When I think back to how many friends I had in my teen years and twenties, it was an embarrassment of riches. There was the bookworm friend that you could study with, the friend who loved the cinema, the friend that your parents probably wished you didn’t know, and the friend with whom you could share your secrets. It seems like I had a friend for every occasion – and then you slip into work life and/or raising a family and for most of us, our circle of friends becomes much smaller.

I found myself looking around at my neighbours and co-workers; realizing that I spend more time with people who are geographically convenient than those who really delight me. I’d lost that feeling of connection that true friends have naturally and instead tried to make myself content with whoever I met through my limited social connections while I was so busy.

Now, with impending retirement and more time on my hands, I’m taking stock of my friendship pool. I have some excellent friends who I don’t see often because of distance or circumstance, and there are others who are lovely people but I only connected with them because they were married to my husband’s friend, or they lived next door, or they worked in the same office. All in all, I am finding my friendship pool has firmly hit the shallow end while I wasn’t paying attention.

But how do you meet new friends when you are decades out of dorm rooms and discos? How do you find like-minded people when you don’t really meet that many new people any more in your daily life?

I’m excited about the upcoming opportunity to make new friends through Amintro. What a great idea; to provide a safe place to encourage new friendships for those of us who want to make the most of our second act.

I’m not looking for a boyfriend. Can you even call someone over 60 a boyfriend? We need a better name for that too – but I digress. I’m looking to fill my social time with meaningful friends, those who enjoy similar interests and even some who may introduce me to interests that I’d never considered before.

Good friends can fill our time with surprise and delight. I need that in my life again. I want all of the wonder that comes from a friend sharing a story that makes you laugh until you cry. I want to be challenged to take up new hobbies, learn new things, visit new places and continue to grow in ways that are much more fun with pals.

I’m ready to jump into the deep end again. Are you?

By Patty Attwell