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Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.

I have always loved the Golden Girls theme song, and the TV show, which aired between 1985 and 1992. I recently re-watched a season or two and was reminded not only of the strong example of friendship displayed by Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia but by their ability to accept one another for who they were.

As adults we often get caught up in life, with the stress of careers, romantic relationships, family and children, and forget that friendships may be the most important relationships we will ever have, and often the longest. Friendships take work, just like other types of relationships do, and should not be taken for granted.

I am lucky and happy to have many strong friendships, some that began in high school. And I admit that there have been times in my life when I have taken these friendships for granted. But as I get older I realize more and more how important these relationships are to my happiness, my strength and my well-being. They make me feel better about myself, my abilities, my decisions and most importantly my mistakes.

My friendships have strengthened the other relationships in my life.  Friendships have given me an outlet to share my feelings about partners, family members and co-workers in a safe space free of judgement and criticism. Without the ability to vent, think out loud and discuss my problems I am not sure what I would have done over the years. Possibly something drastic!

Not everyone has the type of friendships I have described above, and I have always felt that as I get older it has become harder to make close friends. But the more I think about it, the more I think it was me putting up fences to keep new friendships shallow and superficial, not wanting to let new people in. There is no reason that close and intimate friendships cannot begin at any point in our lives. Look at the Golden Girls!

If you are looking for friendship I suggest doing the things you love to do. Join a cooking class, a wine class, go to the library, join a sports team, do yoga, attend community events for causes you are passionate about. There will be people there that also enjoy those activities, and you may have a lot in common.

Many people are looking for friendship. Take the plunge, invite someone out for coffee, dinner or a movie to get to know them better. Friendship is not unlike dating in this way. Do not worry if the person is the same gender as you, the same age or religion, or has acquired the same education level. These things do not have to matter if you get along with someone and they make you feel good about yourself.

So I would like to give a shout out to my ladies (you know who you are). Thank you for always being there for me, crying with me, laughing with me and most importantly, loving me for who I am.