends. Oh, I do have a few true friendships here....but leaving my birth state and having to establish newer friends here in Arizona... as I say, I understand.

LuLu Kellogg said...

*waving arms frantically**
I'm in if you'll have me :)

LOVE LOVE LOVE!
LuLu~*xoxo

Rhonda said...

Boy, did this post hit home. I cannot tell you how many blog friends say the same thing, including me. You ask your older friends to look at the post and they cannot even look at the screen. They don't get it, I guess. Same thing happened to me, I was amazed to read this happened to you.

I have to say I left the best friends ever in Chicago when I moved to Arizona and I haven't been the same since. So blog friends saved me.

I am happy to have you blog friends! YOU ESPECIALLY, Cindy, you have a genuine blog and post from your heart.

Sometimes my own family doesn't get this blogging and creating we all do. Oh, they listen but I have DRAG them to the computer screen, grrr...

I find lifelong friends are rare. Most of us grow and head in new directions that others are afraid of. We be strong.... :) xo Rhonda

susie said...

Oh, Sweet Texas Tea...
What a wonderful post, written from the heart & touching on a topic I think many of us have gone through in various stages of our lives.
I have 3 bestest friends from childhood that I care deeply about. Only one of them reads my blog occasionally, the other 2 don't read it at all or even get why I blog.
One use to read my blog, but now won't because it hurts her feelings when she reads about something that I didn't tell her. The other 2 have never read it.
My family NEVER reads my blog...they totally don't care or get it either.
I have made so many new friends including you Miss Cin, from blogland & the journeys it has taken me on & these new friends probably know more about me, my feelings & my creative, wandering soul then any of my family or longtime friends. Kinda weird, right!
Soooooo, My heart is always open to making a new friend no matter how old I get, I still love & try to except my old friends for the history we shared & the times we still do spend together & I try my best to nurture the friendships that I really care about cuz life is short & I always want them to know just how much I love them.
I LOVE You Friend & can't wait to play in your craft room again!!! ;)
Hugs,
Susie Pearl

Dawnll - Dawn's Craft Place said...

I could have written this post. Oh how I want my long time friends to get why I do this. I feel at 48 I am finally living my real life and so want everyone around me to share that with me. I don't think it is a matter of changing but rather evolving.
I know if I had chosen a mate that was exactly like me it would have never worked, I like having different interests and our similar interests. I guess I expected my friendships to be the same.
Sweetie I am always looking and adding new friends, do we ever have enough of them?

Charlene said...

YOU had me at Hello!!! Thank goodness Karen got us to meet in person! Both of us NEEDING to find a friend who "GET'S US". And look just a little less than 2 years later we are soul sisters! I GET YOU & I ADORE YOU!!!! We have had so many adventures & have soooooooooooo many more to come. All I can say is their loss is our gain (because NOW you have time to come play). Love ya girlfriend. And by the way... You are an amazing roommate & travel buddy! HUGS!
Charlene

Gretchen said...

Oh, dear Ms Cindy~ You my dear are not alone. Though you may feel at as though you are, many of us do struggle with these very same feelings, thoughts and issues. I have myself an in-law family that doesn't get it, doesn't care and doesn't support anything I do. In fact in 15 years, they've never even attempted to come to an event that I've sold at. Iv'e learned for my own sake to try to let it go. My family is a bit more supportive and actually something exciting happened at my show before JB where I met you this September. The week b4, while doing a show my 3 sisters surprised me and showed up for my "Junk Market Under Glass" event, and oh, how it meant the world to me that they took the time to do so. :) Sometimes, miracles do happen...
As for friends, most of my old friends aren't involved at all in my blog, my jewelry design or my activities and don't get it either. What do I do, relish in the fact that the Lord has blessed me with blogging sisters, friends and so forth that feel like they're family and care more about me and my life than the real deal does. I am truly thankful for these precious soul sisters, and I consider you one of them.
The other thing that gets me through is several years ago, I received an email that stated we have "Seasons of Friendship". After reading this, it then made sense and made it a bit easier to accept the different Seasons of my Friendships. Not sure that is excuses family though. lol ;)
Take a peak and let me know what you think. The poem is below and is in the process of being copyrighted by the original author, which I've included below.
Gretchen
Mimi-Toria's Designs


Reason, Season, or Lifetime

What are you??? Are you a Reason a Season or a Lifetime?

Pay attention to what you read. After you read this, you will know the reason it was sent to you! People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON. . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong
doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

Then people come into your life for a SEASON. Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind
but friendship is clairvoyant.

