You can have friends like these

My energy was zapped as the days puffed into March.

All attention was diverted to teenage woes in the home and the necessity of donning my oxygen mask first.

As I crashed on the bed that swallowed me whole, feeling delirious from the 4.30 a.m. start to beat the traffic, my reality was stark.

I was in desperate need of respite.

Running away was not an option, so this was the next best thing.

Allowing me to melt into the moment and do nothing else but "be" in a testosterone-free zone.

And I felt deep gratitude for being invited on a long weekend getaway with kindred spirits experiencing similar challenges.

The chance to rest and relax in a beautiful beachside town in a quiet cul-de-sac.

Without this time to reflect, I may not have realised how close to the burnout I was. (I write about it here).

Maybe I would have pushed myself to keep going, becoming a human skittle repeatedly floored until I could no longer get up?

Instead, I'd been gifted a micro-pause in the fog of life to prioritise myself (for a change).

18 months earlier, I didn't have this option … a close group of girlfriends I could hang out with.

Even though it was what I wished for most.

I had to make it happen because no one else would do that for me.

My first step was to decide exactly what I wanted, then envision my desired outcome and focus on the changes that would be needed to achieve it.

I was no longer prepared to sit around waiting.

I had a few obstacles to overcome—I lived rurally, was time-poor, and faced natural fears (what if nobody liked me?)—but I knew what I had to do, and I committed.

For three months, rain, cold, or tired, I turned on autopilot to push fears aside and drove 1.5 hours twice a week to meet other women in their 50s for coffee.

I made it a habit, an intentional, regular action to get me to where I wanted to be.

And my consistency and effort paid off.

Most people don't do things consistently because they want instant gratification.

They want to see results right now, which doesn't happen with friendship. It takes time.

Only when you put in the work do the rewards come.

Each small effort builds and compounds, evolving into something greater than its parts.

I have the friends I have now because I put in the effort consistently, week after week.

And the future took care of itself.

Your goal is to make your tomorrow better than today.

You owe it to yourself.

If you do the basics every day and do them longer than the average person is willing, where might you be in 18 months time?

Join a group, commit to a timeframe, and consistently show up each week, no matter what.

That's what I did, and I got what I desired.

Well, not quite.

After an intense weekend of wining, dining, and conversing until my ears bled, I returned home more exhausted than before and in dire need of another holiday.

But at least it was fun and a healthy escape from reality with some very cool girlfriends.

And for that, I feel truly blessed. x

Until next time...

Janey :)

p.s. Since I started a new blog, I am changing up this email format—instead of one long-form essay each week, I'll send a short email one week and a longer email (like this) the next.

This will free up space to finish my free email course- a kickstart guide to help you make real friends for deeper connections - which is coming soon.

Friendship Made Easy in your 50s

...a friendship enthusiast helping single women in their 50s build real friendships for deeper connection, by sharing personal experience, curated expert advice, tips and thoughtful, no-fluff stories delivered to your inbox each week.

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