The Sisterhood is a place to bring your cup of coffee to. Heck, bring the whole pot :). Sit down, relax, and fall in for a while. No divas or meanies allowed. It's about boy brain, kiddos, food, one crazy labrador, autism and a cat in recovery from a back tire incident. Oh the places you'll go :)

The TWANDA Panerapy Friends

on September 27, 2012

It’s funny how much difference a text can make.  A text of all things.  Even stranger that I feel this way because I am not a girl who embraces technology all that much.  I like the days of no answering machines when you had to call until you got a voice on the other end of the line.  I like the phones with the holes in the face where your fingers went for dialing.  I prefer talking to people face to face.  But, I have to admit, even though I do not do smartphones or internet on the phone I have, I love the invention of texting.

I got an early text this morning.  It was a good text, a text from girlfriends in Florida who were having breakfast together.  Both of the women are good friends, the kind of friends I call TWANDA friends.  Not all friends are TWANDA friends, mind you,  but they are.  There through thick and thin, divorce and marriage, the good times and the bad.  They are loyal and steadfast.  They were the friends I hated to leave when I moved from Florida to Cali and the sames ones I hated to lose this summer when I left all over again.

This crazy thing happened at my house this summer.  I quit Facebook. Yep, I did it.  The unthinkable.  I  gathered all my strength, held my breath and hit the dreaded deactivate button.  It needed to be done.  Facebook is the giver of many good things but, just like it is with most things,  the bad comes with it as well.  The mean girls, the antics that feel like high school all over again and the political wrangling that can get ugly …they all started creeping out of the virtual walls and Facebook started to feel like an emotional drain.   Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I am too sensitive for Facebook.  It was a long time coming, I should have figured it out a lot earlier than I did but, like Maya says, when you know better, you do better.  So I did my better, winced a bit as I did the thing I did not really want to do and… I quit.

After some pretty earth shattering events in my life (you can read about it in a previous post, Deconstructing a Life), I decided that a life with value and one truly worth living probably wouldn’t be found on the virtual walls of a social network like Facebook.  A life filled with real people would have to be constructed out of, well, ….real people… and, as it turns out I was in luck… my children are very real.  They are 15, 12 and ten and their childhood years are shrinking day by day.  My days with them are limited and my biggest priority is to make those days count and give them childhood memories of a mom who was present.  A mom who was playing board games with them, swimming with them and baking for them….not a mom with her face planted on a fakey Facebook wall.  It was a quality of life issue for us all so I took a big step, deactivated and did my best not to peek back in for a check.

It was hard.  There were people on Facebook that I loved, adored and I truly missed.  I wanted to check in.  I felt alone, like I was losing them and I soooo wanted to make sure they were all okie dokie.  But, I held firm in my resolve to construct a better, more wholesome life that was based in the real world of my non-virtual children and I stood down.  I did not check in.  I did not peek.  Not even an eensy little peek for very good reasons.

And, then this funny thing happened.

Those people that I missed, the ones I really loved and adored and wanted to peek in on…they started to text and call that same week to make sure the kids and I were okay.  I met each text with a smile that was so big it hurt my face because, I understood, the TWANDA friends would always be there to check in and keep the friendship strong…Facebook or NOT. And then, in a text that surprised even me, I discovered that even long distance friends you leave behind in neighborhoods when you move, can stay close…no matter what.

In one of the best texts I have received since texting began, Mrs. M texted to tell me that she and our TWANDA friend, the T-girl (she knows who she is :)) were having Panera “with” me and just wanted me to know.  There were in Tampa at Panera Bread, our Panera-Therapy girl place, having coffee and, even though I was in Cali, they took me with them….in spirit.  It’s been five years since I left Florida and they still took me with them.  And, I loved it and I realized TWANDA friends are friends…no matter what, no matter the distance, no matter the technology available.  It didn’t even matter what I was drinking…as long as they remembered to take me along!

I visit FB sometimes these days and I enjoy seeing the pics of good friends and their children growing up.  I used it to wish my daughter congrats on her outstanding report card.  There is goodness there too as long as firm boundaries are set.  Not nearly as much goodness as I have found in the TWANDA Panerapy friends but there is some goodness :).  Thank you K and T for being such lovely friends and for taking me to Panera today!  Best drink EVER.


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