A few weeks ago, fifty-plus members of Kim Merkin’s “book club without a book”, EBUG (East Bay United Gals) gathered on Diane’s boat in Alameda, California, to officially launch our book, Women I Want to Grow Old With.
With Oprah-like qualities, Kim interviewed us in front of a live audience to share what our research and interviews taught us about how women can intentionally make and keep female friends – for a lifetime. We answered questions about what it takes to reach out to make friends, what gets in our way, and how we benefit from committed female friendships. There were ah-ha moments, a few tears, some ut-ohs, and lots of laughter!
A Second Coming of Sorts
To us this event was a second coming of sorts. You see, four years ago we first tested the idea for our book in a friendship salon hosted by Kim’s EBUG. Women of various ages, backgrounds, and cultures served as an initial focus group to provide insights into our belief that women want to create and nurture female friendships, but life’s pressures and commitments get in our way. Through it all, though, we want to grow old together with courage, health, and attitude – GOTCHA! We just need a little insight and encouragement to get there!
Why Friends Are Good for Us
Thank you, Kim and all the members of EBUG for reaffirming our belief those female friendships are good for our health, well-being and sanity! Here are just a few reasons why:
Friends help us stay healthy. When we’re around female friends our bodies release the stress-busting hormone, oxytocin. Having friends has also been shown to reduce dementia, allow us to move forward more quickly after the death of a partner, and recover more quickly from cancer.
Friends allow us to be more than we are. When we’re encouraged or accompanied by friends, we are more open to trying new things, going new places, and meeting new people.
Friends allow us to look in the mirror. They are kind but honest. It’s that spinach-in-your-teeth kind of truth that we may not want to hear but understand we need to know.
Friends are fun. We laugh with them and stir up a good kind of trouble with ‘em.
Real friends are there for us no matter what. They are the drop-everything kind of friends who will be by our side literally or figuratively holding us up as we climb over, go through, and move beyond.
So thank you EBUGGERS for being by our side for this very momentous occasion in our lives.
We literally couldn’t have done it without your love and support,
Diane and Margaret