Diary of a bodacious dietitian, Relationships

Nostalgia is good for us

It is important to remember what came before so we don’t repeat unsavory histories, but did you know it’s also good for our mental health?

We just had Dr. P’s 10-year reunion for medical school. I love a good reunion! I blame it on the movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. A classic that I just realized I should re-watch. Like this week.

Dr. P doesn’t share my love for 90s chic flicks, but he was still super stoked to see his old friends all in one place.

The main dinner event was in Richmond on Friday night. We spent about $30 on express lane tolls, but made it just in time to drop off Baby Bee at a friend’s house and arrive for beer and yummy appetizers.

I discovered two of Dr. P’s old classmates live pretty close to us, and one is a new mommy. We exchanged contact info, and I’m excited about the possibility of a new momma friend.

But the weekend was about old friends. We have chapters in our lives, and it was fun to be involved in one of Dr. P’s that I hadn’t lived through with him.

Group snap shot after reunion dinner. Dr. P (with the beard) looks so cute in this blurry pic, I just had to use this one!

There is easiness to interactions with old friends that we don’t always have in our new Washington DC life, because much of our time here involves meeting new people. With people from our past, it’s a different kind of comfort that envelopes conversation.

I think this is why old friends are so meaningful to our lives- they own a piece of us, and we find comfort in the sharing.

Facebook has ruined many a reunion, but I think trying to maintain historical Romy and Michele-type gatherings should be a priority. As we get older, it is more and more difficult to get time with people from our earlier chapters. There is a sense of self attached to each time in our life, whether we know it or not, and that continued revisiting, the nostalgia, is so beneficial.

Research has found being nostalgic can “boost self-continuity by increasing a sense of social connectedness”. I’ve lived in 5 cities in 10 years, and creating roots over and over is not easy. Social connectedness is always the goal.

I think of our social energy and needs as a bowl of water. Trying to make new friends or spending time with people that don’t know who you are, involves pouring a bit of the water out; it uses up energy.

But old friends come around with the water jug. Always ready to fill us back up.

That is definitely worth our time…and our toll money.

Xoxo Joanna


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