As I huffed and puffed on the stairclimber on a Monday morning, I reflected on my weekend – not on my overindulgence of food and wine but on friendship. I had just spent a weekend with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We have been friends for close to thirty years and every time we get together, it’s as if time has not passed. Girls need girlfriends. We crave and seek out time with our girlfriends. . . because only females will appreciate our silly stories about getting lost, our need for a new wardrobe and our new appreciation for Skechers shoes (OMG, so comfortable!). Our husbands will just roll their eyes or pretend to be amused but you know inside they are thinking “what the heck is she prattling on about”. Guys have a different genetic makeup than us. They don’t care about the little minute details that us chicks love to share.
I realized this annual weekend is good for my soul and my healthy well being. As a 48 year old woman, it is hard to find women to relate to. As an adult, we are all at different stages of our lives and it becomes more glaring as you reach middle age. Some of us have kids going off to college and others of us have kids who have not yet entered middle school. There are those of us who have gone through divorce, some of us struggle to pay our bills and others of us are jet setting on vacation every other weekend. All this makes for a disconnect at times as jealousy, frustration and sometimes just a plain lack of empathy sneaks in. Some friendships run their course and we no longer relate to each other or find each other’s silly stories about getting lost funny anymore. At times, we have to take a break from each other and reunite weeks, months or even years later. And sometimes, we just need to say goodbye because a friendship has become toxic, one sided or jealousy has reared its ugly head. I’ve experienced all of these phases of friendships and none of them are pleasant which makes me appreciate and cherish the friends that I’ve had for an eternity.
Studies have shown that both physical and social activities promote endorphin release. So as I finished climbing that stairclimber, wiped sweat from my brow and those endorphins started to kick in, I realized the feeling was like spending time with an old friend – euphoric and a general feeling of well being. Okay, I wouldn’t say the stairclimber was euphoric but giggling with my best girlfriend certainly was!