Recycling Friendships . . . on Facebook

I became terribly excited when I ran into a college friend from 30 years ago the other day. Well, truth be told, I “ran into” her on Facebook. Actually, if you must know, I asked to “friend” her, and she agreed. Not exactly a Kleenex-ready reunion, but a coming together nonetheless. Though we haven’t communicated since M*A*S*H and Charlie’s Angels dominated the TV ratings, she and I have been “chatting” via Facebook for the last several weeks.

One of the most compelling nuggets of information I recently learned about my old/new friend is she is now happily retired after leading a Fortune 500 company’s Communications department for three decades. (Whoa – we are only in our mid-50s and she’s retired!?) Her principal order of business upon retiring, and after running her first half-marathon, is downsizing and de-cluttering her home. I, and her other 267 closest “friends,” have been following her journey of reminiscence and self-discovery on Facebook, as she clears out the closets, cabinets, and drawers in her Twin Cities home of 25 years.

Last week, my friend experienced a particularly productive stretch. She was inspired by the week-long overhaul of her bedroom’s walk-in closet when she summoned the eco-friendly mantra, “Reuse, reduce, recycle” on her Facebook wall. It even received three “likes” from others – complete with the iconic “thumbs up” symbol.

I smiled when I read her post, but I’ve been thinking about it for the last several days. What she really needs is a senior move manager! Though we shared many pizza-and-beer evenings at our small, urban, liberal arts college – even staying up one night (all night) talking about life as we know it (and hoped it could be), I don’t feel completely comfortable telling her  an entire profession exists to help her. It might seem self-serving, rather than simply helpful.

I suppose my friend now has the time to lollygag (as my Mom would say) as she reviews her mementos and possessions – deciding what goes, what stays, and what needs some more thought. Should I write on her Facebook wall or email her, encouraging her  to explore the several NASMM-member senior move managers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area?

I don’t know – this whole Facebook thing is rather perplexing, and I’m not altogether sure about the appropriate boundaries. What I do know for certain: I’m happy to recycle our college friendship at this stage in life because the last things I want to reduce (at this stage in life!) are the people in my life.

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