This probably could belong on my officiating blog but it doesn't really matter! Tonight was the "End Of The Year" dinner for my high school officiating association. For me personally, it was a rather quiet year of high school officiating. After taking last season (2011-2012) off, I returned for the 2012-2013 season. I was rather busy at work BUT still managed to work around 25 to 30 games. I did some good games though had no playoffs.
The dinner is usually a time for many officials to catch up with other officials. In a group of 160+ officials, you don't always see everyone during a season. I got a chance to take to a lot of folks today which was good.
Among of the officials I talked to was an older guy (turning 60 this year though he doesn't look it). We've always had good conversations and among the things we talked about was maintaining social circles as you grow older. We discussed this due to some things we've seen within our friends and/or family.
Many people (like me) have a core group of friends that you talk to or hang out with. However, as time progresses, you will have to adjust. For example, many of my friends are now married with kids. I don't spend as time playing video games or doing other things as much with these friends. Fortunately, with my office moving downtown, quite a few friends are quite nearby. So we end up just meeting up for lunch every now and then.
I'm also fortunate that I'm fairly active in other activities such as officiating (as noted above) and playing a lot of basketball. My officiating and basketball provide me social interaction, exercise and the opportunity to see different gyms, courts and cities that I might not see otherwise.
The main point is that if we get into a habit of adapting and creating new social connections when we are younger, it will be much easier as we get older. I see that older folks who aren't as social when they are younger have a more difficult time adjusting when they get older.
So while my core group of guy friends don't together as much as we'd like at the moment, I do my best to stay active with other people. I'm lucky to have that opportunity. I hope that everyone can do that as well.