Say what you will about social media such as Facebook and Instagram, but for retirees, it has been a portal for us to connect with old friends. Following a class reunion, way before the pandemic took hold and many of us retired, we shared our contact information or invited each other to be friends on Facebook.
In the intervening 46 years since graduation for the Class of ‘76, it was really hard to connect or know where people landed. But through the magic of having the ability to search for “friends finding friends”, we have been able to reconnect with people that we attended elementary school, junior high, and high school together. This has been a huge source of joy for us.
We reached out to two friends that retired much earlier than we did. We set up phone dates, asked them lots of questions, took our maiden voyage in our motorhome across the mountains to their home and spent a fun weekend golfing and planning for the winter.
There is something about reconnecting with people that have a shared life experience during retirement. We were in awe that it seemed like no time had passed since we had seen each other, even though it was many, many years. We caught up on family news and retold stories from our childhood. Mainly we laughed and laughed.
They wisely left a month earlier in mid-November than we did. Pro-tip in an RV: head south before the heavy rains and snow is flying. We followed them to Arizona and they were so great about sharing their travel wisdom. When we ran into travel challenges, it was so nice to be able to text them to let them know where we were and what was happening.
When we finally arrived, we were welcomed and shown around. Recommendations on where to eat, go golfing and sightseeing made us feel like locals. It was so nice to have friends in this new city we were trying out.
We met for dinner a few times and spent time sharing about classmates we have lost during the past nearly 50 years and shared some of our own health concerns as well as plans for the future.
If you are retiring soon or are recently retired, I encourage you to reach out to old friends if you can find them now, before it is too late. While it is wonderful to make brand new friends, and you definitely will, the richness of reconnecting with old friends, who know your story, share the same dating and family experiences, and usually have a similar perspective on life has been one of the most rewarding parts of retirement. How often during your working years did you have the time or ever make the time to reconnect? Find someone today and see what happens!