Is this the key to contentment?

I went walking with two female friends last night. We do it about once a fortnight. It means sacrificing one of my precious few nights with DD, but it’s worth it. Those walks are good for my soul.

I walk with another two friends every Saturday morning. I really look forward to that one too.

I figure walking with friends means killing two birds with one stone – talking like it’s an Olympic event and exercising at the same time.

It’s always heaps of fun.

I come a bit late to the girly gang thing. I dated my ex from the tender age of 23, so I didn’t experience much of the single scene with my mates thing. I didn’t join a mothers’ group after giving birth either. My first bub was born late November and the groups shut down over Christmas.

I look at the posts on Facebook of the mothers’ groups getting together for weekends away 12 years later and feel baffled and faintly envious in equal measure.

I’ve always had great female friends, but I used to think I was more of a man’s woman and believed I had a stronger connection with men than women.

These days my girlfriends are waaaaaay more on my wavelength. Sure, I have a laugh with blokes – I love men – but women give me the emotional connection and support I’ve realised I need.

They also fulfill the chitter chat quotient that really isn’t DD’s forte.

While I do a lot of talking on those girly walks, I’m trying to get better at listening. I think I’m making progress. I want to be a better friend.

Listening is tricky for me, not because I don’t care but because my brain is so frenetically busy. It’s hard to quieten it enough to be silent inside and out.

DD will occasionally request I stop talking for a few minutes so we can enjoy the tranquility. Silence terrifies me because there’s nothing to distract from the frenzy inside my head.

The frenzy also means I don’t hear nice things being said to me. Literally. My brain goes “la-la-la” and blanks it out or I’ll start babbling and pretend the nice thing wasn’t said.

My new boss says lovely things to me and I’m trying really hard to listen and believe I’m doing a good job.

She is the blunt, no-nonsense type and her loud, forceful compliments are difficult for my evasive brain to dodge.

I suspect the key to evening my keel lies in believing the compliments, listening more than I talk and learning to enjoy (instead of fear) the tranquil moments.

Baby steps.

Song of the day: Simon & Garfunkel “The sound of silence”

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