Monday, May 11, 2009

That's what friends are for

During the week, for no clear reason, my mood was somewhat grouchy and I was not filled with warm fuzzy feelings. I didn’t really want to leave for the weekend because I didn’t feel a warm connection with Jason and the kids. I thought I should spend the weekend with them, have quality time, and get that loving feeling back. But I had a commitment to do a triathlon.

On Friday morning I left for Lake Las Vegas with seven of my girl friends. We drove, we ate, we slept, we supported each other during the triathlon, we relaxed at the pool, we watched a chick flick, we laughed, we talked, we hugged, and WE CONNECTED as only women do.

Sunday evening I returned home feeling not only closer to those wonderful girls but I felt like myself again. I felt refreshed and connected to my kind husband and my sweet kids.

Since the day I was married, Jason has always encouraged me to spend time with my friends and have some girl time (maybe so I will give him more man time to golf :) ). My response has always been that I don’t need to. I’d rather stay home and hang out with Jason. Though I have had girlfriends through the years I don’t feel like I have made enough of an effort to really spend time with them. Hence I have never felt like I’m a very good friend.

Because of this trip I have gained more of a perspective on the importance of taking time to BE WITH my girlfriends, which is much different than just HAVING girlfriends.

Here are a few quotes from a study on friendship among women.

“A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more.”

“Study after study has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. There's no doubt, says Dr. Klein, that friends are helping us live longer.”

“Women thrive both emotionally and physically from close friendships with other women. These bonds are important for female well-being and livelihood.”

Why is it so hard to find time to be with our girlfriends, especially when we need to "soothe our tumultuous inner world?" (Sounds pretty serious)

“Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women, explains Dr. Josselson. We push them right to the back burner. That's really a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they're with other women. It's a very healing experience.”

The weekend definitely healed my grouchy mood. If anyone would like to join us next year you are more than welcome. Come and have some girl bonding time and do some "special kind of talk." (Participating in the triathlon is optional.)

Thank you Kristi, Wendy, Rosanne, Jeana, Minnie, Deanne, and Amy for being my girlfriends and for the wonderful time I had.

Before the swim
"Let's have some fun!"

"Glad the swim is over, now get this bike ride done."

"What a race."

"We deserve a yummy dinner."