Back from a weekend with Woodpecker’s old boys.
The VERY old boys in fact – some of whom I know for almost 25 years now. OMG!
And a first common weekend in this group since about ten years ago when this group drifted apart for jobs/family/relocation and other reasons.
What can I say?
Everyone of you who is (slowly) approaching the age of 40 as Woodpecker does, and certainly everybody older, will know that this kind of weekends virtually always are among the most fantastic things you can spend your time with.
Because, after so much a time, friendships typically evolve to a level beyond anything you ever knew when you were younger (as love does in a long-term relationship).
A level where you really get to know each other, where all things that potentially stood between you were finally said and digested, where all frictions that might have been there in the past are fading away in the mist of oblivion and forgiveness.
Where finally everybody comes to a point to fully accept the other persons just as they are, and consequently is accepted unconditionally the way he/she really is by the others. A point where the piles of common memories builds ties stronger than most other things you will ever encounter in life.
This is a condition that only close and long-time friends, family ties or a great partner can create, and nothing else in life.
Forgive me getting a bit pathetic here, but this is just as it is.
I know I don’t tell you guys my age or older anything new, and I hope you have contact to as many old boys/girls as possible – you certainly know yourself what treasure they are. If you don’t, pick up the phone or write some eMails as soon as possible!
But to the younger I want to advise what fortunately older guys advised me ages ago:
- Do everything to keep in touch with the people you knew when you were young. Unimportant how intensive, but just keep in contact and see what happens.
- Allow friendships to grow and to prosper – give them a lot of time to do so.
- Invest at least some effort continuously in your old friends, even in busy times or in times where you feel you don’t need them anymore.
- Always prioritize old friendships (as well as family) above banal and dead things like work, money, career, status.
- Remember that new friendships today will be old friendships in 20 years time. And you will still be around then – even if you can’t imagine this if you are let’s say 20 today.
- Never finally tear down bridges.
- If there is a “clash” at some point of time: Have a break and wait. For years if necessary. But don’t ever say or do anything “irrevocable”.
- Don’t worry if life separates your friendship for a year or even a decade – that’s fine and normal. Just take initiative and meet up again whenever possible later. You will be surprised that you can pick up contact always again and it always feels like it was only yesterday you parted. Even if it is 15 or 20 years ago.
That way, you will keep your youth and your energy alive within you, and you will have plenty of people whom you can share your most secret and complex problems and thoughts with when getting older.
And belief me, there will be a time where you will very much appreciate all of this. This time seems to start at mid-life (my age, end thirty) and I can only guess your appreciation of old friends will only increase from this point on.