7 Jan
2015
Posted in: parenting, reading
By    Comments Off on Power in Connecting

Power in Connecting

Over 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second son, I started taking my toddler to a play group in the hopes of connecting with people and ridding myself of nagging loneliness. I made a passing comment about missing the act of reading. I wasn’t making me a priority. A new friend invited me to her book club and my decision to step outside my comfort zone and attend caused lasting ripple effects.

The first Tuesday of every month has become part of my schedule. It’s a mental health appointment for me. The majority of that group has been together for years, a few of us for over 10. We’ve seen each other through a myriad of life events. There’s been a lot of laughing and crying. We read a new book each month or at least attempt to read the selection. Some books garner a lot of discussion, others not so much. There’s always food and wine around that safe table where I don’t worry about what might leave my mouth before being filtered. They’ll love me no matter what and call me out if needed. We’ve been known to travel together because once a month is simply not enough time.

Wyoming mountain stream

I feel connected to those ladies, many who I don’t have daily or even weekly contact with outside of random email and text messages. It’s become a comfortable place for me even though I’ve been known to leave a meeting thinking I’m not smart enough or cool enough to hang with that crowd. My insecurities, worries, weaknesses, strengths and praises can all be laid out on that table. Something that started as a way back to reading has become much more.

There’s power in connecting with like-minded people and feeling a sense of belonging. Finding an avenue for connecting is vital as a mother. Find that thing you enjoy and invite a friend: golf, paint, cook, exercise. There’s power in the act of showing up for each other. Some of our meetings, like last night, draw a small crowd. We’re all mothers, struggling to fit everyone’s needs into a limited amount of hours. Sometimes our needs are shuffled to the bottom of the deck. We intentionally keep our group small. Too many and there’s a chance voices will get lost in the din of camaraderie.

Last night I was gifted with hours sitting around my dining room table with four women I love. A few of us talked until midnight. Time is precious, but once a month I choose to lay my to-do list aside and just be present. There’s power in connecting. If what you have to give is just showing up, that’s more than enough. I plan on showing up more in 2015. To those ladies who choose to spend hours together each and every month weaved together by words on pages, thank you. To those who aren’t there every month, you know I love you too.

 

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