Friends Found and Refound

They were a varied bunch: a real estate exec; busy corporate lawyer with four rambunctious boys; producer of children’s TV shorts; women’s health and wellness practitioner; documentary maker and local politician; business owner; an Italian lawyer and brave mother of a soldier, firefighter, and promising med student; and other characters too varied to list. (And one supportive and fascinating guy among them.) Shy and smart, outgoing and funny, this eclectic bunch shared a common passion: the desire to age fearlessly and well. It was a celebration for the launch of Konenkii, but the evening also underscored the vision and joy that puts the wind under the wings of this special venture: Aging brings its share of challenges, but we can face them together, with grace and fun. What was confirmed that night, and drives both the selection of our products and the larger mission of a  Konenkii community, is that it’s not all about competing with fashion (though there were some lovely outfits), or putting on the most perfect spread (though the carefully laid-out hors d’oeuvres and specialty drinks were well-appreciated). It’s about lively conversation sprinkled with laughter; outright support of a variety of ideas and sharing solutions to our aging issues; and delighting in the journey.

My journey was a long one this week, as the party capped a week of rediscovering old friends. Dinner with a high-school classmate uncovered the similar arcs of our editorial careers, and the ease of finding friends as adults even when you weren’t that close in your youth. Another wonderful meal joyfully brought together work colleagues from a magical time when we reveled in creativity and a passion for quality and camaraderie—did they really pay us for that work? And my hosts reinforced our ongoing connection as work colleagues who have morphed into some of my best, lifelong friends.

I don’t have to cite the studies that friendships make us healthier (though there are many), but we all know that these ties bind our hearts together, and I do not take that lightly. As I head fearlessly into this uncharted territory of aging, I’m pretty darn pleased to have old friends share the trip—and to welcome some new fellow travelers onto the bus!

Kathy H. Ely Konenkii Ambassador Writer, Editor, Wife, Mother, Curious Mind Don’t call her Chatty Kathy, though her family doesn’t hesitate. (AND she talks with her hands as well!) This Konenkii woman has overcome breast cancer, divorce, and the pain of losing parents; found happiness with a single daughter, loving and handsome replacement husband, and fun-to-be-with siblings and friends. She has survived the career roller-coaster with downsizing and internet bubble bursts and magazine shutdowns; she cherishes her longstanding friends and creative colleagues from AFI to Discovery to a private girls’ school and a string of travel magazines. She looks forward to sharing your discoveries, joys, and challenges, be it a great New Yorker article, annoying experience, or raging discussion with a neighbor or buddy.

Kathy H. Ely
Konenkii Ambassador
Writer, Editor, Wife, Mother, Curious Mind

Don’t call her Chatty Kathy, though her family doesn’t hesitate. (AND she talks with her hands as well!) This Konenkii woman has overcome breast cancer, divorce, and the pain of losing parents; found happiness with a single daughter, loving and handsome replacement husband, and fun-to-be-with siblings and friends. She has survived the career roller-coaster with downsizing and internet bubble bursts and magazine shutdowns; she cherishes her longstanding friends and creative colleagues from AFI to Discovery to a private girls’ school and a string of travel magazines.

She looks forward to sharing your discoveries, joys, and challenges, be it a great New Yorker article, annoying experience, or raging discussion with a neighbor or buddy.