company of women

In The Company of Wonderful Women

February 11, 2024

Lessons Learned From Our Gal Pals

company of women
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When my son would have a fight with one of his friends, it would last all of a minute. They’d argue. Someone might even sock someone else. They’d walk off in a huff and be back playing together the next afternoon. My daughters, not so much. They, or their friends, would scrap and fuss and the hurt would be big and dramatic. The tiffs lasted for days and sometimes forever. Thank God we grow up. Because the time I spend, in the company of wonderful women is some of the best time I spend anywhere. And what I’ve learned from them is a gift beyond value…

the company of women
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The Friendships That Last

I’ve been friends with Joyce for more than 50 years. And with Mary for more than 47. I’ve been laughing with Julie for 25 and with Katie for 18. Now that’s staying power! And I don’t think it’s just because of the money my Mom pays them to put up with me. We’ve been through crushes on boys and being crushed by men. We’ve lived through the births of our children and the deaths of our parents. And we’ve struggled through life-altering illness and reveled in life-making moments. The friends that last have taught me about grit and determination. They’ve taught me a lot about forgiveness (mostly them forgiving me) and even more about laughter. They are diamonds in my sky.

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Friendships That Fade Are A Sad Part of The Company of Women

Much like those dramatic, friend break-ups of youth, sometimes friendships are seasonal. What I mean by that is that, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, sometimes friendships only last for a bit of our overall lives. As I always told my girls, when those big friend break-ups happened, sometimes people are just meant to be in your lives for a time, and then you both go along alone.

I think the best part of the company of these women is that we must try to learn what we can from the season we had the friend and maybe also learn from why we no longer do. I had a friend when I was a young mom. We were very close, with kids the same ages and spouses in the same profession. Then I moved away and we drifted apart. That one is sometimes understandable, even in this digital age where staying in touch is pretty easy. We are busy people, after all. But when we re-connected years later, it was like we’d never been apart, until we were. She stopped texting and calling, and I was left to wonder, even after asking for clarification. It’s the way it goes sometimes. Take the good. Understand that feelings get hurt, even accidentally. And move on.

These seasonal friendships with wonderful women teach me that much of life is ephemeral. And when you can, it is often best to do what Ralph Waldo Emerson suggests and “(l)ive in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

lessons from gal pals
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Working With Wonderful Women

I have been given a glorious gift. I get to spend my work days in the company of wonderful women. The staff of my retail store, Consignments Ltd., is a small, close-knit group of intelligent, funny and caring women whom I am proud to know. Please don’t tell my husband, but we have a pretty wonderful time, almost every day. We share recipes, and stories, jokes and sorrows. We know a lot about each other because of proximity, but also because of trust, the trust we have in one another, to speak our truth. Working in the company of these wonderful women teaches me that there is no task that is beneath any of us – we all lift the same furniture and clean up the same broken glass. It also teaches me that people, who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, can become a unit because they all love the same things – in this case our customers and “old stuff.” It would be great if there was more of that everywhere.

women in family
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The Wonderful Women in Your Family

What do they say, “you can chose your friends, but your family..?” Well, sometimes the Gods smile. And you find the company of the wonderful women in your own family. My own girls, one a youth minister and one an engineer, are women of integrity who fight fiercely for what they believe in and for whom they love. They are passionate, hard-working and fun loving. But my company of wonderful women extends beyond that. There’s my Mom, who has inspired me to pursue my passion for interiors, thrifting and antiques. There’s my new sister-in-law, who is an inspiration for understanding and patience. And my new jell-o making niece, who makes me laugh at the same time she’s making me think. The company of these wonderful women makes up for a lot of life’s bumps and teaches me that sometimes, like Dorothy, “there’s no place like home.”

For more “feel good” stories, check out my previous blogs: A Love Letter to My Son on His Wedding Day and Lessons I Learned From My Dog.

I hope you always find yourself in the company of wonderful women.

Have a lovely Sunday, my friends. Marianne

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