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Connecting With Friends: Why Is This Essential?

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Sue explains why it is important for women to share and connect with friends and how she met women who share similar interests.

Sue:
It’s so critical for women to share what they are going through with their girlfriends. Women have this need where we need to talk about what’s happening. I think with me, and with hundreds of women that I have talked with, we think we are the only one that’s going through something, even though it could be menopause or it could be something that almost every woman would go through we think we are the only one that’s suffering the way that we are suffering and we don’t think of talking to anybody else about it. We have spent so much of our time; as we have grown up we have been conditioned to be the caretaker.

So we are getting married. We are taking care of our husbands. We are having children. We are taking care of the children. We are taking care of the families. We are taking care of everything, putting everybody before ourselves and we are exhausted. And once you get to the point in life that I am at where I am 54 years old, even, you know, late 40s early 50s when you realize that the kids are grown, they are leaving the nest, maybe it’s time for the husband to leave or maybe he has already left, it doesn’t have to be that. It could be that you’ve moved; you’ve moved to Arizona. You are retiring. There are so many different things that are going on in our lives right now. It’s a constant state of change, whether it’s our health or whatever, and if we don’t have anybody to lean on, our girlfriends to lean on, then we are in it alone and we are upset and we are depressed and we feel like we have no place to go.

I realized this after I had gotten divorced. I had some girlfriends from my marriage, but it was totally different and I needed girlfriends that I could go out and have fun with and confide in with and so, I started this group called Wild Boomer Women because I had been a wild child of the 70s and I thought that sounded like fun. And so I started this group to see, “I wonder if there’s other women out there like me that are just looking for fun,” and I put it out on a Meet up site, meetup.com where you just can have a group and people can find women that want to have fun together and your group will come up.

I put it out on a Monday and by Friday I had 100 people sign up and this was just in Phoenix and I thought okay, I am really on to something and we had our first gathering and it was 25 women that none of us knew each other. We got together for a place to have our dinner. We just sat and talked. I had a structured thing because I had been a corporate trainer before so I knew how to engage people and get people talking, and before you knew it we were laughing hysterically. We were telling stories. We were relating on so many levels that within two and a half hours we were friends and these are… it’s been two years since I started the group in Phoenix almost to the day and these are some of my best and closest friends in the world that it feels like I have known them my whole life and I have this group of women that I can call and I can talk to and they are there for me and I am there for them and it’s especially when we get to this point in life there’s none of the bickering, there’s none of the competition. It’s just women that want to have fun, want to enjoy life, the second half of life.

So it’s so critical that we have the ability to do this. I am seeing women that are still chained to their desk. They are still workaholics, whether they’ve got the kids at home or not, whether they’ve got the husband at home or not, whatever their situation is they are not allowing themselves to go out and have fun.

And what we do at Wild Boomer Women is we help to teach them how to put themselves first because one of the things is that if you don’t take time for yourself and if you don’t recharge your batteries you are not going to be any good for anybody else. So just by having fun and just by sharing support that’s been a god-send for so many women. I get these amazing comments for women; “thank you for doing this” and “thank you for organizing this” and to me it is fun. I am glad to do it because it helps me. I think it helps me more than it helps them, but sometimes they want to argue and say, “You do it all,” and but that’s what I enjoy doing.

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HERWriter Guide

Sue - Thanks for sharing the story behind your organization and why you've brought women together to share information and support each other through various activities. That's a lot like what we do here at EmpowHER. Most women are somehow expected to do it "all" and know it "all" and be everyone else's caretaker, which is almost a set up for failure since no one can be everything to everyone at all times, especially if they don't take care of themselves. Your message is an important one, and I hope readers will give it careful thought.
Take care,
Pat

May 20, 2010 - 5:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

you look great in this video...what a great presentation.

May 20, 2010 - 7:32am
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