Who is my Greek Goddess?

I've been wrestling with something for a couple years, actually more like five or six years. It only seems like a couple but we moved two years ago and I was wrestling with it long before that.

renee tougas fall 2010

My identity as an outdoors-loving woman and wife to an adventurous man has been, at times, "in conflict" with my identity as a happy homemaker (literally, I am a happy homemaker).

This inner conflict has been a tension of sorts, or rather, a stretching that accompanies any significant personal growth.

I've discussed this conflict, tension, stretching, whatever you want to call it, in the following posts specifically:

I'm not digging into those posts to relive the words I wrote but there have been dominant themes from those posts. They are:

  • I don't identify with a lot of women I know, where do I belong?
  • Being a partner to my adventure-loving husband has meant giving up my "dream" that he would want to tend a garden and have a homestead. (This does not preclude me from tending a garden by the way.) I say dream, in quotes, because it was not one of those dreams you grab on to with all your strength and work to make reality. It was more of an idea, based on a slew of simple living and urban homesteading books I read around six years ago.
  • Growth requires loss of some kind.
  • Where are the women like me? (In a loop with point one)
  • Adventurers can be just as rooted as the staying-put folks, just in different ways.

There are probably a few more dominant themes I just don't care to spend the time digging.

So what's the point of all this. The re-hashing, searching the archives for these links, discussing the conflict, tension, and the stretching.

Here's the point: I'm ready to move on.

renee tougas gossamer gear

I've actually moved on already but my writing has not yet caught up with that reality. (It usually takes me a few weeks to a couple months, and sometimes a couple years, to get my ideas published here.)

The question of what brand of outdoors woman/homemaker/adventurer/domestic goddess I am just doesn't matter anymore to me. Trying to define myself in these two realms - adventure/outdoors, home/hearth - is no longer a preoccupation of mine.

I am who I am. And that's good enough.

I read a post this fall on friend's blog titled Hestia Rising (love that). Dear Hestia, Greek Goddess of Home and Hearth, how I know you well.

Hestia Rising could probably have been the movie title for my life from about age twenty-two to thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four.

And then the movie title would change to "Hestia is no longer rising but we're not sure what Greek goddess is".

Certainly not Atalanta, she's too competitive, too athletic. Maybe Artemis? Nah, too much hunting and my birthing years were over by the time I was thirty. Hygieia? Health has always been important, but cleanliness and sanitation are a bit overkill.

"What does it matter which Greek goddess you identify with?" you ask. To which I say, "It doesn't, but it did."

Not the goddess part, but the group, the name, the identity - the thing I am. It mattered once, it just doesn't anymore.

renee tougas nikon d300


At summer's end I hosted a personal growth Skype chat with you all. Not you "all", just those of you who wanted to join and were available at the time I set.

Someday I'd like to get all high-tech with webinars and online conferencing. Unfortunately, I am but one woman with a small tech budget whose patience for figuring out tech support is limited. So I offer what I can.

On that call we talked about many things - to-do lists, marriage and motherhood, new ways of looking at our circumstances.

We also talked about identity and the question, why must we define it? This was a small part of the conversation but it stuck with me because as a word-smith I have tried to define, with words, who I am for the past few years.

Blogging does this to you. Or maybe it's not blogging, but making a name for yourself online. Selling your work. Selling your words. Selling you. Who are you?

And so I have strung lists of words behind my name in an attempt to convey what I am, who I am, to people who will never meet me and know, just by spending time with me, what and who I am.

renee tougas

As an online writer I have to write bios, I need a resume of sorts to showcase my work. People hire me, sponsor me, read me in part because of what I am able to show of my accomplishments and my identity.

I understand that.

But after a long season of wondering what my identity is exactly, right now I'm content to wake up and face a day of activity and purpose, driven by interests, goals and dreams, instead of an identity.

(I just want to thank those of you who were a part of that personal growth chat, this was one of the big things I took away from our time together.)

Since this summer I have let go of my pre-occupation with self, specifically defining myself, to just be and do according to the priorities of that day, the goals of our life, the dreams of our family. Freedom!!

Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way.

