How these women keep me grounded
Heard of the phrase 'tend and befriend?' According to a study conducted at UCLA by psychologists Laura Klein and Shelley Taylor, women deal with stress differently than men. That's no surprise to me as a catastophist turned self-care ritualist. The difference according to these psychologists is that in the face of challenges, trying times and even simply the mundane lull of life, women turn to women.
Earlier this year, my friends and I had a discussion about time. We all stress about time, do we not? We have to wait for the 'right time.' There's not enough time. Time moves too fast. It seemed like since we graduated college time only hastened its pace.
The four of us have full-time nine-to-five jobs and, though we enjoy our work, the weeks sometimes feel the same. Routine, routine and more routine. While we live only blocks away from each other (a blessing in this city), we would reserve getting together on weekends when 'we could finally relax' and spent most of the work week going through the motions of after-work work like grocery shopping, working out and cleaning.
That's why we started getting together for weekly dinners. Being the introverts that we are, we make time to cook together, imitate Cardi B's latest genius vocal expressions (we have an odd obsession), and eat our weight in cheese. It's our chance to unplug and enjoy each other's company. And, it reminds me of what's important: friendship and making time for the people that make each day a little more special just by being themselves.
Why wait for Friday? Friday for introverts often means shaking the week off with a solid Netflix binge and cheese pizza without shame.
Psychologists say the need for this female bonding is driven by hormones and chemicals. There's no denying science. I hear them. I agree with them. But, I also believe that 'tend and befriend' can bring simple, overwhelming joy to stressful situations. It's deeper than biology.
Women lift each other up to keep each other grounded.
I couldn't be more grateful for the women in my life who do just that.