Another friend of mine was a classmate in my Certified Life Coach training class, which included people from all over the world. We were so glad we only lived 40 minutes apart, that we became fast friends. We already had life coaching businesses in addition to all of the fabulous communication training that comes with that. She has different opinions on many topics, and I've learned to shift my perspective to see a smoother way to do things in my life. Also, we share something in common that neither of us could have possibly guessed. I was one of the very first female paramedics in the US and she was the first female firefighter in her city. We have so many similarities in experiences, working in a man's world of emergency response, when few, if any, other females were present. And we both made our mark and were respected and celebrated for paving the way for other women in those fields.
I've had many friends in the past, some turning out to be frenemies, but these women described above are my most beloved positive, quality gal pals today at age 51. Some are a few years older than me and some are much younger. All are inspirations and role models and I celebrate them. I'm intensely grateful for them daily.
Female friends come in handy when you least expect it, too. Just yesterday, I was noticing that my rear end wasn't as round as it used to be and voila, a local gal pal called and told me about a new walking group she joined. I went with her last night and guess whose butt is tight and tidy today? Mine! I intend to walk with this group regularly because I met some cool women and it's a fun, healthy thing to do.
Here's another way I met a lot of new potential gal pals and male friends too. A couple months ago I joined the Commemorative Air Force as a volunteer. My dad was in the US Air Force and I attended my first of many air shows while still in a stroller. I'm convinced this sparked my lifetime passion for the veterans who fought for and still fight for our freedom — and I like World War II planes in particular. In my first week volunteering with CAF, I met over 50 new men and women with the same passion for the planes and vets, helped restore a 1943 airplane in our hangar, had the privilege of representing Air Group One from San Diego on Memorial Day aboard the Midway aircraft carrier and welcomed home veterans in their 80s and 90s from their trip to see the Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC — many of whom have never been thanked for their service to our country. My experience as a volunteer with this group has made a tremendous positive impact on my life at age 51 and in only two months, I'm excitedly building new friendships in this group with people who range in age from teens to their 80s.
Get out and do something you are passionate about. You will likely meet others with the same passion in common. Meetup.com is a place where I've met many local friends. The website has groups that do whatever you can think of. I highly suggest it for meeting potential new friends, getting out and feeling good about yourself. No one wants to hang around with Debbie Downer and no man, except the ones who are more depressed than she is, will want to date her.
The key to positive female friendships is to have the same core values. You will blossom at age 50+ with some good, positive gal pals, as you grow into someone more comfortable with herself. To be empowering, your women friends need to have positive attitudes, like seeing the glass half-full instead of half-empty (unless it’s filled with something bad-tasting!) and seeing a silver lining around the clouds that visit our lives. A high vibrating, high energy friend is not going to get down in the dumps and become a constant energy vampire, sucking you dry of any enthusiasm you had for life, or drawing you into a drama you didn't buy a ticket to see. She may have a down day like anyone, but she will pop back up quickly with your support and encouragement. A women with healthy self esteem who is on a personal development path is a good female friend prospect because she’s moving forward in her life and isn't buying into society's stagnant, tired view of what over 50 is supposed to be like. She is more likely celebrating every day with gratitude for the little things as well as the big, enjoying learning something new each day and basking in the glory of wisdom she’s developed over a life well-lived.
If you feel like you haven’t started to live yet, begin now. If you’re over 50 and have yet to develop a great friend or group of them, start today. You may feel like your health or figure isn't where you want it to be, but you can improve it. And you can definitely find more friends. Keep your chin up and set your standards high for the new people you meet. Be the kind of person and friend you want to attract, and the ones who deserve you will step up and meet those standards. The ones who don't will quietly fade into the background of your past. It can take some time to attract the right friends. Three out of the five friendships I mention here didn't develop until over a year after we met. Timing is everything, and that's not up to you. What is up to you is meeting people, learning everything you can from all of them and staying tuned to your core values. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to stand your ground.
Determine how you want to be treated, treat others that way and wait for the right friends. You deserve them. If a friendship goes in a negative direction, realize one of you may be a frenemy and adjust as needed. My call to action is this: Women over 50 — get your quality gal pal on and let's move forward with healthy self esteem, healthy bodies and self confidence!
Connect with me for more information on developing and nurturing your most important relationships, including the one with yourself and gal pals, sign up for my free weekly Positive Women Rock Tips and also get my free ebook and audio book, "Women: 5 Mistakes We Make That Give Our Power Away." Visit PositiveWomenRock.com and click on the "Gift" page.