Madeline L'Engle from Walking On Water

The freedom in this mindset is that it keeps me open to growth and change. I'm not stuck with a label that doesn't fit.

renee tougas

Tribe & Community

I hate the word tribe. It sounds like a cliched marketing term. I've seen the "inside" of too many internet marketing books, courses, and articles so that the word tribe feels kind of icky to me. I don't like the word "reader" either.

People who regularly read this blog and comment (or not), are so much more to me than a blog "reader". I despise the word "fan", as in Facebook fan. I'm not even going there. And you will never hear me call you peeps.

Those of you who stay and read and get to know my family, you're not a "reader" (and good grief, you're not a fan). And yet without me knowing you likewise, it's hard to call you a friend. And so I love the e-mail correspondence, blog commenting, and visiting your blogs that I am able to do with many of you.

Thinking of you as a friend is the most comfortable thing for me. Equals.

renee tougas reading

I have wondered for years "Where are the women like me?" The ones who wrestle similarly with split identities of adventurer/homemaker. It turns out you're right here.

Ironically, now that you've all come out of the woodwork and shared with me, in e-mails and blog comments, that you too identify with this split, it doesn't matter so much to me. You matter, of course, but having someone "understand me" doesn't. Maybe that's just because I know you do. (smile)

The truth is everyone wonders where they belong.

Everyone struggles with identity. Everyone wants to find "their group", their tribe (ack!). My own version of this age old tale is not unique, it's simply my version.

I share the question where do I belong? with people of every creed and color - men and women alike. And for that very reason I belong.

Our Edges (our multiple identities) make us Brilliant

We are all multi-faceted, many "edged" persons. Like a friend in the personal growth chat said, this makes us brilliant, like a gemstone.

And here I thought my growth edges were places of disconnect from other parts of my being and development. Disseparate. Not so. They are all facets of who I am. And seen in the light I'm like a diamond sparkling. So are you.

Our facets, our edges, the pieces we feel don't always line up, are what make us brilliant.

mont richardson

Authors and Inspiration

When I felt myself growing in directions beyond home and hearth, specifically my movement into outdoor pursuits, I wanted role models.

I wanted to see what this looked like for other women. Other mothers and homemakers, especially.

I am not, nor have I ever been, athletically competitive. I am not a Jennifer Pharr Davis.

I didn't grow up hiking. I didn't graduate from university and set off on a backpacking trip around Europe, hitchhike to Alaska, or do anything really adventurous. I set up a home, I had a baby.

In university I was a wife who looked forward to going home and preparing dinner for her husband. I was not planning treks to Nepal, stints in the Peace Corp or even summer missions trips. (Damien worked at a liberal arts college for five years in Maine. During that time we befriended outdoorsy students and those girls were so much more adventurous than I ever remember being.)

As a thirty eight year old with years now of hiking and some backpacking experience, I still can't imagine being in the woods for extended periods without Damien.

Although I still feel insecure at times around hard core outdoors-women, through the years I have found adventurous women I can identify with. Not because they are exactly the same as me but because they share enough in common that I can appreciate what they have to offer. I can learn from them, not becoming sister soulmates, but certainly being inspired about where my personal outdoors/adventure journey might go.

renee tougas

Bloggers, a few friends in person, friends from my blog, and authors - I've found a small group of women who consider the outdoors and adventure an integral part of their identity.

I have mined my domesticity. I have raised the rolling pin, "reclaiming domesticity from a consumer culture".

Hestia rose and lived here. She still does.

But as I'm pressing close to the end of my forth decade (and I'm really excited about that, I will never be 39 and holding, I can't wait to be forty!) I see much room for growth.

renee tougas

When I look to the outdoorsy women who inspire me, it's clear I have not realized even half the potential of my wild, adventurous side.

In my youthful quest for security and comfort in which to raise and educate my babies I haven't fully explored the untamed and untamable me.

That's the woman I want to know more.

