Next week I am going away with eight fabulous women. A whole weekend without my babies, without any responsibilities and with the most fun and amazing humans you could ever meet. I am giddy with excitement.
I have been re-evaluating my priorities of late. I have not seen these friends in the same room since my wedding eight years ago. I can hardly believe we are going to have 48 hours together to catch up on so many years of lost time.
Life got busy and I did what my mother always told me not to do – I stopped nurturing my female friendships.
We are all guilty of putting our kids first. And it needs to be that way. But the first things to be sacrificed in our busy worlds are things we do for ourselves (I haven’t been to the gym since forever), and our female friendships.
We always just pick up where we left off and my friends are darlings for never judging me when it comes to failing to return a text message or rarely going out. But a wise woman recently told me that love is actually time. You need to water flowers for them to thrive.
My friends make me so happy and it is high time I started giving them higher importance. My true friends are happy when I have a win. They are not jealous. They are not bitter. They are kind and not judgemental. They listen. They are loyal. They make me feel good. They compliment me. They let me know without saying a word that life is not a competition. They are one of the greatest gifts of my life.
Of course we all come across women in our lives who do not support us. Toxic friends judge and criticise you and never miss an opportunity to point out your shortcomings.
I have a few soul mate friends who are more like family. We have sipped champagne in France. We have seen in the new year in the Red Square in Russia. They have been there for me when I have had broken hearts, broken toes, broken bras and broken dreams. They have been there for me when I have been up all night with a sick baby and they notice if I look a little more tired than usual.
They have been there for all the really big times in my life, including celebrating new careers and of course flanking me when I married the love of my life. But they have also been there for all the small things in life when I have had a bad day. It is often those small moments in life, shared over a cup of tea or a glass of wine, that make up the big picture at the end of the day.
My friends are one of my most treasured gifts. I am so blessed I have found my tribe. My wish is for every female to find her own tribe to share the journey of life with, because friends make us rich beyond compare.