At some point past midnight on Saturday, my husband came out to the patio to tell us to lower our voices. We were being loud? It was past midnight? Perhaps it was the five (maybe six) bottles of wine or the roaring fire blazing in the backyard, but we had lost all sense of time and place. It was book club night – need I say more?
Book Club began two years ago this month and has been growing strong ever since. We chat about our selected reading for about two hot minutes and somehow the night evolves into a bevy of topics including school systems, sex, Twilight, extracurricular activities, personal stories and experiences – to just name a few. I think we even touched on creating our own charter school, but that may have been during wine bottle number five, so I cannot be certain. Of course, there is plenty of wine, food, laughter and sometimes tears. It is not so much our passion for reading, but the desire to connect with each other that leaves us smiling, refreshed and satisfied.
One of my dear friends (and fellow book club member) shared a very poignant email she received just hours after our last book club. It talks about a Stanford professor who lectures about relationship and disease and how one of the best thing a woman can do for her health is to have quality time with her girlfriends. He goes on to say that “this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being”.*
The email could not have been shared at a better time. All of us commented in the days that followed how great we felt and how much we enjoyed each others company. I never imagined that I would be privy to creating such beautiful and meaningful relationships this late in my life, but feel so blessed that it’s happening.
Our next meeting is weeks away and our book selection is set. Whether all of us will read the book is questionable, but I know we will all be gathered regardless. Because it’s more than just Book Club. It’s girlfriend time.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by centraljerseyworkingmoms, a New Jersey mom.
*They Teach It at Stanford
In an evening class at Stanford the last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.
Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged” not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking! So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.