A few weeks ago I attended a women’s weekend retreat. I have been attending this retreat for sixteen years and it is the one thing that my mother, sister, and I are committed to doing “no matter what”.
About a month before the event I feel myself getting excited about going and start counting the days. What is this feeling, what am I waiting for? When I really think about it, I am happy to see old friends, meet new women, enjoy the delicious food and participate in the workshops. However, that’s not the real reason. The real reason is that I am “yearning” for the connection of community. I need the conversations, the support, the spirituality, and the love.
I recently read that women who have close friendships are not only are happier, but live longer. Friendships give us support and someone to trust. They help to care for us both physically and emotionally when we are not able to. They reduce stress and encourage us when we need it the most.
Women need connection and enjoy sharing in a different way than men do. How else do you explain standing in the checkout line next to a woman at Target and by the time it’s your turn to checkout, you know everything about her… from what schools her kids go to to the new recipe she is trying tonight! The extent of my husband’s interaction with strangers is a nod and maybe “you picked the right team” if they are wearing a Yankees or NY Giants cap! He has no interest in talking to anyone unless he has to. I often say to him “I just couldn’t live without my best friends, why don’t you see your friends more?” His answer is usually, “you’re my best friend!”
My community of friends means I always have a “go to” person depending on my situation. One of my friends always looks “put together” and lovely. She will know exactly what to wear to any occasion and has saved me many times. Another friend is the moral support for any business idea I have no matter how crazy it sounds. I would be lost without my friend that has known me since college and our special bond and deep connection formed when we were young and free from many of the obligations that we now have. Some of my friends are from a spiritual service and just make me feel showered with love and joy. For me, having a variety of women friends has helped me grow and reinvent myself.
Suggestions for Making New Friendships
Take a class doing something you enjoy or having been wanting to try.
Yoga, kick-boxing, gourmet cooking, painting, dancing, Torah study, or learning French. Whatever your passion, you will meet women who enjoy the same thing and you could make some wonderful friends.
Volunteer to help a cause that is important to you.
Animal Rescue, food banks, political campaigns, health issues, PTA, or your child’s booster club. Some of my closest friends today were started in the Little League snack bar when my son (who is 30) was 6 years old or on the bleachers at high school football practice every week.
Join Social Media groups.
I have made some amazing friendships online with women who share my same business interests or who are on the road to self improvement. Two of my favorite groups are Money A Love Story led by Kate Northrup and French Kiss Life led by Tonya Leigh. I find so much support and encouragement communicating with women walking the same path. If you follow “thought leaders” on Facebook or Twitter, they often have a group site where you can communicate online.
Reconnect with those special people from your past.
High School friends, college roommates, friends you knew when you were first married or started your first job. They have known you for years and even though we all change, we still have much in common.
One last comment about friendship, do not put if off for a “better time,” or when “this project is over,” or when you “get your roots done” and look more presentable. If I have learned one lesson over the last few years, it is that you need to schedule your visits with your friends into your calendar like you would any other appointment. Treat them with care and appreciation. Bring them a gift, send them cards, take them to dinner or a lovely brunch. They are truly a gift.
If you know me you know I love Alpacas. We have one named Goldie that we board. The interesting think about Alpacas is that they are herd animals and are always in a pack. Goldie is always with other Alpacas. If an Alpaca is alone they will die of loneliness. Women are like this, we need our “herd” our “tribe” our “community.
Check out more of Holly’s posts where she shares her journey on her Road to Reinvention.
Holly Zucker is a wife, mother of a grown son, business owner and on the “Road to Reinvention”. After feeling like she had “lost herself” she has spent the last few years bringing back joy, pleasure, passion, fun, and community into her life. Her mission is to help other women “reinvent themselves” and start living their dreams and desires. We’ve done so much for everyone else, it’s our turn now!