Feeling Thankful for the Therapeutic Mom’s Night Out

All work and no play makes anyone a little depressed.

It’s not that work is boring. There’s never a dull moment over at Man’s Greatest Hospital, that’s for sure. I’m taking busy to new levels, taking on a lot of new responsibilities, inventing some even, exciting projects that maybe, possibly, hopefully will result in good things. Good things for patients, colleagues… and me, of course.

But I’ve been maintaining a high level of energy, effort, and engagement for a long stretch now. And as I was commuting home on the train one Friday evening a few weeks ago, I reflected that I hadn’t seen any friends in awhile, nor did I have any plans to see anyone, and come to think of it, I hadn’t heard from anyone either. Family gatherings, charity events, yes plenty of those, but geez, what happened to my real social life?

Then Wham! I regressed right back into my high school headspace and became that insecure waif in Guess jeans and awkwardly feathered bangs wondering, What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone like me?, pining and waiting for someone to call and say “Hey, let’s go out!”

That lasted about two minutes, until I remembered that I have a cell phone full of the contact information of everyone I like to hang out with and then some, including scads of local moms. So right then and there, I calculated the logistically most feasible course of action with the lowest activation energy. The easiest group to gather would definitely be the moms in my neighborhood whose kids all go to my kids’ school, because it’s a big group that I can just text and someone would surely be able to walk out their front door and down the street to the local bar, right?

So I sent a friendly text suggesting a mom’s outing within the next few weeks. Within ten minutes, there was a quorum, and a Mom’s Night Out was planned.

Weirdly enough, right around the same time, two other moms from different social circles reached out to me with similar texts. I wasn’t the only one feeling overworked and undersocialized. I cleared a bunch of dates and times with Hubby, who owes me about six months’ worth of kids’ bedtimes. Suddenly, my social calendar was booked.

Though one gathering was cancelled due to the flu (the hostess herself swabbed positive), I just enjoyed three different Ladies’ Nights within a ten day span. Whew! Whoo-hoo!

And I am thankful. Seriously, I’m not just adding that in because it happens to be Thanksgiving, I really am thankful that these great women exist, that they wanted to hang out, that the time was so therapeutic. I no longer feel like a high school loser. These Ladies’ gatherings featured real deep conversation, connection, venting, networking, laughing… We all work, we all have kids, and we’re struggling through in our own ways. So amazing to share and listen and drink and eat together.

Of course, now the holidays are fully upon us, we probably won’t get together again until, like, March, when everyone is feeling down and depressed because it’s still winter, and the texts will go out like white flags, and we’ll gather. I know it, and I’m thankful.

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