A lot of life is about family, that circle of people who have known you forever, those folks who share your triumphs and failures and who put up with you at your worst moments, because that’s what families do.
Friends are another story. Friends are not about obligations; friends are about love.
I turned 70 at a beautiful party with 22 friends two nights ago. No one there had known me less than 20 years, and I have known many who were there for more than 50 years. Remarkably, all are still married to their original spouses.
I could talk about the fabulous food in a beautiful flower-filled setting with fireplaces ablaze. (I had nothing to do with the planning.) But instead, I want to talk about being loved. When you think about it, how often are you at an event with only people you chose because you can’t imagine celebrating without them? And how great it is to have all those people meeting each other?
The evening flew. I moved from table to table; I couldn’t get enough of everyone. We gathered in couches surrounding the fireplace for dessert, a sinful flourless chocolate birthday cake (no singing). People spoke about their relationships with me, and why they were happy to be there. They brought back distant memories about how we met or what experiences we’ve shared. It was a magical evening.
And now, I’m 70.