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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sharing life 'awakenings' with old friends

By Lorraine Gershun

There were several recurring themes in the conversations I had with childhood friends from coast to coast over the course of my recent vacation.

I have already mentioned Facebook and the phenomenon of connecting across oceans and lifetimes, bringing our childhood memories back to life. Some love it. Others are ambivalent. A few are obsessed. But it has definitely touched us.

I also heard stories, and told mine, of huge life changes. A doctor has gone into private practice after decades with a prestigious medical group, a graphic artist is studying interior design at night, a teacher is now selling art. One woman I know left a brilliant career in research to sell shoes. They are content.

We have been working hard since we graduated from college (over 20 years ago), building careers and families and retirement funds.

Perhaps the success that we thought would make us happy also makes us ready for change. My peers are choosing to slow down, explore their passions and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Some might describe it as midlife crisis, but I don't see it that way. It's more like an awakening. Been there, done that. Now let's enjoy what life is really about.

For many of us it is our children. We talked endlessly about how to help them navigate the uncertain future that lies ahead. It is exponentially harder to get into college these days, let alone pay for it. How can we motivate them without overwhelming them? How should we manage their budding relationships with social media? How can we keep them from making the same mistakes we did? How, how, how?

And thus we talked (face to face), realizing that after all these years we still have so much in common and deciding that when it comes to the friend department, we made pretty good choices in the first place.

Check out Lorraine Gershun blog at: http://secondcity.honadvblogs.com