Ooops sorry I definitely have no experience with living a long healthy life. I belong to the Generation Y, we have not been around that long. Despite this fact, I have always been interested in learning anti-aging tricks from those that walk ahead of me. My appreciation for this little secret weapon (which will be revealed later) has recently grown.
It all started a year and a half ago. My husband and I had been living in New York City for a number of years with an incredible network of friends and family. Then the time came in my penultimate year of residency when we would need to make the very important decision of where we would nest. Naturally it would be South East Florida. We considered various factors such as family, warm weather, the beach, proximity to the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the diverse culture, the “coolness” factor (not temperature), the cost of living RELATIVE to New York City. And so it was decided, South East Florida it was. We gave scant consideration to the fact that we would have little to NO FRIENDS. That’s right,that secret weapon for longevity is ….your FRIENDS! Not your mother, not your family….your FRIENDS. This finding was demonstrated in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging which began in 1992. Close contact with children and relatives had little impact on survival rates however those with the strongest network of friends were statistically more likely to outlive those with the “meager-est” network.
Even though I can tend to be somewhat of a loner and actually fancy my own company (smiling as I write this) both my husband and I tremendously enjoy being connected and socializing with our buddies. I will go on to list the ways that we have met outstanding people and maybe you can keep your eyes peeled if ever in similar situations.
1.Place of residence- If you live in a building you might bump into people very unexpectedly. Like when you are watching a beautiful sunset and an old couple says that they know another young doctor in the building and say “let us introduce you” SCORE!
2.Your family friend- who just happens to be working in Fort Lauderdale too and loves to do MAN STUFF around the house with the husband and you get to ask all kinds of questions about law and The People vs OJ. SWEET!
3.The DOG- the dog actually has friends and her friends have human PARENTS! damn that’s good. We have made so many friends through our dog and not just the social “hey how’s it going” but the most fun, amazing people who we even plan on vacationing with.
4.On vacation- when you strategically choose your table to sit with the trendy crowd and strike up a conversation and they just happen to be renovating a house too.
5.At work- Not everyone is as lucky to work with phenomenal people but you might get lucky like me and meet some smart, funny, beautiful people in the cubicles next to you.
6.At the gym– go to the gym’s karaoke night when you don’t even sing karaoke. Maybe most gyms don’t have karaoke night but some other gym had bagel night. What ? I would definitely leave that gym.
7.At an event/ talk that you would not normally attend. Like an Ocean Conservation event that your husband gets invited to, which happens to be at his doctor’s house (random and weird) and you meet someone fun and interesting and then you go rock climbing together.
8.And then there are the oldies but the goodies and even though life has taken you on different journeys and you no longer share geographical space with them you still keep them close to your heart for they have heavily influenced your life and you get OVERLY excited when they say that they are coming to Florida to shop, go to a conference or just visit and meet Blaze “Blazie” Goldworm. SCORE again.
Growing the circle over the last year and a half has not been easy but we are enjoying the journey of building and creating new and lasting friendships and hopefully can enjoy some of the anti-aging properties of our relationships.