The social media space has been good to me.
After almost 7 years, people are still coming to the blog. My professional network has extended beyond a 50 mile radius from my work site and now includes professionals from coast to coast and across the pond. It has been a boost to my professional confidence.
But all things professional aside, it is the personal connectedness I've discovered that stands out for me today. It's friends. It's girl friends. It's making new and cherishing the old.
In Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life - through the 40s, 50s and Beyond, author Sarah Brokaw writes that for women, "friendships are even more critical to our health and well-being than family relationships." On connectedness, Brokaw writes that it "means laughing with friends and loved ones as a way to keep going during the most challenging times in our lives."
Laughing can be in short supply at times with me as I tend to take myself much too seriously. There is no room for messiness in my life. On one hand I'd say there is no time for messes but truth be told, I can't let things get out of control because I don't know if I'd be able to put it all back together.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, the one thing I wanted her to know in her heart, her soul and every bone in her body was that I would always be there for her. That translated to me not wanting to be away from home for any length of time for travel and there wasn't any night in any bar that could compete with time with the kid.
Couple this with career, family and commitments and my friendships got the short end of the stick over the years.
New friendships? Ok, <if we must> if they can be developed in the spare few minutes I have here and there but really, I have all the friends my time permits.
Until my first official Girls Night Out (#GNO) in a few years back, I didn't know what I was missing and just how much I needed my girl friends.
Brokaw writes, "When it comes to meeting life's challenges . . . our female friendships are linchpins."
This weekend I am hanging with two of the best linchpins I have in my life and thinking of a few others ("if I could turn back time") north, south, west and East of the Equator as we #spa, #shop, #eat, #drink and more than anything else, we #connect.
We are cutting loose and having fun and restoring ourselves - and each other - along the way.
Photo credit iStockphoto