Join us tomorrow night, July 25th, at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu for a conversations about nurturing friendship, combating lonlieness, and emotional hangs.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on two articles by Billy Baker that appeared early this year in the Boston Globe Magazine: “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.” And the follow up “My two weeks as America’s No. 1 middle-aged loser.” In these articles Baker reflects on the challenges of maintaining friendships and what some have called an epidemic of isolation and loneliness in our culture today, which has profound consequences. Baker writes, “Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the United States, has said many times in recent years that the most prevalent health issue in the country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation.” And, “Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and the progression of Alzheimer’s. One study found that it can be as much of a long-term risk factor as smoking.” I know that for me it can be hard to take the time and feel like I have the time to keep up with friends and nurture those relationships.
Just last week I had to make a conscious decision—an act of will, really—to keep a date for beers with buddies. After reading these articles I told myself, “Its good for you. You should go.” Has it come to that? I have to tell myself to go hang out at the brewery with some good friends? Anyway, I went and of course had a great time.
Please tell me I’m not the only one. What role does friendship play in your life? Do you struggle with maintaining and nurturing those relationships? Do you ever struggle with isolation and loneliness?
(If you are interested in thinking more on this topic, you might check out the podcast Emotional Hangs, in which "Grown men Kurt Braunhohler and Joe DeRosa explore the intricacies and conundrums that come along with true friendship after thirty, all while maintaining the enthusiasm and vulnerability of two baby boys.")
Join us tomorrow night. I promise you’ll be glad you did. It’s good for you! :)
Programming note: God on Tap always takes August off. We'll be back this fall on the following dates: September 19, October 17, November 21, and December 19.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo