When I was writing this blog, the words to a song by the Association came to me (Along Comes Mary) along with the title to a movie from the 90’s (There’s Something About Mary). Unfortunately, both of those titles have some connotations I did not want to evoke (but I just did, didn’t I)?
Back to the subject of Mary’s. I just finished reading Mary Pipher’s most recent book, Women Rowing North, which I would recommend to anyone, but especially to women of a certain age. 20+ years ago, Pipher helped me navigate the raising of two daughters in a culture that doesn’t value girls with her book Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of our Adolescent Girls.
With this book, she offers wise counsel for women as they age. The book jacket reads, “Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age.” She does so with wisdom, humor and grace. I have many friends and clients in various stages of this generation and three of my favorite are named “Mary.”
One Mary has been a dear friend since childhood. This Mary has dealt with the recent death of both her parents, an upcoming retirement, and the joys of being a grandparent. I value the length and depth of our friendship that doesn’t rely on frequent contact. The second Mary I met approximately 15 years ago, and she is a hard charging, extremely busy professional who will always answer the phone if she sees that it’s me calling. And her help is not just supportive, it’s usually very practical. The third Mary came into my life a little over four years ago as I was launching my new business, The Right Reflection. Launching one’s own business can be a little daunting, not to say lonely, and this Mary started as being my creative consultant and has grown into a dear friend who serves as sounding board, a confidant and a friend.
One of the major points of Pipher’s book is that women need to focus on, work on and cherish their friendships with other women. It will make this season of our lives very fulfilling. I have many close women friends not named Mary, (you all know who you are), and I dedicate this blog to you.
Pipher begins each chapter with a couple of quotations. One that spoke to me and reminded me of my friends was by Gloria Steinem: “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.” Watch out world, here we come!