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There is a saying that we have friends for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.  Think about the people in your life and what they mean to you. Think about how their friendship has a reason.  Does it feel more like a season or someone you know in your heart you will love forever?  We have work friends, activity or play friends, close friends and acquaintance friends. They are all here to help us get through a hard time, project or just the day-to-day grind of life. They are all here to help us in that moment and place in time for a reason. They are always here to help us learn an important lesson and help us grow. When we think of seasonal friends, we can think of friends that were there during our childhood, ones we fallen out of touch with or friends that we knew a while and hung out with at various times. And then there’s the category of those friends we’ve known our entire lives or will know for the rest of our lives. They feel more like family than our family.  The hard part for many of us is knowing and recognizing the difference in these types of friends and our expectations of other people in our lives . Does it even matter – if the connection makes you happier? My one group of friends were upset with me because I held them to the same standard of behavior and reactions that I had for myself. This doesn’t seem fair because we don’t have friends who we expect to do the exact same things that we do. We need friends to challenge us, help us grow and let us know when we are off track ourselves. If we want a friend that acts and responds just as we do -then get a mirror.  Often we need friends to do the exact opposite of what we do to be a good counter balance in our lives.

Friendship becomes even more important as we get older just as it was in childhood. Our ideas and connections with friends help us grow and transform. As we age our friends become our support network. One of the biggest challenges for people as they age is loneliness. “Loneliness and social isolation are growing public-health concerns for people of all ages in the United States, from young adults to seniors. Studies have long connected loneliness to a range of health issues that could threaten longevity and well-being, including higher risks of heart attacks, strokes, depression, anxiety and early death.
In the study sponsored by the AARP, researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed a group of about 2,000 Americans ages 50 to 80. More than a third of seniors in the poll said they felt a lack of companionship at least some of the time, and 27% said they sometimes or often felt isolated; most of the people who said they lacked companionship also felt isolated, and vice versa. Almost 30% said they socialized with friends, family or neighbors once a week or less.”(1)
Science has proven what many of us already knew -friends make you feel better. Whether the friend is there for a reason, season or lifetime -nurture them and enjoy the benefits.Perhaps that is why social media is so popular as it makes us feel less isolated and more connected. But, relying on these apps is no replacement for the actual companionship found in real friends of any reason, season or lifetime.

(1)https://time.com/5541166/loneliness-old-age/