Anybody feel the pressure to have a huge circle of friends?
Do you sometimes assume that busyness and constant entertainment is something to achieve?
We are inundated with that thought process-that success and ideas stem from those things, and inspiration and accomplishments will follow.
We have been told lately that you NEED many women around you to be everything you want to be.
What if....you DIDN'T need that?
Imagine already feeling accomplished and fulfilled.
Happy and in love; in a vibrant relationship.
New challenges are shared, adventures taken with "the one", not the "many".
Family built upon a strong foundation of two in-love parents.
I know what some of you are saying.
"That is patriarchy!"
"We are fighting for our rights!"
"That is antiquated and not realistic!"
'What if he/she/they leave you?"
"Even if you say vows to each other, that really doesn't mean forever!"
"You NEED other women to THRIVE!"
Whether you are intrigued or now hate me...please hear me out.
I am an EXTROVERT!
I love to be around other humans, and each new person is a potential friend. Challenges are best completed with a team! Recharging my "batteries" means hanging out in a large crowd. Mindfulness, for me, is accomplished while talking about deep things and sharing my heart with a close friend. I might not enjoy a solitary walk in the woods, but I will visit at the park, with people I have just met.
I even talk out loud when I am praying during devotions. (God hears, but I seldom sit quiet long enough to listen to His voice....working on that one!)
Even in a sound marriage with a man I cherish, the need for lots of friends is still there! Look up extrovert in Wikipedia; Kristi Ramey is the first name listed there.
However, my daughters and various friends DO NOT feel that need. They are happy, content, and inspired in their small circle of close family and friends.
Husbands and wives can be BEST FRIENDS and deeply connected, even with just a few years together. I have seen many a young couple grow closer together as the years go by.
In love, supported by one another, and content in their relationship. Two is the perfect number for them! THEY inspire ME!
IT has taken me many years of wondering how that works, but I've slowly learned.
IT is not the quantity of the people around you, so much as the quality.
The love, the friendship, the comfortableness, if you will, that draws people together: common interests, similar goals, same paths, faith-all of these play a role.
Many of my peers have welcomed me into their small network, by inviting me in somewhere along the way.
It is an honor to be friends with someone like that. Your energy, opinions and talents are looked upon and appreciated. They support each other on a level I used to underestimate.
Each person, that has been invited in, shares that sweet connection of fellowship.
We are told by articles, mommy bloggers, magazines and life coaches that we need MORE NOW to be happy, and friends are included in that. Inspiration, good health, and even sanity is said to be tied up in those connections. "Without your girlfriends you will never be successful, satisfied or achieve great things".
Recently, the blogosphere told us that we need to go out 3 times a week with girlfriends. Wow. Who has that kind of time? Not me.
As a small business owner that works with families, I am intrigued by how people prioritize and order their days. There are SO many ways to do this thing we call life!
As a woman who has had a few turns around the sun, please take my advice: Don't let other people dictate how you act, live, and love.
How you parent your kids is up to YOU.
Who you look to for support is up to YOU.
Where you invest your time and money is UP to you.
What your sphere of influence looks like is something you can take charge of.
TRUST your intuition and experience to guide you as you make choices.
Now, that does not mean to avoid outside counsel when you need it.
Not everything comes naturally; some things are taught. All that said, be selective in *who* you allow into that journey with you.
As a woman, be true to yourself and, IF YOU WANT TO, surround yourself with loving, kind people that believe in you.
Or DON'T...it's up to you.