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Estrogen, Pick Me Up!

May 13, 2011

It was a tough day at work…the kind you just want to go home and forget.  Yet, I had an 8 pm work conference call that would extend my day.  On my calendar for 5:30 pm was an evite for EBUG – East Bay United Gals, a book club without a book that I joined a few years ago.  I love that club…no membership dues, no book to read, no responsibility even to even show up. Still, I felt tired and frazzled and knew I still wasn’t done for the day.

You know how it is…you want to go to the event, but you don’t know how to fit it all in and not die from the stress.  I hadn’t been to the last few EBUG gatherings, and I had rsvp’d “yes.”  So, out of respect for the brainchild organizer, Kim, and the evening’s hostess, I went.  Besides, it was wine and chocolate tasting—just what my inner therapist knew would soothe my soul.

Wow, am I glad I went!  The minute I walked into that sea of women all nestled in the hostess’ home, eating homemade beef stew and sipping wine while waiting to savor chocolate, I knew I had made the right decision.  I hugged and chatted with my friends and welcomed meeting a few new faces.  The energy instantly buoyed me.

When I expressed to my good friend, Lynn, how worn out I was, she commented, “I knew something was off.” (I guess I was wearing my weariness on my face.) I told her about my day and got just what I needed: empathy and no preaching.  Another woman I had met just once before came over to chat, and we brainstormed about promoting her business.  I liked her ideas, and she liked mine.  When she told me she was reticent to go on camera, I asked why and told her she was beautiful.  She is.  Her ego lifted and her confidence soared.

I ate a salad, picked potatoes out of the stew, and headed right to the chocolate. A headache begged me to skip the wine so I downed lots of water.  I chatted about jewelry with Lynn, fashion with Dodi, and house hunting with Stephanie, who has just relocated to the Bay Area. Some 45 minutes later, as one of the first to leave, I said good-bye and dashed to my car to put on my headset for the last work call of the day.  I took that call with renewed energy.  My mind clearer, my spirits higher – all because I had invested time with a sea of wonderful women!  Thank you, my friends, for caring to gather and for the energy, enthusiasm and estrogen boost you gave me!  I’m so glad I didn’t bug out of EBUG!


15 Comments leave one →
  1. Noonie permalink
    May 13, 2011 11:24 am

    It is so hard to get motivated when after-work inertia sets in and the couch beckons! Rarely do I regret opting to make the effort to see girlfriends. It’s a great choice that is free, not fattening, and adds to my energy!

  2. May 13, 2011 3:47 pm

    Diane – What a fun story! Sometimes we don’t realize how much of an impact we make on one another. Thank you for putting it into words! I am honored to be in the company of such fabulous women and facilitate the activities that this wonderful group creates. Champagne tasting, BBQ with a gourmet professional chef and/or a day at the ranch are just ahead. Hope to see you at one or all of the events. : ) Kim

    • May 13, 2011 11:38 pm

      Genius is what EBUG is, Kim. I hope other women throughout the country follow your lead. We like to call them GOTCHA! Gorups…Grow Old Together With Courage, Health and Attitude! And, it was at EBUG that Margaret and I held one of our first friendship salons more than three years ago to begin this conversation about friendship…so thank you — again!

  3. May 13, 2011 4:08 pm

    I find EBUG events energizing, too. I hope to see you at the next event! Your story will help motivate me to “push through” and show up even if it’s been a rough day.

  4. May 13, 2011 8:29 pm

    This is exactly what works for me too. Running a professional women’s community for a living can can make some days of being with other women more work than play. Surprisingly the answer is not to avoid more women but to go to my personal women communities and connections – especially EBUG. This group saves many a day because it is a place were I can go “where everyone knows my name” like a roving “Cheers” for those of us who remember the sit-com. I too emerge refreshed and ready from the warmth of good friends and yummy pot-luck favorites. So glad to be in community with you!

  5. May 13, 2011 8:33 pm

    I just read your Blog. I think I know that girl who told you she was a little camera shy, and you are right, you did boost her spirits 🙂 You know that I know what a day you must have had and I was so glad to see you show up at EBUG that night, as I was leaving, putting my shoes on and you were doing exactly what you were meant to be doing, kicking off yours…ahhhh. In fact, EBUG is just like that, the moment you feel when you kick off your tight shoes. I know it’s called East Bay United Gals but for some reason I always think of it as East Bay UNCOMMON Gals. We are indeed uncommon and I am so happy to be a part of it.

    Lis McKinley
    Oakland organizer

    • May 13, 2011 11:35 pm

      Indeed it was you. What a great connection we had that evening, Lis! It’s fun to be uncommon and to let our hair down in the company of women we trust. Thank you for your comment!

  6. May 15, 2011 3:54 pm

    This is such a lovely tribute to EBUG and such a nice blog idea, too. Perhaps you’re the one who brightened up the room upon your entrance that night?!!! See you at another event soon.

  7. May 15, 2011 9:08 pm

    What a well-written blog entry! So creative and expressive! Diane’s account of a stress-filled workday relieved greatly by fellowship — not with fellows but with women friends — is one that all of can relate to.

    Thanks, Diane, for expressing our sentiments so perfectly.

  8. Sharon Thomson permalink
    May 17, 2011 11:30 pm

    Hi Diane,
    I am so glad you shared your blog link with me, what a treat! EBUG sounds terrific, I’ll have to find something like that here.

    Women friendships are very special and you are reminding me to do more to cherish and nurture them. I have a group of 6 friends that we started when we all met in a “mom and baby” group put on by our local parks department. I didn’t know a soul in my town because I had spent the years commuting to my job, I was rarely “home” in my hometown! That baby group saved my sanity, and we all kept meeting together for years following the end of the 6 week session. Once we all started having 2nd and 3rd babies, we got too big to meet regularly, but we continued to get together at least once or twice a year, and it’s been 30 years now since our first babies were born! We’ve seen each other through thick and thin, with our children as they grew up, with our spouses, some still together, a divorce or two, and an untimely and sudden passing of a husband. We are all so different, and yet when we get together, it’s as if we just saw each other yesterday and are instantly connected again. Thank you for your beautifully written sentiments, I am going to do more to nurture these friendships and make new ones! Keep up the great writing!

    • May 19, 2011 10:45 pm

      Thanks for sharing about the “baby group” Sharon! Amazing how even though it’s been years, you connect instantly. So many women we have spoken to rave about how women we want to grow old with can pick up right where we left off. I know others will be inspired by the connection this group has created!! And…I know you’ll make new friends to share your life with in Hawaii.

  9. Lynn Davis permalink
    May 21, 2011 6:48 pm

    Diane – thanks for the mention. I remember the night well. I was so glad to see you when you walked in the door. You always light up the room even when you have had a difficult day. It was nice to be able to be there for you. UNCOMMON is a perfect description of the women in EBUG. That is the charm for me. This means that everyone is there purely because they enjoy the company – not because it is good for their career. Interestingly enough the networking that takes place in a relaxed way has been a true side benefit. Thanks to Kim Merkin for having the foresight that this type of organization had possibilities and for the energy she puts into it so that all of us can have these wonderful Estrogen lifts.

    • May 21, 2011 8:46 pm

      Purely enjoying the company is the best part of women we want to grow old with! And, you are right. Someone has to put forth the energy, whether it’s a large group like EBUG or a two-friend get-together. The best thing is not to keep score. If you want to be with friends, just make the plans and do it! Thanks, Lynn!!

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