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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Moving outside your comfort zone

Remember when you were in elementary school and you only associated with kids who were in your grade?  You didn't interact with those who were even one grade lower or higher.  Then as you progressed into junior high and high school you started branching out a little to include kids of different grades.   You'd think that as adults it would be easier to have friends of different ages but there is still that tendency to stick with people of your own age.  That's really too bad.  Some of your closest friends might be women who are old enough to be your mother or young enough to be your daughter.

When I was a young mother, I lived far away from my mother and sisters but found friendship in several women who shared their wisdom and talents with me.  Let's see...Mary Ellen taught me how to can fruit.  Marge (who was raising five children) gave me child rearing advice.  Ruth, who was severely disabled with rheumatoid arthritis, taught me how to quilt by hand.  Ila taught me how to grow a garden.  I loved those women.  Much of what I learned about being a mother, I learned from them.  How I would have missed out if I had only interacted with other young mothers who were as clueless as I.

Several years later, I am still learning a great deal from dear friends of all ages.  I am thankful for those friends, not just because I learn from them but I enjoy their company.  My life is richer because of that bond of friendship.

After you get married and start having children, age means very little.  A woman having her first child at age 40 is experiencing many of the same struggles as a 20 year old having her first baby.  All of a sudden, there is much in common.  You might make a new friend if you step out of your (age) comfort zone and get to know women who have either gone through or are going through the same challenges that you are experiencing.


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