The Dinner Club Girls

“Lovin can hurt.

Lovin can hurt sometimes,

but it’s the only thing that I know.

And when it gets hard,

you know it can get hard sometimes,

it is the only thing that makes us feel alive.

We keep this love in a photograph.

We make these memories for ourselves…..”

Ed Sheeran, “Photograph”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSDgHBxUbVQ

What is one of your most impactful blessings? I ask myself.

When I’m up in the night.

You see, I’m up in the night a lot now.

It’s new to me. Not my norm. I used to be the girl who could drink a cappuccino at 9:00 p.m. and fall asleep the moment my head hit the pillow, for a solid ten hours.

I went hard during my days. All out. Busy. Energetic. Fully engaged.

I thought that was why I was a good sleeper.

Now I wonder if it was simply that my mind was more pure. Innocent. Less troubled.

But I’ve hit middle age, menopause.

And I find age 56 my hardest year yet. (Each year since hitting 50 has been my “hardest year yet.”)

My career has lost some of its sizzle after 35 years at it; my kids are at incredibly important stages where every decision is big; financially, after 8 years of college tuitions, I’m maxed out; spiritually, I’ve strayed. And my sons’ worries or sadness turns into my own, 100 times more intensely.

I care.

My best quality…and my most troubling quality…is that I care.

Deeply.

And so, in the night, I think of pleasing words to try to lull me back into slumber – gentle, loving-kindness, relaxation.

I deep breathe.

I pray.

I go through my lists of all I’m grateful for.

What is one of your most impactful blessings? I wonder in the middle of the night.

The answer may allow me rest.

Tonight, I know the answer.

The Dinner Club Girls.

Truly, one of the most important and impactful blessings in my life are the five women I call The Dinner Club Girls (a.k.a. The YaYa’s), these beautiful, warm, kind, loving women I’ve known since I was a teenager.

I believe my husband loves me more than even my mother – he’s my #1 blessing.

I could not ask for kinder sons who are such wonderful human beings. I marvel daily at who they have become. To be in their presence is a profound blessing and it gives my life its meaning.

But my closest girlfriends are the final piece to my puzzle.

They bring me to life. They love me. They care about me. They give me advice, encouragement, kind words, hugs. They’ve been there with me every step of the way…and haven’t left.

Others in my life have left.

Not everyone connects to me. Some don’t get me; I don’t get them. They are put off by my tendencies or what I say or what I think and we part ways. I believe, likely for the best for both of us.

But for those who don’t leave…..

…for those who get so deeply under my skin, into my DNA, who make me feel such joy in their presence, I will be eternally grateful.

At the end of my life, I want to remember them. And all their goodness. All their love.

Our laughter, our tears, our stories, our photographs.

The Dinner Club Girls.

One of the most impactful blessings and turning points in my life were meeting these amazing women who have depth of character, loving kindness, compassion – despite our life trials and hardships.

These women are: Sheila, Jeanne, Terena, Anne, Mary Jean.

They are one of the most impactful blessings in my life. And that is saying something.

That…I will think of in the deep of night.

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