Southern Girl Rule #9: Girls night is a cure for what ails you

WP_20160305_001I am making up rules again, but I think this is a valuable one.  Friendship with other women should be cultivated. After all, if statistics bear out, women will be our companions more than men in our golden years.  Visit any retirement community and you will see the majority of the residents are women.  Women, simply put, outlive most men.

Women also tend to be more empathetic and get our need to just talk and share our thoughts. They do not try to fix our problems, they just let us unburden our brains.  Women in general are excellent listeners.  We also are generally givers so when we unburden we understand we will in turn be empathetic to the burdens of others.

I generally like to crash on a Friday night and snuggle in with something on Netflix, but this past Friday night I was asked to join in on a girls’ night out. My first reaction was to decline, it will be Friday  . . . I will be too tired, but I had been thinking lately about the importance of friendships in my life and here was an opportunity to make them a priority. So, I went with a group of women, six to dinner, with another two joining for a movie and then minus 1 for a drink afterward. I am so glad I did! My exhaustion was replaced with refreshed energy. I enjoyed the laughter. I loved spending time with familiar friends and getting to know a few new ones. When I finally crawled into bed, well past my average Friday night time, I fell easily to sleep, not a worry or a care on my mind.

Friendships feed our souls.  The give and the take help us grow and fortify us for the uncertainties of this life. Outside of family, friendships are the first relationships we form. Too many times as adults we neglect friendships as the responsibilities of work, marriage and children demand our time.  I think it is worth the effort to maintain old friendships and cultivate new ones, for someday you will retire, your children might live several states away and twenty-four-seven with your spouse might not be the healthiest thing for that relationship.

I have found my circle of friends to be the best sounding boards, cheerleaders and encouragers. I hope I have given that back to them. I love that I have friends that are still in my life after thirty years.  I also love that there always is room for new faces in my circle.

Only a few times in the course of life so far has a friend broken the bonds of friendship and I have felt those losses much more keenly than any of the romantic heartbreaks a man has wrought  It has been well over a decade since a man has broken my heart but unfortunately a  friend has broken it much more recently. Luckily many wonderful women rallied around and I recovered quickly. What a blessing!

So I urge you to cultivate those friendships and if need be, organize the girls’ night out. We women become better women with the love and support of each other.

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