On the 372nd page of a book I don’t have, and maybe never did have, there is a list of “Resolutions As I Grow Older”, written by someone with the initials R.N.B. I have kept a copy of that page for years because I thought it might come in handy some day.
Here is an edited version of R.N.B.’s five resolutions for keeping friends as you grow older.
1. I promise that I will not contact the same person every day so that no one ever will say “It’s her again.”
2. If my memory isn’t what it used to be, I will keep a note of the things I talk about with each person. “It’s not that we forget our stories; we just forget to whom we have told them.”
3. I promise that I will make sure that in each conversation I let the other person talk at least half the time, and when I do talk about me, it will be about the positive things in my life rather than about my aches and pains.
4. I promise that I will take time to respond to the stories and feelings of others, and not just rush on to talk about me.
5. I promise that I will live in the present and not go on about how great life used to be. I will read, watch and learn to have new opinions about new subjects so that young and old alike will enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with them.
My copy of R.N.B.’s resolutions has been tucked in a drawer for years. The print is quite faded.
But the message is ageless.