Thank You For Being a Friend

I’m steering away from my timeline goals and editorial calendar a bit these last couple of weeks. The last two weeks have been a bit challenging. I’m working on a freelancing project, my husband is very busy and working long hours, the kids are battling colds, I’m battling a cold, our car broke down, and the list continues.

Through the challenges, I try to remain positive and gain perspective. After a minute feeling sorry for myself, I attempt to quickly remember that it could be worse. These small “bumps in the road” for me are nothing compared with what some others are dealing. I’m also reminded of how blessed I am to have such an amazing support system.

A big part of that support system includes my girlfriends. The last couple of weeks have been a little dim, but my girlfriends reminded me of the bright spots in my life – them.

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

One friend offered great freelancing advice, as well as a much-needed, long conversation of catching up and encouragement.

When our car broke down, another friend – who was hosting an Easter Egg Decorating Party for our play-date group – offered to drive the kids and me to and from her house so that we could join in the fun.

At the Easter Egg Decorating Party, it was great sharing parenting struggles, gaining advice, solving the world’s problems, and laughing with other admirable women.

Even before I started writing Untidy Bliss, I consulted girlfriends for suggestions and thoughts and received great recommendations and amazing support from all of them.

I’ve heard women say, “I’m more of a guys gal because women are so catty, gossipy and cruel.” Maybe some women are, but so are some men. Right? The women I know well and call my friends support each other, encourage each other, are smart, witty, funny, loving, kind, and all-around good.

I’ve had my fair share of experiences with women who are jealous, catty, unkind, and maybe even a little crazy. From those experiences I became a little more guarded. That’s life. I’ve had a few similar experiences with men as well. I’ve learned lessons from these bad relationships that I carry with me. Good and bad. Maybe we need to be just as picky choosing our girlfriends as we are selecting our boyfriends/husbands/significant others.

In college, I joined a sorority and the rugby team. I know this seems like a strange mix, but the more you get to know me, the less surprising that combination will seem. I have three younger brothers. For me, both of these groups served as sisterhoods – amazing sisterhoods.

Rugby allows you to show your true colors. You spend so much time practicing, playing in games, traveling to and from games, and more, that there’s nowhere to hide. You see each other covered in mud, full of bruises, running, sweating, bleeding, angry, crying, vulnerable, aggressive, losing (though not often), and in pain. You also are together laughing, having fun, winning, talking, supporting each other’s accomplishments, and always lending a helping hand.

Your teammates see you at your best and worst and they still love you. When I look back at our college team, we accomplished a lot. Not only did we work hard to succeed on the field, we excelled in the classroom and even became the first women’s rugby team in the nation to be recognized by a university as a varsity sport.

A sorority provides an almost immediate bond and you see first-hand how much powerful women working together can achieve. Running a sorority is like running a small business. You have to raise money to donate to charities, you have to plan events, you have to market those events, you have to recruit new members, and you’re required to participate in intramurals and other activities.

Beyond that, you form life-long friendships, you laugh and have fun and you all pull together for charities and for each other.

Many of my friends from these groups remain my good friends to this day. I continue to see how amazing these women are in life, in relationships, as mothers, as coaches, as businesswomen, as friends, and as sisters supporting, caring for, loving, and being there for one another.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience the power, kindness, love, and support of other women through these mediums, as well as from friends I grew up with, friends from high school, college roommates, friends from different places I’ve lived, and now the mommy sisterhood. They not only are a source of strength, love and support for me, but for many others.

One of the most recent and powerful examples of this “girl power,” is that of a sorority sister who discovered that she has a rare, aggressive form of cancer. She’s a few years younger than me, so I don’t personally know her, but she’s a sister nonetheless, and a few of my friends know her well. One sister sent a plea to as many others as she could, sharing the news and asking everyone to come together to help. Within one week, she received nearly $3,000 to donate to the ailing sister for household needs or medical bills.

This story, as well as my own experiences, reminds me that those who say, “women are catty, gossipy and cruel,” are absolutely wrong. That may be how reality t.v. and other media portray us, but we are so much more.

We are strong, smart, resourceful, reliable, responsible, loving, kind, caring, supportive, beautiful, empathetic, sympathetic, patient, and determined. I’m blessed to have such an amazing group of women in my life. I’m equally grateful that this same group of women serves as a role model to my daughter.

Good girlfriends are important. They encourage you to grow, they provide emotional support, they are honest, they provide comfort, they are loyal, and they offer unconditional love. We all need women with those qualities in our lives to feel content, to feel confident, to feel positive. Likewise, we must always try to pay it forward and be a good friend as well.

If you haven’t found a good group of women who offer these traits and more, I highly recommend you start looking. Join a MOPS group, join a church, join a Meet Up group, or join a gym – wherever you think there are women with whom you can easily connect. It will change your perspective and your life.

Thanks to the beautiful, amazing, wonderful women in my life! I’m truly blessed and forever changed.