You’ve likely heard the saying about family being forever but friendships coming and going. I suppose it’s true to an extent; then again, some people experience situations in life when friends become family and family becomes estranged for whatever reason.
Some friendships, the God-sent blessing kind, can last a lifetime. If you are fortunate enough to enjoy a friendship like this, you may notice that, similar to marriage, there’s a natural ebb and flow to such relationships that cause them to evolve and change with the passing of time.
By the time you surpass age 50, the friendships you had when you were 20 may have run their course and come to an end. Some, however, may be just as strong, if not stronger, than they were back then. After decades of shared experiences, sorrows, laughter, life struggles and enduring day-to-day happenings, BFFing beyond age 50 can be a rewarding and often hysterically funny adventure.
I was recently blessed with a whole weekend away with a group of friends who are absolutely dear to me. Each of us come from different walks of life, yet some of us have trod very similar paths, including all the good, bad and ugly that goes along with 30 years of marriage and raising lots of kids.
We laughed a lot this past weekend about how different we are now from when we were younger (thinner, less wrinkly) women. Things happen when your BFFing at the beach in your 50s that never seemed to occur decades earlier.
- Sometimes, as you’re walking along the beach, enjoying warm sunshine and the sounds of waves and seagulls, one of you will randomly stop and drop behind the group. It may take a few long moments before the masses realize that one of flock is missing. The usual reason for the setback in pace? The BFF in question had to sneeze! (Any woman reading this who has given birth more than once knows what I’m talking about.)
- We also take time when preparing for group ‘selfie’ photos to make sure we’re all standing at angles that accentuate our good points and hide the over-50 flaws. If you happen to be walking down a beach and hear a woman announcing instructions to her friends like, “Okay, heads up to get rid of the chins!” You can pretty much assume you’re passing a group of over-5- BFFs. LOL
- As for the gully lines some of us wear between our brows, we may not want them to show in our photos, but deep down, we wear them as badges of honor (similar to the way men bear scars from physical injuries) that we have endured, persevered and survived our trials and suffering in life.
There’s a certain freedom in over-50 BFF relationships. We know what goes unseen by those who cross our paths, but we have been through so much together, it’s like being in a secret club. The unseen to others is known to us and we guard and protect our secrets (and flaws) with love.
We care less about what others think of us and more about what we think of ourselves. We learn to be kinder to ourselves, to forgive ourselves as God forgives us, and to build each other up instead of tear each other down, as our bodies change, our memories fail us and we leave cups of coffee in microwaves, forgetting that we placed them there to heat them, then exclaiming as though we have found a buried treasure when we find them hours later when we open the microwave for another reason.
We know true beauty when we see it, and although we sometimes mourn the loss of our younger, stronger, shapelier selves, we are settling in and becoming fondly acquainted with the over-50 versions of us! Life is good, as long as there’s a restroom nearby and people who love you, weak bladder, gray hairs, crow’s feet, swollen ankles and all.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.