Ed and Deb Shapiro, friendship, Gretchen Rubin, Huffington Post, The Happiness Project, Zebra Sounds
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.
Your cells may have changed over, but luckily it has just been you recreating you all along. The essence of Jane that we’ve known and loved is still the same. It was sooooo good to see you guys – I’m going to have to become a loyal reader now to get my fix…
I saw the nice mention of my blog, The Happiness Project, here. I very much appreciate those kind words and you shining a spotlight on my blog. Thanks and best wishes, Gretchen Rubin
Sounds like you had a great time and the “Seven Year Itch” didn’t take its toll! My husband and I have over a dozen friends from college coming to visit us for the long weekend (an annual get-together) and we always find ourselves taking up right where we left off too!
Speaking of having over a dozen houseguests… gotta go clean! Every inch of floor space will be covered in airbeds soon so they might not notice my dirty floors, but at least the bathrooms should start out the visit sanitary!!!
i’ve noticed the friendship cycle in my own life as well. I find it so interesting that the friends I see on a daily basis are the ones that are most likely to cycle out of my life, where as other friends I can go years on end without seeing them and then pick up right where we left off when we are reunited. I think perhaps the everyday friends are friendships of convenience, where as the long lasting friendships are based on something much deeper.
karen from mentor said:
I just reconnected in February with a friend that I hadn’t seen in the flesh in ten years.
It’s been great…nothing missing from the friendship and our added years only add to the depth of the conversations we can have…. so cool….
I’m going to put a basket in my bathroom to see if I can catch some of the cells leaving and rejuvenating….it will be good to see if they’re doing it right….hmmm, I wonder if that is how people come to look like one another and their pets?
the cells get mixed up…..now my head hurts…it’s like contemplating time travel….
Lovely post, Jane. And you all look super young from here!