THANK YOU for being a part of my life.


Work like you don't need the money
Love like you've never been hurt, and
dance like no one is watching.

author
Brian A. "Drew" Chalker

Gretchen said...

P.S. Love the cat widget with the wagging tail. In 1979 I won one just like this for selling magazines my Sr. year. lol Brings back fun memories and just had to let my dear friend, Cindy know that it makes me smile. :)
Gretchen

Nelly said...

As the saying goes Make new friends but treasure the old.or something like that lol

The English Romantic said...

A great post and some amazing comments.
I value all my blogging friend and the common bond we have.
I was recently ignored completely by a friend of ten years. On our previous meeting I told her about my blogging and mt Etsy shop, she didn't want to get it!!!
Keep smiling all,
Hugs, Angela.

Marilou of Lulu's Lovlies and Heartful Creations said...

Oh sweet Cindy I totally understand and really believe there is truth in Seasonal friendships. Many people will pass through our life, some for a short time some for longer. Perhaps some we remember and then there are the ones who leave footprints on our heart... We are constantly evolving and a time will come when there are fewer and fewer left as we grow older. Thank God for our blogging and creative friendships that nurture us and feeds our creative spirit. I'm at the age where No one gets me, I have been told by women my age " oh my daughter does that or my daughter would like that" then they look at me like I have a screw loose. That is why I have all of you blogging creative gals to play with and it seems like Grandma isn't too old after all. Thanks God for that and thank God for you Cindy, you are a treasure and inspiration and have never disregarded me for any reason. Hugs and you can always count me in as long as you will have me, Hugs your blogging friend , Marilou xoxo

debi said...

I've come to realize that no one really seems to understand my love for creating like my blogging friends. They lift me up, encourage me, cheer me on, and are always there for me.

I think our relationships with people definitely change over the years, as we change, and our needs change.

I'm always on the look out for a new blogging friend. Count me in!
Hugs, Debi

Riki Schumacher said...

I know what you mean! I have friends from the 70's that are dear to me, but not at all interested in what I am. They have never looked at my blog! ha ha. Well, there must be a lot of us in this type of situation. I think there's room for all kinds of friends in our lives, old and new. Some we spend more time with, some we pick up with years later. Lots of love for both! So glad I get to introduce you into my new circle Cindy. Hugs, Riki

Lucys Baby said...

I hear your heart speaking. WE all change as we grow, and I l love what Gretchen has to say, and the poem. I think you are very special to have developed new close relationships with blogging friends and at events. I have a blog, I don't blog often enough, and I have not had the same kind of relationships develop (as close friends) that you have. I have to admit that I'm a little jealous, I am still happy for you. When I read about all the events you go to, all the beautiful creative lovely things you create, the photos taken with new friends, I think "I want that kind of life" I work as a part time nurse, my third son is in college, and we help him financially. I wish I had the time and money to do what you do. I'm wondering if perhaps your friends may feel jealous. I know we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, but sometimes it does creep in. You are adorable, so fun to be around, creative, a great story teller, you naturally attract people to you, this is a blessing.
My best friend became a grandma several years ago, she is totally into the lives of her grand daughter and daughter, that is where her heart is now, I understand. I still love her, even though we don't see each other or talk anymore, and that's okay.

Kim said...

Wow! This was great to read. I agree completely. I am so exhausted because keeping some the relationships going is so much work. But for what? Time to move on. I was just telling someone the other day, and I am 46, I am at the time of my life that I know what I want and who I want in it. I am more creative now than I ever was. I really feel like I am settled and now it is all about me (and my family) but new friends who are like me and creative. Thank You! Kim

pippatreegifts said...

Thank you Cindy for giving voice to a lot of what I've been feeling! I think there is a great deal of truth in what you say. Perhaps it really is a mid-life thing.

Bohemian said...

