I listened to a man on TED discussing the greatest components of a good life. Robert Waldinger was talking about the Harvard 75 year study of aging and good health.. He said that over the 75 years they have studied men to see what the most important factor was in creating a good life. No matter how they evaluated it the overwhelming result was that those in the study who were happy and healthy had good relationships.
Even when people had difficulties in their lives the thing that got them through it was having someone who cared about them and would stand with them through life's challenges. Waldinger stated, "Good life is built with good relationships."
Relationships come in many different ways. As I listened today, I realized that many people have great work relationships but when the retire they have not nurtured friendships outside their work and many times they become lonely and lack motivation to pursue other activities in their lives. We also encounter those who lose a spouse to death or divorce and often their lack of other relationships leaves them lonely and sad.
A good balance in life is extremely important in these instances. Cultivating work relationships, friends, family and outside activities can carry us through when there are major changes in our lives. We all need love and fun in our lives and those things will enable us to be healthier and happier no matter what we do.
My husband is a good example of this because he loves to have fun. He has a group of friends that he shoots, hunts and fishes with and they have been friends for over 40 years. It is amazing to me that they continue to make time for each other over the years and how healthy their relationships are. One of my friends told me on day the hardly anyone has more fun than my husband. I take that as a real compliment.
Since I retired a couple of years ago I find that my volunteer and friend relationships are important for me and I now have time to spend with my grandchildren. However, when I am tired and lonely and worried about something there is nothing like the love and encouragement of my husband to let me know that all is well and this too shall pass.