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This is Life, Based on a True Story  

This one is for the girls

In my never-ending saga of life with a 16-year-old daughter, the full impact of needing to have close women friends hit me full force this past week.

After a major blow-out with my daughter — the worst yet — I left my house in tears just needing to get away and clear my thoughts.

I was driving aimlessly around West Kelowna trying to make sense of everything that had just transpired.

That was when I realized how much I needed some serious one-on-one girl talk.

I called one of my best friends and she immediately offered to meet me somewhere – no hesitation. She knew.

We met and I poured out all my sadness over a glass of wine. She listened, she advised, she hugged me and she just let me cry.

Our female friends are treasures. As women, whether we share in the miracle of motherhood (eye roll), or go through life without raising offspring, we all harbour the same internal drive to have a soul sister or three.

Someone who will agree with us when, on the rare occasion, our kids or significant other are being jackasses. Or our bosses are being tyrannical. Or our family is showing its dysfunctional side.

Our female friends pull us through our “uuugh” moments and celebrate the Wonder Woman in us – usually over a few glasses of wine.

Yet, as women, we are so hard on each other. We can be judgmental and downright bitchy toward our counterparts. We tend to forget that each and every one of us is living her own story and trying to make a happy ending just like ourselves.

For whatever reason, we see other women’s accomplishments as competition. Our gender is known for being catty and gossipy toward each other.

There are numerous TV shows that celebrate this behaviour among women. Why do we do this to ourselves and to each other?

My last column revealing what was really going on in my life behind the keyboard generated a lot of positive response from readers — all women.

I had messages in my inbox thanking me for putting it all out there. There were a number of comments saying we need to support each other through our trials instead of watching in horror and then gleefully sharing the bad news about “what she did wrong.”

One of my recent and most favourite experiences of seeing women support each other wholeheartedly was at the gym. 

There was an opportunity for women to sign up for a six-week program geared to weight loss and healthy lifestyle choices. But most importantly, it was to build a network of support among the women at the gym.

I mean if there’s any place in the world women are going to feel insecure about themselves, it’s the gym.

The program was called the Girls Night Out Experience. Over the six weeks, various challenges were put forth, which everyone was encouraged to try.

There was never any pressure and the challenges were always light-hearted. The trainers also established a Facebook page specifically for this group and through that page, we were able to communicate with one another and post anything from questions to recipes to funny or inspirational memes.

What started out as a group of random women - most of whom had never met – soon became a little family of cheerleaders.

If someone was having a tough week, the rest were there to cheer her on. Not once did the ugly head of competition rear itself because we were all in this together with the same goals to feel good about ourselves … and to help each other feel good about themselves.

The culmination of this six-week program was indeed a girls’ night out where we all had a chance to strut our newly honed and toned stuff and share our stories.

A number of times throughout that evening, I sat back and just observed everyone. Not once did someone speak meanly about another.

It was really the best side of every person shining through that night, and I remember feeling proud at being associated with these amazing women.

The gym accomplished its goal of helping women connect with each other in a positive way.

In fact, I’d say they were very successful as this type of environment is usually fraught with competition and jealousy among women.  

The point of my telling you this is simple. Our girlfriends are a necessity to our own well-being. We are an incredible gift to each other.

As women, we can and should build an environment of support together and be the great example that future generations will want to emulate. 

Thanks for reading.

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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]

 

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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