Wordy Wednesday – Blogging Friends

Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they are there.

Old saying

The six women came from different walks of life. 

They lived in different hemispheres.  Two were in the northern half and the other 4 in the southern half. They lived across multiple time zones.

Most were retired but they were still active and had a lot to offer the world and weren’t afraid to share their life experiences.

But it didn’t matter.

It didn’t matter that few had ever met in person, it didn’t matter that they had different backgrounds, had lived different lives. It didn’t matter that some were grandparents, and some were not, that some still worked a day job.

They had a common outlook on life, and they came together to share their thoughts in a safe and non-judgemental place.

They were all midlife bloggers.

What they weren’t, was the archetypal image of ‘invisible’ midlife women.

They had found each other through their ‘midlife’ blogs; reading, following and commenting on each other’s posts. They each had a different voice, but they resonated with each other.

It started during the global pandemic in mid 2020. 

The idea was put to a few bloggers to see if they’d be interested in connecting via a weekly Zoom meeting, chat about their highs and lows for the week and to discuss a set question.  The bloggers would take it in turn each week to be the leader with a question for the group, a conversation starter, to help learn more about each other.  The group was limited to six bloggers and a name was sought. 

The Six Stunners was decided upon as an apt and highly fitting name. A Facebook group was set up with regular updates from members and discussion after each week’s zoom meeting.  Photos were shared and friendships forged even further.

The women grew in confidence with each other as the weeks turned into months; they supported those who were suffering; encouraged those who needed it; rejoiced when things were going well; and provided a simple, but lasting, friendship.

The women laughed and cried with each other, shared personal stories and learnt more about themselves in the process.

They continued to grow by sharing their thoughts, ideas, hopes and fears.

Life quote from Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Life quote from Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Women’s Circles aren’t a new thing, but this was a new thing for me. I have friends all over the world and am quite a sociable being.  I like being with people, I like sharing stories, listening to others and hearing about their lives.  I appreciate being supported when I need it and I try to support others when they need it. 

After being made redundant one of the things I missed was the daily chit chat that goes on in an office situation.  The snatched conversation between work, the comments on a new hairdo or new glasses, the family updates and the knowledge that your work colleagues/friends had your back at all times.  The camaraderie, the support, the daily drama and the friendship. Yes, I missed my rewarding workload, but I missed my work colleagues far more.  We have stayed in touch, but it has a different feel when we get together these days. We have lost some of that connection but thankfully we hold on to that shred that once held us together in the workplace.

It can be lonely once you are retired, you don’t have the continual contact with people, and if like me you thrive on that, then it can be a very hard transition to make.  And when that is pushed on you, in the form of a redundancy, it’s extra hard to adapt to.  You feel like you’re grieving for your loss of work, your purpose and your loss of social network. Unlike some managers, my work team were my friends and although I was the boss, I had an excellent relationship with them all. They knew so much about me and could tell what sort of mood I was in before I walked in the door, my tip-tap footsteps would alert them if I was full of vim and vigour or if I was feeling down. My face has always been an open book too!

The group of bloggers, the Six Stunners, that I’m a part of, has that similar feeling which I’ve really missed.  It may only be an hour or so a week, but it brightens my day and puts a spring in my step.  We know what’s going on, to some extent, in the lives of our friends and know when a supportive word is needed or simply a kind word. There is no judgement and it’s a safe place to be ourselves. 

Some of our wide ranging discussion topics have included love languages, favourite books, music choices, shoes, travel stories, dreams, meeting your partner, mentoring, writing our own euology…..and we have never had a disagreement. 

Every week we all bring something different to the table, we learn from each other and we learn about ourselves, that we’re not as shallow as we thought, that we may not think as deeply as others but we still have valuable insights on a subject and we all have something to offer. Sometimes we don’t think we have anything to offer but it turns out we do!  We listen to each other with respect and no-one hogs the limelight, we share it around.

I admit to looking forward to our conversations far more than I probably should.  I value the friendships and the shared wisdom.  I think it came at a time when I really needed it and so I am in debt to these women. They just ‘get’ me.

I love logging on each week and seeing their smiling faces, I love the support that radiates from the group, the fact that we’re not pushing our own blogs but simply enjoying a friendship. If one of us can’t join in for some reason we miss them but still get on with the conversation, and surprisingly the same amount of time is used up whether it’s five or six of us.  If need be, we change the day of meeting to suit what’s going on. 

We are flexible and we are friends. We value our special friendship and that helps keep me grounded in these scary times.


