"If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in good repair."
-- Samuel Johnson
I had good friends growing up-in high school, in college, and in the military. As some men do, I didn't "keep my friendships in good repair". My support structure before retiring centered on business associates, my wife and an "empty nesters" group. I had few close male friends during my business career. I knew that as a manager I couldn't be real friends with my associates. The demands of work and career left little time to cultivate genuine relationships. In retirement I realized that loneliness can creep up and lead to anxiety, declining health and loss of purpose.
I am lucky to have a close bond with my wife, who is my best friend. As solid as my relationship is with my spouse, I knew early on that it was not enough for me. I realized I need real pals--men I could hang out with and whose company I enjoyed. When I learned about Men's Wisdom Works, I wanted to join a group as soon as possible. I felt that this idea was the way to find what was missing in my life. I have not been disappointed.
Retirement is a journey and good friends make the trip so much more fulfilling. In the coming years I feel that our group will endure, and as we age our friendships will endure as well.