All good things must come to an end. Isn't that what they say? My 15-week beginning quilting series is over. (sniff!)
Pictured above are my classmates and teacher (and literally, the teacher's pet: Zoey, the quilt shop dog.) Eileen (our instructor) is seated, holding the flowers we gave her on the last night of class. Standing behind her, left to right, are Carole, me, Sue and Heidi. We really bonded through this class, sharing family stories and tales of sewing woes. I think it's what women do best: talking, sharing, and providing a nurturing environment by really hearing what other women have to say. I don't believe we ever discussed anything earth-shattering during our time together. But I know that I always walked away from those weekly lessons feeling a bit more cared for and certainly more connected.
I was also usually exhausted from all we had learned about quilting in one evening!
Actually, our girlfriends may play a far greater role in our lives than even the glam gals from Sex and the City -- today's poster girls for female friendships -- might imagine. New studies on women and stress provide strong evidence that those long gabfests with your girlfriends are vital to your health and may well help prolong your life. In June 2001, the renowned Harvard Medical School's Nurses' Health Study concluded that women's social networks play an important role in enhancing our health and quality of life. The study went so far as to conclude that not having at least one good confidante is as detrimental to a woman's health as being overweight or a heavy smoker [emphasis is mine].
Wow! I think that's a pretty powerful incentive for us to make sure we allow time for other women. We spend so much of each day working, caring for our children or grandchildren, keeping our houses clean and our partners fed, running errands, etc., etc. It's easy to put our female friendships on the back burner. After all, our friends are just as busy as we are, so who better to understand when we need to cancel a lunch get-together or a movie date?
But if we truly want to live a healthy life, we simply must make time to spend with our friends.
My oldest and dearest friends (including my sister and a cousin) are scattered around the globe: Boston, Georgia, Salt Lake, Idaho, and even Japan. The closest one is over 800 miles away. We keep in contact via emails, letters and phone calls, but I miss each one of them dearly. So having the opportunity to spend time with other women locally through classes, volunteer work or my weight support group is vital for my health, both emotionally and physically.
The same is true for you, don't you think?
I'm hoping that I'll see my quilting buddies again soon. We may take more classes together, and Carole is planning a barbecue for sometime in July. But even if our paths never cross again, my spirit has been fed by these wonderful gals. That's just what we women do for each other!
Until next time...