Don't Forget Your Much-Needed Gal Pal Time

It's so easy when you're our age to tip in the direction of devoting most of our time to aging parents, grown children, and grandchildren, if we're lucky to have those family members in our lives. Add in work and that's another time zapper and stressor. And, maybe, you also are able to squeeze in time for reading, exercising, and having fun with your partner.

What gets shortchanged too often is schmooze time with female friends, who often may be your best listeners, laughing, and wine or Martini drinking buds, and all-around soul mates. They're the ones you can share minor and major annoyances with--which Barbara recently did with Margaret about disappointments with a contractor's work. Minor in the scheme of Barbara’s life but something she needed to air with someone who would be all ears and understanding, and, if asked, offer some guidance or feedback. That was over the phone because of the distance between them, but better than abbreviated emails or texts that don’t communicate the intonation.

We're here to advocate the value of face-to-face gal time, whether going to a Pilates class together, taking a walk, doing a home project in one of your homes--perhaps, planting flowers now that the frost is gone, having lunch, dinner, just drinks, going to a museum, movie, sitting and chatting in your home, on your deck or in your garden with a glass of wine, and sharing some major confidence that you want to keep close to your vest and away from others’ prying eyes and ears.

Barbara recently had a business trip to Chicago where she once lived, so she had the double pleasure of speaking about a recently published book and getting together with gals for lunch, breakfast, and dinner. This included one woman she met by email and was connecting with in person for the first time feeling like they were old-old friends. The adrenalin surge with these females she hadn't been with for a year or so was palpable.

Margaret had a “family” reunion recently of eight women who were in her grief support group. They needed to check in with each other and see where they had landed since the death of their spouses. There are still sad moments, we all lamented and discussed this briefly, agreeing it is normal. Most important, the evening was punctuated by lots of laughter and great stories of dating and finding new interests, and friends. We were all doing well in our various pursuits.

How do you know when you’re in withdrawal from female companionship? Mainly, when you miss certain pals and phone time is insufficient, find yourself complaining perhaps a bit too much to a partner or parent, which may signal you need a change in company, activity and a good laugh.

So, hold these thoughts, and if you’re in an “I need my gal friends funk,” let us inspire you not to procrastinate. Pick up the phone, dash off an email, or text, and make a plan to get together. And please share with us any ideas for how you most enjoy time spent with your gal pals.

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