Yesterday I went to the gym to do my balancing exercises on a bosa ball, since I don't have one at home. I do that two or three days a week. At the gym during the day there are people of both genders and all ages. I'm neither the youngest nor the oldest. I've only talked to a couple of people since I joined last month, but I suspect before long there will be faces I recognize and conversations I have before I leave for home.
At the end of my work life I was one of the dozen oldest people in a company with about 100 employees. The dozen oldest of us were near retirement, doing our calculations and making our plans and marking our calendars, at least mentally. The rest of the employees were juggling babies and children and teenagers and kids in college and young adults and young grandchildren along with fulltime jobs and a commute. The longer I was at that job, the more separate I felt, as I began leaning toward the post-work world.
Now, in my post-work life, I share my days with others who are not working. My next door neighbor Jenn is early 30s, a husband and two small children and 15 chickens. We have tea from time to time and really enjoy each other's company. She's my kids' age, but I don't think of her that way. She's a friend. Younger, but a friend. Last Tuesday I went with her and her daughter Kaela to a homeschool class, and I got to spend an hour listening to other young women who have chosen to homeschool their children. They are an articulate bunch. I was glad to be asked to go along.
My neighbor Judy across the street is mid 70s, a husband with Alzheimers in a group home, four grown children, no pets. We have tea from time to time and really enjoy each other's company. She's a friend. Older, but a friend. On Monday she was having a bad day, so I went over. Turns out she is sick of January rain. We commiserated and laughed, and by the time I left we both felt better.
I meet with my writers' group on the first and third Tuesday of each month. We're all in our late 50s or early 60s. Two of us work and two of us don't. We have dinner together before we talk or write, and we enjoy each other's company. They're friends, about my age. We're attending two writing workshops together this spring, and we've talked about traveling together to Puerto Vallarta next winter, where one of our group has recently moved.
In my blogging community, I interact with all ages. We share an interest in writing and in communicating about things of importance to us. Some of us work and some don't. I haven't met any of these people face to face, but I suspect I will. Online, we enjoy each other's company, and we're friends of a different sort.
I like being part of a community of all ages and stages of life. When I was younger I preferred the company of people my age. Now, though, I want to experience all the other ages, not just my own.