Wednesday, November 11, 2009


“You are one of the few non-stressor people in my life.”

I said this to Mimi as we were walking the other day on our one-hour cardio tour through our local park. We’ve been trying to hook up for walks as frequently as our mutual schedules will allow (and, that’s not very frequently). She had just explained that she had, very politely, said “no” to her grown daughter’s request to come along on our walk (at the last minute). Said daughter has a young daughter who, it was apparently explained, Mimi could easily push in the stroller as we all walked together. As though it was just a casual add-on to the infrequent-but-cherished walks Mimi and I have been trying to carve out for ourselves between taking care of everyone else in our respective lives.

My response? “Absolutely NOT! She’s missing the point! This is YOUR time for YOU. Not to be shared by anyone who might present the slightest challenge to your peace of mind and spiritual tranquility. This is Girlfriend Time for you and I. Our time to take care of ourselves, with no consideration for anyone else. No stress, no baggage, just girlfriends.”

Then it slipped out…one of those “Freudian” slips…as part of my defense of this time as ours alone. Trying to explain why I would not let any of my boys come along, whether they could keep up with our pace or not. Trying to explain why “exercise” was not actually the most important part of our selfishly hoarded, minimally available hours of walking together. Why I wouldn’t want to be walking that particular paved trail at that particular time of day with anyone else I know who might possibly be available at that particular hour.

“You are one of the few non-stressor people in my life.”

No baggage. No “issues”. No “have to’s”. No need to be anything other than just some woman walking in the park with another woman. No expectations. No pressure. No need to impress. No need to carefully weigh words. No restrictions on topics. No need to talk at all. No stress. Period. Ahhhhh. Balm for the spirit, wrapped up in exercise for the body. What more could a girlfriend need? And what a gift on those occasions when we are able to give same to one another.

Mimi giggled, her face lit up in an illuminating smile that only her charming face could fully embrace, and she gave me a giggly hug. No words necessary.

I’m not one of those people who have a large portfolio of friends, although at this point in my life I have more “important” friends in my life than I think I’ve ever had before. Women who know and understand me to an extent that has not been usual in my previous life. Women I meet up with regularly, usually weekly, and who I genuinely miss when we miss the chance to get together. Women who feed my mind, as well as my soul, and who still seem to accept me even when I’m less than acceptable in my own eyes. Friends. Real friends. Who are there when you need them, and not there meddling when you don’t. People who are non-stressors. Ahhhh. I love them with all of my heart.

You know who you are, my dears. And I adore you, each and every one.


  1. I know what you mean. I saw two of my dearest friends last week when we went to Mobile and I felt so lucky to have friends like that - it was hard to walk away and know I won't see them again for a long time. Ones that you can just relax with and be yourself and not worry what comes out of your mouth!

    Glad to have found that with you and some of the other ladies in our local group. It keeps me sane.

    You said it ALL just right: "No expectations. No pressure. No need to impress. No need to carefully weigh words. No restrictions on topics. No need to talk at all. No stress. Period."

  2. Nicely said. I miss you, friends! :)

  3. I love your writing!

    Somehow, I went years thinking I didn't need friends. And I wondered why I was so depressed the least little thing drove me to tears! Then the Universe sent me Sarah, who led me to you all. Life saving, truly.

    See you tomorrow!

  4. Very nicely put! My friends are few and thankfully the ones that I've chosen to keep in my life (and I in theirs) are non-stressor friends.

    I had "stressor" friends and well, those friendships eventually burned out.

    emmi :)

  5. Ha, Emmi! Yeah, I seemed to always have at least one "stressor" friend in my younger days, but let them go as I got older. One of them just recently returned to me as a total mature, supportive and fabulous friend, though. How cool is that?

    Every day I am grateful for the lovely, funny, intelligent, remarkable, and supportive girlfriends in my life. Each and every one of you :)