MOJO November 2020

I wrote this the other day, before my first cup of tea, as part of a course I’m doing with the Australian Writers’ Centre. It’s a daily course for November aimed at improving our MOJO and getting those creative juices flowing.

I am really enjoying it and my mood has picked up considerably since starting the course. It gives me a daily focus and helps me to see things differently. I’m learning and enjoying the process greatly.

The course has daily challenges and interesting insights, built around the initials MOJO.

  • M for Mindset
  • O for Online
  • J for Juice
  • O for Operation

Some of the random things I’ve done so far are – I’ve planted sunflower seeds, written a letter to my future self, checked what words were introduced in the year I was born, written 1000 words (on any topic) and found out how many days have passed since I was born, played a game of I Spy while out and about, (taking note of 10 suggested items for creativity purposes) – as I said it’s been very interesting. Each morning I wake up looking forward to what each day’s MOJO will bring and where it will take me. There are inspiring quotes, ideas for writing and interaction within the group. So much fun!

This particular challenge was on Day 4 with the task simply being, Write 1000 words on any topic, carve out time today and just let the words flow…

And I came up with these 1000 words in one go!! I was very proud of myself and shared these words with my blogging friends, asking their permission to share as a post on my blog. They all agreed 🙂

Women’s friendships are like a renewable source of power.

Jane Fonda

I won’t name who is in our group as we are keeping it private but if you are keen to start your own circle of friends, as we have done, I would highly recommend it!

I usually do a ‘Wordless Wednesday’ post but I’m thinking I will mix it up by adding a ‘Wordy Wednesday’ post every week or so. It doesn’t hurt to change things up a bit every now and again does it?

Let me know your thoughts, as always, I love hearing from you.

Deb 🙂


Debbie

Debbie is an award winning blogger and lives in the small town of Tumbarumba in NSW Australia. Married for 40 years, with three grown up daughters, Debbie and the Mathematician are avid travellers, cyclists and adventurers. Described by others as a ‘hummingbird on speed’ this active mother and grandmother has also received a bravery award from the Queen.

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44 Replies to “Wordy Wednesday – Blogging Friends”

  1. That was such a beautiful read Deb and I am in a way envious. The thing I missed most when I retired from teaching was the daily social engagement and that was what made me start my blog (see this week’s Chapter 19!). I miss people still and make an effort now I am well, to engage with bloggers and social media friends to meet up for coffee if we can. I miss that most of all. One day, Deb, its us!!

    Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek. Next week is the final #TakingStock optional prompt (still others to come!) in 2020. Hope to see you there too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks Denyse! I can imagine it is hard when we are used to being quite social and then we stop. You are fabulous at engaging with other bloggers and I have been so lucky to get to know you over the years. I’ve just read Chapter 19 today and am in awe of what you manage to write! Yes one day we will definitely meet up in person, and I can’t wait!
      I’ll be there next week for Taking Stock – it’s always one of my favourites!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a brilliant idea – although I’m not part of a women’s circle, I am really grateful for the friends I’ve made in my computer via blogging. Imagine if one day (when we can all travel again) if the SixStunners can have a real life reunion! Wouldn’t that be grand?! I know 2020 has been such a doozy but I love stories like yours that really are silver linings. The course sounds great by the way and you’re obviously smashing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We dream of a 6 stunners reunion Sammie! Yes I think it’s a silver lining story from the ruins of the year too :). Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Blogging is a great way to engage with others and I love it!

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  3. The Six Stunners sound stunning! What a wonderful idea. I also like the sound of your MOJO course. Reaching out and keeping in contact with others is so important now during the pandemic. Our case numbers are rising again, and it looks like we may be in for another period of isolation. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Zoom catch up is a lovely idea. I had one blogging catch up with a couple of people a while ago and that was nice. When I was working on a contract earlier this year I had A LOT of meetings on Zoom but that all ended in June, so I’ve only had a few lectures since then. But I do miss the catch ups.

    I have a group of friends locally I see each month but my long term besties (in Brisbane) I’ve not seen – as a group – for over a year. Three of us gathered when I was in hospital down there recently but one couldn’t make it but I’m going back in a week and I think all four of us will be there this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great idea for a group and a way to stay connected with people while we’re all so isolated this year. I’m not great with social situations, or Zoom chats with people I don’t know. I’d be doing a lot more listening than talking, but it’s a fantastic way to still get a bit of that daily chit chat that you miss when you’re not at work in an office/with co-workers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that’s all so true Katherine. We started off a bit quiet but slowly learnt to trust each other and open up, without fear of judgement. A great way to connect with others around the world!

