In August 2015 I wrote Part 1 of Finding Friends in your 30’s. Only now can I tell you that I was really sad & depressed back then. It was mid-winter, so I was often cold & sick, plus I felt so terribly lonely. We relocated in April of 2015, so by August 2015 I had met some great people, but I hadn’t made very close friends. Yet I was still determined to meet more people in the hope that I would find some like-minded gals. I was really proactive in setting up networking meetings & random get-togethers, but truth be told I found it such hard work.
My heart was longing for my old friends. The ones that I knew. The ones I had a history with.
You see, since I wrote about Finding Friends In Your 30’s & reviewed the life lessons that I’ve learnt in 35 years, I’ve realised that old friends are really amazing, but (!) new, genuine friendships are just as precious & can very soon feel like old friends too. So, now I’d love to share the rest of my…
Tips & Notes On Finding Friends In Your 30’s & beyond:
Getting involved in a community.
I’m specifically talking about a church and/or life group / Bible study or charity organisation here. It might mean something different to you, but my experience was that these places are best to find like-minded people. The period that I volunteered at Cansa was an amazing experience, because I made amazing friends, but also learnt to focus on the need of others.
Keep it real.
Keeping it real does not mean a pity party. It also don’t mean moaning until everyone feels down in the dumps. I’m referring to more of a camaraderie. A sisterhood. My friend Franji & I often had discussions about how tough life & motherhood can be. A simple acknowledgement of how hard day-to-day living, loving, motherhood, having kids / not having kids, working, not working, no sleep & marriage can be, is so necessary. I find that it makes such a difference to know that you are not the only person feeling baffled by or exhausted from the complexities of life.
Take meals, take flowers, take fruit.
Women get down. Women get sad. But women are brave. That doesn’t mean they don’t desperately need some TLC or at least a caring shoulder to cry on. And don’t just offer. Just go. Just do it. Do it now for that friend who has been on your mind for days.
Just. Hang. Out.
It doesn’t need to be fancy or even an event. Baking biscuits with kids, exercising together, killing time (when toddlers or kids have busy afternoons) or finding mutual interests are a good starting point.
In our house, XMas in July is an annual event. It is always a magical evening, purely because laughter, silliness, fun & yummy XMassy food are the only points on the agenda.
It helps to find things you have in common. This could mean connecting with colleagues. Or maybe it means chatting to other moms at school while volunteering at a school function. Or how about wrapping XMas gifts together or cooking big batches of food together (to freeze)?
Find things you don’t have in common.
Essentially this means to draw on one another’s strength. My friends Anel & Kari are those gals who just love to whip things into shape. They are master organisers of cupboards, packing boxes or even unpacking. Ask her for help with something that you’re not great at & then do something for her in return.
Go away together.
Not always so easy to organise, but so worth it. A night or weekend away can take a friendship to a whole different level. A day trip will also do. I’ve attended this conference twice with friends & it is so special. Or how about a spa weekend or girls holiday?
How about you? Have you made good friends in your 20’s? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? Or are you struggling?
To all my wonderful old, new & future friends: you’re precious, I love you.
Featured image: Four ladies on bikes.
More on this topic in this post by fellow local blogger Sarah from Mascara & Mimosas; & this post on Cup Of Jo.