Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

When I graduated from high school, college and law school, I had a core group of good friends and we sacredly swore we would maintain contact and make it a point to see each other face-to-face. But, life happens. People move away both literally and figuratively. Those sacred oaths fall by the wayside.

My husband's retirement year from the military once looked as far away as high school graduation does to a child in kindergarten. Now, it's looming in the very near distance and I find myself wondering--How will I survive if my military wife friends fade in a graduated-and-moving-on kind of fashion?

I know I'm certainly not the first person to face this dilemma and that is why I brought it to SpouseBuzz. Someone out there has to have good advice for maintaining these bonds and keeping them more actual than virtual. Facebook and e-mail are great, but there is nothing like sitting around in a circle, sharing stories, and laughing out loud until you cry. Most, if not all, of my military wife friends I do that with don't live near enough to me to make personal visits a regular reality. However, we have managed to see each other thanks to traveling to events like SpouseBuzz Live or military-related conferences. What happens when the military is no longer part of my family's daily life?

What are your very best suggestions for planning and maintaining contact with dear friends, especially when seeing them in person might not become a regular reality? If you have successfully planned a regular meet-up or reunion with friends (military or otherwise), how do you manage it? Do you choose a weekend on the calendar and set it in stone? Where do you meet? Is it a family-oriented meet-up or just adults?

I will be forever grateful for any and all ideas as my similarly motivated core group of girlfriends determines how we will move into our next phase of milspousedom without losing truly meaningful contact with each other. I can't wait to see your comments!

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