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  6. Debbie, what a great testament to the power of virtual friendships. After working a virtual job for a while, I was amazed at how close I became with coworkers I never met face to face. I see the same thing happening with some of my blogging friends too.

    While I miss much of the interpersonal interactions, I’m learning that online can be a powerful way of connecting too. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Had to read and reread the title of this post. Used to wordless Wednesdays where you share just a photo (and perhaps a few well chosen words of explanation). Wordy Wednesday threw me off for a minute.

    What a great idea to form a posse of women with whom you meet up – at least virtually, for now, and share life. I wonder, do many of your local, face-to-face friends blog or share your varied interests? Or do you find you have more in common with these blogging buddies? I know of no one else personally, IRL, who blogs. And the women I know IRL have very different interests from mine. I don’t really have friends, just acquaintances. Having retired from education, I was used to having a large number of friendships with colleagues just like you describe with your work mates. It has been hard to transition from being with people (mostly women and lots of children!!) all day everyday for 5 days a week to being home alone. And even harder now with Covid.

    This post has really caused me to reflect. Thank you. Would like to find a group of similarly minded bloggers to connect with as you have done with the stunners. Hope you will share more about this group in future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Friendships formed across the net in the world of blogging are one of the best forms of friendship I know, Debbie. So glad you’re part of a group of online friends all looking out for each other. In some parts of the world, because of restrictions, I’m sure these friendships and groups will come into their own. Even during normal times, these groups also do so much to help those who may live alone or who may have lost contact with family and friends. The last few years, I’ve even come online on Christmas Day to check in on those who may be on their own and who may be looking for some human connection. It may only be 30 minutes, but I know it’s worth it.
    Keep on shinning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your always welcome comments Hugh. I know you ‘get it’ about blogging friends and count you in my friends made through blogging list :). You have always been a caring and supportive blogger and have taught me, and many others, the joys of engagement and friendship through this medium. Thank you for that and your amazing insights. The world needs more people like you xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Deb – I think the biggest (by far) blessing I’ve had from blogging is the friendships I’ve made with like minded women. Some have come and gone, but the little nucleus of those of you who’ve stuck with me over the years just makes my heart happy. Chatting face to face takes it to the next level – and it reassures me that there are women out there who are on a similar journey to me and who want to be positive and affirming and kind – we need more of those people in the world and I’m holding on tight to the 6S!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love that you are challenging yourself with this writing course, and that you have developed a group that meets regularly. It doesn’t surprise me that friendships have deepened as a result. Also I echo your words about your experience of retirement and the changes in one’s social life. Thanks for sharing this post. Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s been interesting some of the things I’ve noticed over the last few years since finishing work Michele and I’m glad to hear you can relate to some of them too. Thanks for your visit and comment.

      Like

  11. Deb, A beautifully written post. I can feel the heartfelt emotions coming from your words. One message that comes through to me is how we are all more alike than we are different in this world. Despite geography, careers, different family dynamics, our fears and how much we love and care transcend cultures and continents. I wholeheartedly agree with you “….leave no lovely word unsaid.” Thank you for sharing your spirit and your words. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy the same feeling of camaraderie Janis! I’m with you in that I’d still want to meet up, regardless of the pandemic. It’s a great feeling and I’m so grateful for having met these amazing women and women like you too!!

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  12. What a beautifully written post Deb. I can imagine the joy and light your zoom group has brought to you during these difficult covid times. I love the idea of Wordy Wednesday occasionally. I’m taking time out from blogging this week as you know, but couldn’t resist popping in to read your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Jen and for popping in to read while on a blogging break too!! The group has been a joy during these difficult times and we all learn from each other. I’m looking forward to Wordy Wednesday and will probably alternate my Wednesdays.

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  13. This is so great in every way! When I retired from teaching, I missed all the usual things…but it also surprised me how much I missed the camaraderie with other teachers….our shared stress, shared challenges, shared joys….with one look we spoke volumes….we had each other’s backs out there on the front lines. Your blogging group sounds lovely! I love being able to find our people! Making connections across the world is the true joy of blogging! I love that Covid didn’t steal that! Thanks for your inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Carol, it’s the little things that we miss sometimes isn’t it? I’m glad you understand what I mean. Our group is lovely and so supportive and fun, finding ‘our people’ is such a joy and meeting others from around the world, like you, is just a fabulous feeling of connection. I’m so glad you enjoyed my words 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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