A Life Worth Binge Watching

S2: This is 50 E2: Girl Power

It’s funny how the older I get, the more I realize the value of having supportive women in my life.  These are my people.  They “get” me.  They make life more colorful and always have my back.  As we recently celebrated Mother’s Day, I thought I would pay tribute to the amazing women that make up my tribe.  I am not discounting the amazing men in my life, but this week it’s all about the girls!

Ever since I was a kid, I can remember having a small group of girlfriends who I considered my extended family.  Over the years, these groups have changed and evolved as my life took on different directions.  As a young child in grade school, there were five girls who became my first clan. We had slumber parties, went on bike riding adventures, laughed at silly jokes and shared our secrets and dreams.. I remember long afternoons swimming in the pool,  creating make-believe scenarios, and giggling about everything!  These were my first friends and I’ll never forget them. 

In middle and high school, my little group changed and I seemed to gravitate to just a few “best friends”.  We were pretty much inseparable. Sleepovers were still a thing, but they changed a bit.  We talked about boys, listened to music, and plotted ways to attend parties.  We wrote notes to each other all day at school and talked on the phone for hours at night.  I loved these girls, but as expected during the teenage years, things eventually got complicated and we grew apart.  It happens. I still talk to most of them occasionally and follow them on Facebook.  

As an adult, my friend groups have fluctuated and at times I have been more of a loner.  I’d have a ton of acquaintances but just one or two women that I spent the most time with. This pretty much lasted throughout my 30’s and 40’s as I concentrated on raising my daughter and cultivating my career.  Most of my friendships consisted of other parents and coworkers, which was the village I needed during this stage of my life. As my daughter grew older and more independent, I met a new group of great women that  would be appropriately known as ‘the gang”. As many of us were divorced, single moms, we had a lot in common so  we bonded when we didn’t have our children.  We were moms first, but we needed some friend time as well.  We definitely had some memorable times!

I am still great friends with most of these awesome women and  through them, I have met other incredible, supportive gals.  I have unique relationships with each of them and I am so blessed to have them in my life. When my daughter went away to college and I became an empty nester, I began to value my time with my friends even more. They huddled around me and lifted me up when I felt alone and depressed and have helped me to discover who I am again.  I don’t know what I’d do without them. They recently gathered for a special birthday dinner for me and I know these ladies will be my friends for life.  We joke that we will buy a huge compound one day and all live out our golden years together!  

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter came home for the summer and I am so happy to have yet another incredible woman around me.  We have always been close, but the last few years have turned our mother/daughter relationship into an amazing friendship as well.  We are travel buddies, Netflix bingers, thrill seekers and confidants.  We can finish each other’s sentences and can speak with just expressions.  I am so proud of who she has become and I love our time together.  I’m sure you will be reading about our summer adventures over the next few months!  It was so great to have her home for Mother’s Day and she gave me a gift that I will treasure forever.  She created a work of art based on one of our photos that was so touching and impressive. I’ve added it below for you to see.  While we are on the subject of Mother’s Day, I can’t help but mention my own Mom and the great friendship I also have with her.  She has been the pit bull with lipstick in my life, ready to take on anyone who hurts me.  Don’t get on her list, trust me!  She also has a special relationship with my daughter, as she was her first grandchild. 

I have been very lucky to have been surrounded by so many strong, loving women throughout the years.  Even at times when I have sought solitude and retreated from these ladies, I always knew I could call any of them and they would be there for me.  I truly hope you can look around at the women (or men) in your life and feel the same.  If not, I urge you to find them. There are people all around who are also looking for their clan, their ride or die tribes. Life is hard, but it’s much easier when you have others to share it with.  To quote The Golden Girls, and in honor of Betty White, thank you for being a friend!

Join my Facebook page @Alifeworthbingewatching.  Let’s do this thing called life together!

Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook.