Group Therapy

For years, women have united - in rallies to gain rights, in corporate America to break stereotypes, at riverbeds to wash clothes, in malls for retail therapy, at the salons for pampering, in living rooms for games of bridge, in lamaze classes for birthing prep, at the park for  play dates with kids, and the list could go on and on.  In my life, the women's groups that I have joined along the way have meant connection, support, inspiration, wisdom, and comfort.  As I have encountered life-changing events, I have needed those relationships immensely.  When I had my first child, joining MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers), gave me an instant community of women who knew exactly what I was thinking and feeling.  I felt understood.  Then, when I was losing my sanity being at home full time with infants, and had a husband who traveled much of the week, I found ladies in an online forum in the same situation that I was in.  I felt known.

Honestly, one of the questions my closest friends asked me the most when we were planning our adventure was, "What about your 'girl time'?"  Don't hear me wrong, Mark is a wonderful husband (of nine years yesterday!) and I am so grateful for his go-getter personality.  We really would not be here, doing any of this, if he wasn't planning, researching, learning, and making it all happen on a very regular basis.  But, I do not think it fair that I expect him to fill the role that my friends fill.  He could not possibly sit with me over a cup of coffee for hours talking about feelings and all that stuff.  Seriously, I would be guilty of torture!  Nor could I expect him to get excited about the latest gossip magazine news or young adult fiction trilogy.  Let's face it.  Women need women.

While in St. Lucia, I happened across a 'cruisers net'.  At 8:30 every morning, a facilitator gets on the VHF radio, channel 68, and makes announcements about weather and news.  He also allows cruisers to participate in a sort of craigslist, trivia, social calendar hodgepodge.  While listening to one of the broadcasts, I heard about a 'women's group therapy session' happening at one of the nearby resorts.  Huh?  Group therapy?  I imagined women sitting in a circle in the sand in their sarongs, sharing their issues and chanting calm reassurances to each other.  I decided to try it out.  Any excuse to meet other women was good enough for me!  Turns out, it was fantastic.  I was greeted with a Mango Tango (yummy frozen drink) and met over 12 ladies who were escaping their boats for an afternoon of chatting with women who share their experiences.  Since I was the new girl on the block, I laid low and soaked up any tips and tricks of living aboard.  I again, had found a group of women who understood me and could help me navigate this new life stage.  I met some wonderful women from all sorts of backgrounds with loads of experience cruising.  It gave me a chance to ask all the questions I could about living aboard, and I took full advantage of the wisdom I'd happened upon.  Tips ranged from "White vinegar - buy it in the gallon sizes and use it to wipe down all surfaces and soak toilets," to "take it slow, don't get on a tight schedule and have to rush through the islands."  It was a priceless network, and my "girl time" cup was filled to the rim.  

Turns out, one of the ladies I met was an artist from Colorado.  She offered to have the kids aboard her boat and teach them about using watercolor.  What a great idea!  The kids loved learning about making the colors "explode" on the paper, and Mark and I had some time alone.  Win-win.  In a strange six degrees of separation moment, we figured out that she was actually the mother of one of the gals I went to MOPS with in Colorado!  As we explore the expanses, we are constantly reminded how small the world really is!  

Comments

  1. Sarah! I absolutely LOVE this post! I love how God has provided everything your heart could possibly yearn for!! Such gifts He has for ya'll! Miss you sweet thing!! Love that you found some girls!!!! xoxo

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