The Celebration of Chip's life is today. I struggled with the decision…
It has been my experience that every person needs a squad. Your squad is your people. The person or persons you text at 11am when you are stressed about work or the group you cannot wait to share your news with. It is the ultimate no judgment zone, the group hug, and it’s going to be okay feeling.
Dogs get it. They have a pack, and it is their version of a squad. A group of people or a person that they are fearlessly devoted to, protect, and love. Dogs don’t try and figure out why their pack is what it is; they just love it. Dogs have a sense of responsibility and a keen awareness of need. Cats, however, seem to have no intention of building or joining a pack—too much commitment.
WWW-Women Who Wine.
My pack is the Women Who Wine. These three women are more than a pack of friends. They are support, love, and friendship that knows no bounds, watches no clock, and is limitless and fearless.
Our foursome would meet for dinner once a month and divulge insights into our lives, our businesses, our stories, and always toasting a glass of wine or two. Then the pandemic shut us down. This was not acceptable, so we developed a workaround, and on March 26, 2020, Sanity Zoom was born, upping our game from monthly dinners to weekly Zoom meetings.
Religiously, every Thursday afternoon at 4:30, the chaos of life stops for just a little while, rarely to be missed. One by one, we join our virtual table with snacks and a beverage of choice. There is never a lull, no chance of judgment, and often not a dry eye. Laughing and crying can coincide. These women have saved me on more than one occasion.
After a few weeks, we felt the squad needed a proper name, and on May 14, 2020, Women Who Wine was born, logo and all. (Thanks, Amelia, for the logo design!) A year has passed, and we have talked through business challenges, positive Covid testing, and health scares. We deal with aging parents, remote learning students, and college kids far away. Together we mourned my beloved pug Izzy’s death and prayed for a speedy recovery of Sidney’s ACL surgery. Kids, husbands, friends, elections, vaccines. Fear and happiness. Loss and grief. No way I would have made it this far with my squad.
During these sessions, we have been known to shop online simultaneously, stalk shoe sales, plan dinners, buy Dot’s Pretzels, and support organizations close to one or all of us (To Life!) A Thursday encounter is rarely missed. I have joined the WWW Zoom from Route 81 on the way back from Alabama. We have logged in from carpools and parking lots, hotels, and conference rooms. In these away-from-home situations, WWW becomes WWC – Women Who Coffee- we do not drink and drive, especially simultaneously!
Get. A. Squad.
Build a squad of people that you can both trust and support. Your life will be richer, and walking your dog on a cold winter morning will be dramatically enhanced with a squad by your side.
Our Thursday afternoon WWW Board of Directors advises on business challenges, resources to use to make our businesses better, and an overall sounding board. We act as veterinarians, teachers, doctors, and most of all, counselors. My soul heals every Thursday by 6 pm, and I cannot wait until next week.
We have now all been vaccinated and eagerly await the return to breaking bread together. Face to face with a can of Lysol, hand sanitizer, and a mask. I don’t care about all that. I will do it. I just need my squad.
Hold it together.
I am moving out of the area in the next few months. This afternoon as I write this post an hour before our Women Who Wine, I feel a twinge of anxiety. I know it won’t significantly change, but I will not be able to just hop on the Northway and meet for coffee. I will be back every month for our in-person dinner, assuming we will all be healthy and ready. In the meantime, Thursday afternoons beckon me to enjoy the stillness and support of more than a squad.
These women are frequently the first text of the day and the last text of the night. I will NOT say goodbye; it’s simply logistics, EZ Pass, and enough coffee for the three-hour drive. Piece of cake (or cheese).
I love you squad.