50 Thoughts: Girl Power

I’m running way late tonight, but I have a good reason.

Nothing beats a night out with girlfriends.

It was a last-minute thing, a casual invite to the high school football game. It’s Homecoming weekend, after all. Four hours and three girlfriends later, I’m finally in front of the computer. The timing’s off, but I wouldn’t trade it for more time to write.

If there’s one thing outside of family that I am regularly grateful for, it’s the steadfast network of friends I’ve established since graduating from college. Way, way back in the day, I had a weekly movie date with another girlfriend, so that we could catch all the Oscar buzzworthy movies we knew our significant others would not be interested in seeing. When the kids were young, my BFF lived two doors down, and I don’t know how many nights we spent at each other’s houses, either watching cheesy TV or serving up cheap pizza with a bottle of wine. That village that helps you raise your toddler is your village for life.

As the kids grew and we traded one town for another, I found sisters in the stands, watching countless hockey games. And baseball. And basketball. And soccer. And because my daughter pretty much grew up where we live now, I’ve been blessed with friends found in those preschool and early elementary days. In fact, two out of the three girlfriends tonight were her Girl Scout troop leaders, and the third another sister from the stands — swimming leaves a lot of downtime to chat it up with other parents and form lasting friendships.

I am so lucky to have some of the brightest, funniest, persistent, strong women as friends. I’m not a guy, so I can’t speak to male friendship. The context isn’t there for me. So without that perspective, I’m sure you could argue the validity of what I am about to say, but I really do believe there’s a bond between women that supersedes anything comparable on a male trajectory.

We are the caretakers, so we take care of each other. We listen, we support, we understand. I always knew if my kids were at one of my friends’ houses, they would be as safe as if they were in their own home. For me, it’s innate — a support system that runs on auto-pilot. If a friend needs me, I am there. If I need them, it’s as easy as picking up the phone. These are the shoulders I have leaned on through tough times, and the faces I wanted there to celebrate the good ones.

Scanning the crowd tonight, watching high school girls be high school girls, I was taken back to those days and those friends, for which I will always be grateful for as well, though they’re no longer an everyday occurrence in my life. I am forever fond of them and thrilled when I can see them, because for those few years together, those friendships were as important then as the ones I have now.

I watch my daughter with her friends and am in awe of that circle’s poise; their resilience. Her group of friends is strong, close-knit and rarely gets their collective feathers ruffled. It’s my hope that because these friendships have essentially been lifelong for her, she’ll be able to carry these forward into adulthood, What a gift that would be.

Regardless, whether it’s five minutes and a last-minute invite or 15 years from now and an entirely new set of faces, you can count on the sisterhood to lift you up. Women will always have your back. Those are the friendships that last forever.

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister

Today’s recommendation: Going with a girl theme, though somewhat unrelated – Girls by Emma Cline. Pretty trippy.

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