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A while back I wrote about friendships — how hard it is to leave them behind when we move and how challenging to keep the friendship alive as the years pass.

Shortly after, I saw a tweet from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project blog,

half of all friends are replaced every seven years

Really, half every seven years?  The seven year itch of friendships?  Then I read this piece on Zebra Sounds , with a link to an excellent HuffPo articleby Ed and Deb Shapiro.  Technically, it’s about Monica Lewinsky, a dinner party, and forgiveness, but here is a quote that grabbed my attention (along with a note to self to go back and  re-read the inspirational ‘forgive yourself” advice…)

“Within the space of seven years every cell in our body dies and is reformed, our thoughts are constantly changing and our feelings come and go. We are literally not the same person we were a minute ago, let alone a day, a month or a year ago”.

Given the science and the sociology, it seems somewhat amazing that we can maintain friendships at all, with all the changes in our every day lives.   This is our transitory reality, not just when we move out of town, but every move we make, every day, changing us little by little. 

Good thing friendship is not based on science.

If I had any lingering doubt about the lasting nature of friendships, this last week was proof positive.  We saw friends that we had not seen in 10-15 years, and although apparently every cell in my body had changed over twice (and doubled?), it was like a week had gone by, and we had hatched tween children and (just a few) wrinkles in the meantime, but otherwise it was comfortable as an old glove.  Not that they are old.  And neither are we.  Just an expression, really.

I call them old friends in the most attractive, affectionate, slimming, firm, and endearing way possible, seven times over.