Lean on me
Lean on me… when you’re not strong …
Remember that song? Bill Withers wrote it in 1972, which may have been the year you were born, or the year your children were born, or ten years before that, but the words are timeless. I’ve been thinking about them a lot.
I don’t have many close friends. All these years being a wife, mother, and writer, I never had time for friends. Now I do. There are things I want to discuss, and there are things I want to discuss with other women that only women will understand. But how to find good friends at this stage?
A major issue for me, and I think for most of us, is trust. How do I know that if I share something personal it won’t be batted around on social media the next day? Social media scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. I’m a private person. And proud. I don’t want to be ridiculed, and I want what I share with a friend to remain between friends.
I had a wonderful introduction to this last fall when I joined a group of women for a week on a one-house island. We talked about everything, trusting that what was said on the island stayed on the island. That element of trust required a leap of faith, both on the part of our hostess, who personally invited each of us there, and the seven other women who opened their minds and hearts to make it work.
Our hostess, the friend who trusted me enough to ask me along, set a courageous example. So I’m throwing my own island getaway of sorts, a virtual gathering on my website. You readers chose the name last fall – Hear Me Roar – and it’s for women who are strong or want to be, but need a boost.
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand, we all need somebody to lean on …
That’s the premise. But I need your help. What do you want to discuss? What most concerns you on a personal level? My readers are caring, smart, trustworthy women, and my website isn’t set up to go viral, making it isolated, much like an island. So what topic would lure you to this island?
This isn’t a contest, just me asking you to help pick the first subjects on the Hear Me Roar discussion board. Please tell me your choices either in a comment to this blog, through a Contact message, or, best of all, on the discussion board itself, where you’ll find a forum called What do you want to discuss?
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When you only have sons and no daughter. You have nurtured your children until they leave home. They meet the love of their life and suddenly you have to take a back seat. Daughter-in-laws tend to stick by their mum and family and thats ok, but it makes me feel lonely, especially when major things occur, like the loss of my Mum. How do we learn to accept the losses and stay happy!
As someone who didn’t have a close family I’ve always had to rely on friends, but have found it very difficult to find because the women of my generation (I’m 62) seem unable to find time for friendships after giving their attention 24/7 to their children. I find this continues long after the children finally leave home. It’s very frustrating.
I retired from education in 2008 thinking that I could finally travel the world. Within two days of retiring, my mother was diagnosed with heart problems and ultimately four different dementias and metastatic breast cancer. I was in shock for months; my retirement was “gone” in the day-to-day responsibilities of assisting my mom. It took me a while to realize I was right where God wanted me to be.
What helped me during that time was taking a few classes at a local university. I made new friends and enriched myself (I learned how to knit!) when I badly needed friendship and distractions. One friend in particular helped me through the loss of my mother in 2012 and we still meet weekly for lunch and knitting (and occasional enrichment classes).
I recently left my job as a respiratory therapist for 26 years. I started that career when my first marriage was ending and being a stay at home mom wasn’t going to pay the bills. I still have my “change of life baby” to get through high school. I’ve worked his entire life and now get to be home for him “chauffer” for a few years. We moved across the country to my new husbands paid for property out in the country. I love the quiet out here but I am a city girl. Most of the friends I had were work related and I am having trouble making friends here. My grown children are still back in Arizona as well as my grandsons. I’ve been feeling lonely and disconnected. I am very creative doing crafts, photography, etc. But I so need some women to connect with. I want to get started going back to church and hopefully can find some painting classes or something.
We all need friends. I did not know they were so hard to come by until I retired. I think the older you become the harder, especially if it is hard to reach out. I thank God each day for the few I have and pray for more.
I love your books and am going to enjoy this blog.