A Heartfelt Post that I certainly can relate to in the Winter Season of Life. I feel that it is probably quite Natural that there is an ebb and flow to Relationships of all kinds and with each Season of Life. Some abide, some do not, and then there are others that come in and out like the tides. I've learned to appreciate and accept the differences in "Friendship" and what it truly means... some Relationships are situational or are fueled by shared Passions and interests... others by lifestyle & activities shared... but then there are those inner circle of Friends who are truly now Family in every aspect of the word... those are the ones that are effortless & unconditional so they tend to last the test of time & circumstances. My Hope for you is that you continue to cultivate meaningful Relationships that celebrate every part of your Life and layers of your personality. Not every Friend 'gets' my Creative side either or shares some of my passions, but that's okay too... I have found those who do... and especially so in the Land Of Blog! Most of my Lifelong Friends do not visit my Blog either, my Art, passion for Fashion/Decorating & Collections have rarely been a vital part of our precious relationship with them & so it didn't really surprise me. As to your question, I think that at any age it is possible to connect to kindred Spirits & good Friends... I Hope to be a Friend to those already Friends & those receptive to acquiring a new Friend until the day I pass from Time into Eternity. High Maintenance Friendships tend to exhaust me & sometimes it takes time to discern how much investment you want to have in a relationship... or if it's reciprocal or one-sided. But it is sadly a difficult thing to let go of those relationships that have altered and run their coarse... I'm never very good at that either & losing a beloved Friend, regardless of how or why, always feels like a special piece of you has been taken away. The depth of your hurt will always be measured by the depth of your Love for a person.

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

BEAR's Mom said...

I could have written this post, starting 10 years ago when I was 50...
Now that I've found my creative outlet in blogging and so many dear friends on line, I am very happy with the 'virtual' friendships that I have. Would I be happy to meet some of these wonderful ladies? you betcha!!! but I am still happy when I open my blog and a new friend leaves a comment...LOVE your blog!!!

Bunny Jean said...

I just found your blog because you were featured on The Blog Guidebook. I will read up on you blog some more, after I respond to this post.

I am also hurt and disappointed that friends and family don't read my blog. I don't think that they get that I am sharing a piece of myself. I even started a family blog thinking since they were being featured that they would take an interest. They didn't read or contribute unless I forced the issue, which totally takes the joy out of it! If they did read something, they usually wouldn't comment.

These are the same people that comment endlessly on FB. They leave their "clever" one liners... and everything seems to be an inside joke. I go on FB to see pictures of the grand kids and that is where I also get the "news" on what's going on in their lives.

My thoughts on this are that maybe they are doing most of their communication via phones. Maybe blogging seems too time consuming and they just don't want to get involved. Strange... since I have been involved in their lives from the get go. I was hoping the family blog would be an easy, fun way to learn about the family history and stay connected since we all live so far apart. I may just quietly keep with it for their sake.

My husband doesn't get it either. If I show him something he is polite, but you can tell it as if I am trying to get him to read a random magazine article that I found interesting.

I have given up on trying to share my blog or even ask new people I meet if they blog... If it is not their idea or choice they are just not interested!

I have a weekly party that I would like to invite you to. It is for newish bloggers with fewer than 500 followers. I started this party to enable new bloggers to make connections with other bloggers, and hopefully stay connected. It is a small party so people won't get lost in the shuffle. After all... who can possibly visit all post on some of these HUGE parties with almost 500 participants?!

Even this is frustrating. On last weeks party I (again) tried to get people to understand what the party can do for them if they will just connect with others. So many will just "link" and run, never to view the other posts, comment, or even thank me for hosting. I had very few participants this time since I guess I hit home with some of my comments. Oh well...it is their loss!

xoxo Bunny Jean
Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

artbywendy said...

I also could have writen this blog..it sounds like a lot of us have the same problem. I have met so many new people on-line that I can actualy talk to about art and crafting and it's been wonderful! I just wish we all lived closer!and I also have 'friends' that will not read my blog or take an interest in what I do.. so I am making it a point to enjoy my blogging friends and let the others come and go as they want.Just wanted to tell you that your blog is great and really hit home!

Italian Girl in Georgia said...

Hey Cindy ~

You are so right on...I feel a similar thing with my friendships. I'd love to talk to you about this in person! I am happy to say that you are one special person I so enjoyed meeting in Asheville and I do hope we can begin a new friendship. I think you are great and I'm hooked on your blog!

This was such a good post and I am sure that many of us do feel this way but just do not talk about it.

Stay sweet and JUST the WAY YOU ARE!

By the way, I am linking you to my post {finally} about the "Dream" weekend.

Ciao bella,
Suzanne

PS
I wish you still lived in Georgia...

Karen Hillman said...

OH MY WORD......WOW is all I can say! Cindy..you have NO IDEA how this hit home for me... and I have to say that the post above mine...Suzanne's.. expresses so much how I feel about meeting you! and Suzanne as well had the "Fabulous love spirit!" You are very special...be in touch my friend! Visit beautyinbluevent.blogspot.com The projects are posted Cindy!! It's in Texas! I want you there!!

xoxoxoxo Karen

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