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  • Angy

    Angy on Dec. 11, 2013, 2:10 p.m.

    ah, well......it all still does matter to me, the defining myself by existing lables kinda thing.  But the last 6 months have been challenging for me personally (internally) and after reading this post, i can better understand why, i think.  the lables i have struggled to make fit or 'rise to' have never truly applied and i am very ready to move on, maybe 'emerge' from their shadows.  i am a self-described eternal pessimist; as i feel some of this slipping through my fingers, though, i suddenly find myself less often looking for the problems and issues and just being okay.  and being okay with just the 'me' part of the equation, not in reference to anyone/anything else.....

    lots of food for thought here...thank you for sharing...i am so glad to be your friend!



  • Joy Smith

    Joy Smith on Dec. 11, 2013, 2:52 p.m.

    I can understand. Life I've found comes in waves of doing life differently for awhile. Adventureous types need to vary it up from time to time. I was never one to sit inside doing 'craftsy' things for too long before the outdoors was calling me out and boy did it. My husband and I took up biking for a time, traveling with our little trailer, homesteading with solar power and spring fed water system, to now settling down on a place with electricity and all the amenities of 'civilized' living. I no longer work, due to being laid off in March of this year. It's been a few months of finding myself once again. I jump from learning a new craft skill to the next as often as one can muster up, taking in all the things I couldn't do and using the amount of time it takes with working. I'm loving it, well, maybe that's pressing it a little, I'm adapting pretty well. It's cold right now and it's keeping me in more. But applying myself to this next part of my life is and will continue to be an adventure! Sail my friend!


  • debbie

    debbie on Dec. 11, 2013, 3:25 p.m.

    thank you for being such a thoughtful writer and for being willing to share those inner journeys and figurings. on the other side of 40, with kiddos who no longer need me at their side, holding their hands, i am feeling the discomfort that tells me a stretch is happening, and it is encouraging to hear you think yours through! sometimes i'm too lazy to do that work, but i know it is happening...


  • Shelley R.

    Shelley R. on Dec. 11, 2013, 4:57 p.m.

    With a sigh I recall the Personal Growth Chat as a time when I heard real hearts, real woman (not that there's a lot of fake ones out there... just no masks detected in that particular conversation).  I am truly, holding a calm-joy in my heart about the rest and release you've found in this area Renee.  Really.  I know it's still a conundrum for me when I become bogged down with the conflicting roles (it seems) of teacher/adventurer/wife/mama.  And then some days they glide so well together it feels like I'm skiing with perfectly waxed skies!  (wink, wink)  Also, I need to not be so surprised when a facet that needs polishing in my spirit is worked on for the better.  If I didn't fight those times, I think it would go much smoother for everyone. 

    And, I'll admit, that that 'identity' question has kept me from writing my own blog.  I'm not sure how to overcome that hurdle.  See, I'm not afraid to write and share ideas, links, tips, etc.  It's the defining 'what the blog' is and 'the writer' I would be that has frustrated me enough to not even try.  Then the idea comes back, or someone asks me if I've launched anything yet, and the questions begin again.  I am curious how you overcome that question, if it is there, here at FIMBY and Outsideways.  In many ways, this post answer enough!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 11, 2013, 10:07 p.m.

      Shelley, You said:

      "I'm not afraid to write and share ideas, links, tips, etc. It's the defining 'what the blog' is and 'the writer' I would be that has frustrated me enough to not even try. Then the idea comes back, or someone asks me if I've launched anything yet, and the questions begin again. I am curious how you overcome that question".

      I think I've overcome that question with years of trial and error, a hefty does of frustration, tears and way too much insecurity. Insecurity I finally feel falling away (I really noticed a shift this summer).

      The bloggers who online work I admire, appear to have a niche, an identity that others can readily identify, or so it seems from my perch (smile).

      I reached a low point the end of June this summer where I was wondering, "what now, where do I go with this writing/work thing?" In 2012 I released three e-books (certainly not bestsellers, but they were something), did quite a bit of coaching, and had designs and plans for more products. Then this year I had plans to release a freedom education e-course (the content of which is slowly leaking out onto the blog anyway). But last winter I just couldn't pull it together.

      Getting through the winter became my aim and I couldn't follow through on any professional plans. And then, like shared in this post, I decided to "work for Damien" and not worry about "building" at FIMBY (traffic, numbers, readership, etc - all that stuff just drains the enthusiasm from me). And since that time I have poured my efforts into our thru-hike plans and writing for our projects (not my projects) and have let FIMBY be whatever I want it to be, which is, I think, a story blog with a lot of homeschool/do your own thing with your life philosophy thrown in regularly.

