Friendship: A garden of delights

By Christine Flaherty

Ridgerunners is about friendship. So it’s fitting this will be the focus of Brenda Moore’s presentation at the meeting on Tuesday, February 12 at 10:00 a.m. in The Clubhouse. A professor at Georgia State, Brenda has for many years conducted research and designed coursework around the fostering of health and happiness. She has discovered, and research supports, that one of the most important elements related to wellbeing is high quality friendships. Those friendships are like a garden, she explained recently…one that requires planning, nurturing, time to grow and possibly some pruning…in order to develop.
Brenda will examine how friendships evolve over time, and their continuing importance as we age. In addition, she will explore the qualities we should look for in our friends, and how, beginning with ourselves, we can encourage those relationships. She will also address how friendships positively impact many other aspects of our health and lifestyle.
A 2006 study of nearly 3,000 nurses with breast cancer, found that women without close friends were four times as likely to die from the disease as women with 10 or more friends. Notably, proximity, and the amount of contact with friends didn’t matter, and surprisingly (to this reader) having a spouse was not associated with improved outcomes. Amazing.
Only smoking was as significant a risk factor as lack of social support. Those with strong friendships were also less likely to get colds. In addition, a 2008 Harvard study concluded that having solid friendships can even help to promote brain health. Wow. Something fun that’s also good for us. How often do we find those two in sync?
So, join Ridgerunners to hear Brenda address the importance of building and maintaining a garden of friendships in support of health and happiness. Yes, a good diet and regular exercise are vitally important, but friendships are also crucial to long-term well being.
A World of Wine, March 12
Wondering what wine is best suited to serving with your go-to dishes? A Merlot, a Malbec, a Moscato? On Tuesday, March 12, Nancy Hunter, a consultant for Wineshops at Home, will educate us on vintages and vineyards, and offer suggestions for a variety of wine and food pairings.
Spring Fair and Luncheon April 9
To wrap up another year filled with fun and friendship, on Tuesday, April 9 Ridgerunners will have the opportunity to attend a festive Spring Fair and luncheon at The Corner District in Ball Ground.
Built in 1911, this eclectic event space once served as a general store. More recently it was transformed into an “industrial chic” space complete with vintage chandeliers and exposed brick walls. With food provided by Cindy King of Catering by Cindy, this event offers a wonderful way to finish the year in the company of good friends. You will also want to be on hand for the announcement of Ridgerunners’ Woman of the Year.