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Growing up I had friends … but when I think back (shiver) I am not sure that those friendships were easy; some (many) came with emotional tariffs that left me wanting. But, really, who has time to dwell on the trivial wasteland of adolescence!? ¬†Today, I look around me and at every aspect of my life, I find friendships – easy friendships – that sustain me in such ways that I simply cannot imagine my life without them!

There is a group of women with whom I have been friends for more than 10 years (some over 15) and over the last 8 years the six of us have gathered once each month for dinner, movies, arts & crafts, games or whatever the hostess decides! We have traveled together, listened to each other, supported and loved one another. This group has brought me such immeasurable joy and perspective and laughter … oh the laughter!

Then, I look at all the amazing friends I have made through my son’s school and my heart warms at the realization of just how many wonderful, talented, thoughtful people have children at his school: people who are part of a healthy, engaged, supportive school community of which our family is so lucky to be a part!

Growing up as an only child, there were many reasons to be self-reliant and to learn how to be alone and content with the quiet. And, trust me … I still love my alone, quiet time (a lot) but I have grown so fond of embracing the many people that come into my life, welcoming them in; truly engaging with them and actively participating in the friendship. You will often hear me say, “the more the merrier” … and it’s all true. And, while some friends have entered my life at the exact time I needed them and leave (by growing apart, moving away or otherwise) when it’s time, they have all taught me something about myself.

Friendships nurture us, protect us and make us feel grounded; I feel very grounded these days, surrounded by fantastic friends!


About Dena Grunt

"We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free." - Kavita Ramdas Dena is the author or Table with a View: the History and Recipes of Nick's Cove" and founder of Destination HR Consulting. She lives in Petaluma.

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