Idle in my hotel room during a break, I sent a message to my longtime friend Beth Gorell, who I met through motorcycling while I was at UCLA. She already had a motorcycle, and was also height-challenged, so was something of a mentor to me! Later when I moved back to the Bay Area, Beth and I would meet for marathon dinner nights, picking a place that was open late so we could yak into the week hours. This dropped off when we both had babies, miraculously a few months apart, and the joke turned that we needed to see each other at least as often as she changed her hairstyle.
Today I was back at work, and having a particularly bad Monday morning. I got a call from our front desk, usually about irritating spam call that our kind receptionist screens for me. But my headset battery was dead, so I walked out to the front desk -- and there was Beth! With her business partner husband, Pete. "Wanna go out for lunch?"
It so happened they were in the same building for a business meeting. And at lunchtime -- what timing! I was so happy, I RAN back to my office to grab my bag.
We had a terrific catch-up lunch, during which I told Beth that some advice she'd given me during my career/life/motorcycle-wreck crisis in 1993, was such good advice that I still repeat it to other friends, even as recently as last week. She'd said that sometimes when you're faced with a really difficult decision, that more time doesn't always help make that decision. For really hard black-and-white decisions, that really boil down to what you want in your heart, she was so right.
(That particular decision for me was about which job offer to take, and while it might seem amusing in retrospect, I took it very seriously and to heart: was I going to make THE BIG SHIFT from software development to network engineering?!)
We joked about being "old" friends, but Beth hasn't aged a bit in the 20 years I've known her. To me, she looks like a guardian angel, who lifted me out of the dumps and back to life.
Many of the friends I made that year -- Beth, Jim, Lisa, Reid and Rubye -- I'm still close to, and now have known for almost two decades. How lucky I am to have longtime friends who I feel really know me -- and now I have a whole "new" set of "old" friends that I've known for a decade through my Mom connections.
There really are some good things about getting older, and old friends are by far the best part!