A Little Bit Of Friendship

girlfriendsGirlfriends always carry each other in their hearts, whether they live near or far from each other. Girlfriends walk through life together. They’re there for each other no what, sharing everything. They wear pretty dresses with flowers in their hair and hum songs to the beat of children’s laughter. They say nothing at time and that silence is the greatest solace. Other times they talk for hours, or until the sun sinks into night. They remember when the days when life was defined by complexity when they dance in the moonlight and vowed that their friendship would last a lifetime.

They wouldn’t trade their friendship for anything and nothing else could begin to bring them contentment, the craziness, the laughter, and all the thousands of things they share together. Friends like that don’t need to see each other everyday . .  . no matter how long it’s been since they were last together, they just pick right where they left off. Friends like that just understand that life isn’t always bright, and they take turns cheering each other up. Girlfriends like that don’t need to tell each other how much they care . . .  They can just feel the strength of their friendship in their hearts and that’s the very best kind of friendship of all.

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“Sometimes Reclaiming Your Life Means Giving Up The Fariy Tale”

Couple in conflictHave you ever felt that you walked the path of your life alone? That you were the only woman who has ever made a painful, stupid mistake? That you settled for less than you deserved?  Did you desperately desire love above all else? Did you yearn for a real partner so much it hurt: Have you ever thought “Why is every woman but me in a great relationship?  “Why can’t I be that happy?” Or found yourself rejected by the person you loved and it left you feeling that something was wrong with you?

When a devastating breakdown of a relationship ends it can feel like a wild boar‘s tusk ripping through your heart. You can become convinced that you are the only woman who has ever made a complete mess of your life. You feel alone, rejected, and furious that you had deceived yourself for so long. That you had given up on “yourself” to keep the love of another for years, only to be left with a heart torn to shreds.

What women learn shortly after the initial blow of their relationship’s end is that, they failed to understand above all else, is that they needed to honor the most important relationship of all “the one with themselves.” The ending of a relationship becomes the beginning of a journey for women  to learn many things about themselves and how to love and honor themselves.

The journey of being a woman can seem crazy and confusing but for better or worse, women have many of the same stories, heartbreak, obstacles, and expectations. The good news is that women don’t have to remain captive to the limiting beliefs swirling in their psyches and in society, which keeps them far from their dreams. We always have a choice. Along life’s path, we all have the opportunity to gain wisdom from our mistakes, the self-awareness that comes from healing our wounds, and clarity by claiming our needs.

If we are lucky enough to wake up to the immense power that is available to heal our hearts and teach us how to love ourselves, we have a responsibility to share our stories and insights with others. Otherwise, the true power of our realizations will be lost. Sharing allows us to see ourselves in the words of others, gain witnesses to our personal journey, and broaden the possibilities that lie before us.

I, too relied on the wisdom and support of many women, some of them total strangers, to progress through my journey to wholeness.  By watching others and listening, I learned that to fully and wholeheartedly love another I first needed to fully and wholeheartedly embrace ” myself.” This realization is a major source of inspiration in my decision to share my knowledge and experiences with  other women. Women need to share the wisdom gained on their personal path as they went from being a person they thought they had to be to be loved to being the one they actually are.

In them I gained wisdom while on my personal path as I went from being  a person I thought I knew and loved to being one I actually do know and love. We shared our stories about living ordinary lives, raising children, creating a safe home life, the ups and downs of stay at home moms to the working moms. Some of us were married and some single. We talked about many issues like paying bills, being young, and getting older and the list goes on and on and lets not forget divorce as well. We also talked about trying to find sources of love and happiness but often looking in the wrong places. When we stopped and took a careful look at the life we had created and honesty answered this question “Am I honoring the most important relationship in my life first?  The one with my self and God.

We discovered reclaiming our lives meant giving up the fairy tale that we had created about ourselves and instead finding out what reality was. The new path may did not seem clear at the beginning to us  and we felt like we were fumbling in the dark grabbing for something to hold to, then one of my dear friends said, remember this is a normal feeling and keep moving forward and don’t go back. During this time we discovered within ourselves the spirit of survivor and a deeper faith we never knew existed.

 We also learned that loving ourselves is knowing ourselves, enjoying and valuing the women that we are, and understanding that getting to know ourselves and God  is a lifelong personal enterprise. It meant that we needed to  appreciate ourselves as much as we appreciate the ones we love. Loving ourselves is recognizing our gifts and talents and then putting them to good use, acknowledging our flaws and forgiving ourselves for them. We learned that loving ourselves was reaching for more, it was reaching for the best, in ourselves. We discovered that our hearts can only hold as much love as we believe it can. So often women put up with shabby treatment in love because they don’t believe they deserve better or they are still stuck in fairy tale thinking.  So treat yourself better, believe you deserve to be treated well, and you will get treated even more wonderfully in love than any fairy tale woman has ever been. 

Carol. M.

A Little Boomer Humor

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”  Author George Burns. ” One of the problems about retirement is that it gives you more time to read about retirement.” This is Bob’s story about life after retirement.

Dear Friends,

It is important for men to remember that as women grow older it becomes harder for the to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did when they were younger. When men notice this, they should try not to yell. Let me relate how I handle the situation.

When I got laid off from my consulting job and took early retirement in March, it became necessary for Nadine to get a full-time job, both for the extra income and for the health benefits that we need. It was shortly after she started working that I noticed she was beginning to show her age.

I usually get home from fishing or hunting about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says that she has to rest for a half an hour or so before she starts supper. I try not to yell; instead I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she finally does get supper on the table. She use to wash and dry the dishes as soon as we finished eating. Now it is not unusual for them to sit on the table for many hours after supper. I do what I can by reminding her several times each evening that they aren’t cleaning themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to help her get them done before she goes to bed. Now that she is older, she seems to get tired much more quickly. Our washer and dryer are in the basement. Sometimes she says she just can’t make another trip down those steps. I don’t make a big issue of this, as long as she finishes the laundry the next evening I am willing to overlook it.

Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday lodge meeting, or to Wednesday’s or Sunday’ poker club, or to Tuesday’s or Thursday’s bowling, or something like that, I will tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a little more time to take care of odds and ends, like shampooing the dog, vacuuming, or dusting.

Also, if I have a really good day fishing, it allows her to gut and scale the fish at a more leisurely pace. Nadine is starting to complain a little occasionally. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. In spite of her complaining, I continue to try to offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two, or even three days. That way she wouldn’t have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch altogether now and then would hurt her any, if you know what I mean.

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. Recently she had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to embarrass her when she needs these little extra rest breaks. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. I tell her that as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me and take her break by the hammock so she can talk with me until I fall asleep.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Nadine on a daily basis. I’m saying that the ability to show this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible. No one knows better than I do how frustrating women can be as they get older. However, guys, even if you yell at your wife just a little less often because of this article, I will consider writing it worthwhile. Bob.

Bob’s funeral was Sunday, April 25th and Nadine was acquitted Monday, April 27 th. That says it all. Doesn’t it?