It’s women’s retreat season. And women all over the land are taking the plunge to get away with their own kind, and leave their children to
chance uh, frozen dinners and fast food. I am speaking at two women’s gatherings in the next ten days, so I’m gearing up to be with many of “my own kind” myself.
But here’s a true confession… I love being with women, but sometimes I get a little nervous being around a stockpile of estrogen all in one place. And I occasionally wonder if others struggle with that same fear.
Who knows, maybe the guys do too (although I have a hard time picturing a guy saying “Bob, I’m really nervous to be here with all these guys.”)
And yet, here’s the thing– in spite of my reticence, I always come home from Women’s gatherings grateful I went.
So for those who are thinking of taking the plunge, and men who wonder what really happens at these gatherings, here are:
BENEFITS I can expect from being away with women:
- I will be around people who use as many words a day as I do.
- I will find empathy and understanding when I share my feelings, instead of a puzzled look (husband) or a disgusted stare (child over 12)
- I will not have to explain my moods or hot flashes. And if I want to explain them, people will care.
- If food is involved, I will always be able to find someone who wants to share a dessert. Or two. But in the end, each of us will only be having half a dessert.
- When I am sharing in a small group, no one will be checking scores on their iPhones.
- No one around me will be afraid to ask directions to the dining hall (or seminar room).
- I will always have company going to the restroom, and will actually have some of my most meaningful conversations there.
- I will be able to go into any stall in the bathroom and find all of the toilet seats down.
- I will find affirmation, solidarity and humor for things I thought were mine alone to carry
- I will likely walk away feeling stronger than when I came.
You’ll notice I took a slightly more serious turn on those last two. And you can probably junk the rest, and take those last two with you as you contemplate finding space in your calendar to sign up.
In Genesis 2, before God created the first woman, He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And while there are obvious reasons that women were needed to complement men, (imagine an all male world and weep), it’s NOT JUST MEN who benefit from a woman’s presence and support.
And that might be reason enough to show up.
And if I happen to be there, and you want company going to the restroom, I’m usually game.