Before anyone thinks this is a coming out blog -- brakes on - no I am not embracing my sapphic inner sister.
I am instead embracing a culture of time with friends, special friends, friends who get you and my girlfriends who are my chosen sisters, confidants and overall sanity checks.
In my life as an only child I understood the importance of friendships, and pretty much saw every only child then and now debunk the whole they can't share myth so much more than those with siblings. If we did not share, unlike a sibling, or learn to compromise then our friends could just go home. There was no built in parental "well you got to love her because she is your sister".
I exhibit many only children traits, very social, comfortable with different age groups (after all I was a vastly different age then the other people living in my house - my parents were after all adults), incredibly independent. I also exhibit the less woot woot traits. I am fiercely independent which means I have a hard time asking for or accepting help even when I need it. I tend to let others rely on me but do not open up to many and rely on even less. I tend to not give up on people and forgive more than at times I should have. I also tend to be incredibly good at self entertainment, imagination and like my quiet time alone as much as I enjoy when I choose to do things socially. Yes it is all about me because I am only child.
In this mix there are my friends and in this blog it is my female friends. I am sad at how much less I get to see them for drinks or dinner because our lives are so dedicated to others but accept it because well our lives our dedicated to our kids. We juggle if not always balance a lot in our lives, willingly, voluntarily. Then we of course complain to one another about it.
I do not usually go away for weekends with my girlfriends though many I know do. I enjoy my time with my kids and most times prefer to spend my weekend free time with them. I know they are growing too quickly, especially my 12 year old, and will soon choose friends over time with me. Natural, as it should be, I encourage it -- I will need a box of Kleenex.
I do not go away because it is not something I do but I realized this past weekend that once in a while I should. I went with a friend who does no live near and we had an amazing time. We laughed, a lot, and had no real plans so we lived in the moment. Lived in the moment, I had to re-read that after I read it because my life with work, kids is all about planning and organizing. Enjoying a stop in a store, a leisurely discussion in a bookstore, a lunch without anyone looking at a watch. We had one thing that was appointments at a spa and before that we woke up without purpose, got coffee and wandered to the beach near the place where we were staying. Sitting on rocks, no gear, watching the surfers (well now single ladies do not Tinder instead swipe yourselves to where guys surf -- enough said) and just enjoying not having to keep an eye on anyone, listen to anyone or really do much then just inhale the great salty ocean air and the rays on our faces.
Our evenings were spent dining with no real hurry and then it's like being 15 again, lying across from one another, putting on masks (some of a less than wonderful aroma) and laughing at the things that you laugh at when you are truly comfortable. It was as much of a treatment as the massage the next day.
It helped that I was in one of my favorite spots ever, The Hamptons, but it mostly was that I was with someone who was there like I was just to enjoy things for ourselves. It was great talks and it was recharging.
I need to find more time and so do we all in our lives for us. Weekends away here and there, without anyone but our girlfriends remind us of all that we are and who we keep wanting to be, not defined as mom or wife or girlfriend or whatever but just ourselves. It reminds us of the people we are and our girlfriends will always remind us of how much more we could evolve to.
Girlfriend time - even if it has to be booked and rescheduled will now be something I try to do more often because as I try to teach my kids to nurture what makes them happy I should do the same for myself.