      I learned this year I am not a business-blog woman. Some people can do that and do it so very well. I love to write and discuss ideas, not strategy (except with Damien about our common goals). I love to organize my thoughts and my online space. I love to make things pretty and share beauty. I love just connecting with reader/friends and I really loved hosting those free talks, I wish I had more time for that. And so that's what I'm doing. And I don't even know what kind of blog you'd call this. Memoirist mommy blogger? Whatever, doesn't matter.

      It's funny, I went to a blogging conference last fall, which I loved! Hanging out with 400 (or so) other women who "get" blogging was so much fun. But I hated answering the question "so, what's your blog about?" I would bumble something about my family, the outdoors, photography, beauty, personal growth, homeschooling, things I do, etc... It was awkward especially with the women who were blogging for a business, or to build a writing platform to launch a book or whatever. They seemed so focused. I am focused, just on many things (ha, ha!)

      Anyway, I hear your questions. As for defining yourself and the blog - just keep it open and go from there. My life is always evolving and I want my online "presence" to be the same way.


      • Shelley R.

        Shelley R. on Dec. 12, 2013, 4:13 a.m.

        I do so appreciate your thorough answer.  Truly.  It's encouraging in the sense of 'don't get bogged down in pre-defining' and just write.  We'll see what the horizon brings.  Anchored by grace...  


  • Amber

    Amber on Dec. 11, 2013, 9:27 p.m.

    Renee, I read what you write and it resonates so strongly within me!  One thing that particularly interests me is how we are just about the same age with similiar desires and interests, but in such different places in our life path.  Two weeks ago I gave birth to a little girl, my fifth child.  My oldest is twelve, and I also have an eight year old, a five year old, and a two year old.  I hear that call to leave the hearth and venture out with my more adventuresome husband, but that desire to venture out becomes so much more difficult when I try to figure out how to fufill it and mother my little ones in the way I think they should be mothered.

    Well, my little girl is awake, so I best go change and nurse this adorable little bundle!  But please know I think about your posts far more than I manage to comment on them - they are giving me much food for thought and they are helping me sort out quite a bit in my inner life.

    (And Shelly, I totally get what you are saying about blogging - I have that same problem too!) 


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 11, 2013, 10:19 p.m.

      Amber, Congratulations on your new baby! You know what makes it (adventuring and mothering) challenging. The lack of models and limiting expectations. I never did do major adventures with littles but people do. And the deeper I go into this community the more I find them. (I hope to do some serious treks with my grandbabies. I might be less than 10 years out from that. Eek!!) 

      I want to encourage you Amber that if your family goals are go out and do things then it set up your life for that dream (smile). 

      I am so encouraged by families like the Dennings who have a bunch of kids and live a vagabondish, traveling life. That's not so much my gig but I think if they can do it so can others, in other regards. 

      The key is to start dreaming with your man (smile) and move your life in that direction even just in the little decisions, which will eventually snowball into bigger decisions. 

      Also, I think you'll like my next post which is book reviews for three inspiring women adventurer (in marriages and with kids) memoirs.


      • Amber

        Amber on Dec. 11, 2013, 11:47 p.m.

        Thanks, Renee!  I'll be looking forward to your next post.  I was thinking about my comment and I was concerned that it sounded like I'm sitting here thinking my kids (particularly my little ones) are in my way of doing something else...  which definitely isn't the case!  Instead I'm sitting here thinking, "I am so happy  and thankful to have this beautiful, wonderful family.  And I would love to take them all backpacking and hiking this summer. There's got to be a way!"  We have some ideas, and it'll be fun (I hope!) to put them into practice this summer.  We live in an area where we can easily hike or mountain bike from our front door or drive just a bit and go backpacking - and we intend to take more and more advantage of that.  We did pretty well during my pregnancy (I even went backpacking at about 22 weeks) and I hope we'll continue.  Thanks again for the encouragement, Renee!


        • renee

          renee on Dec. 12, 2013, 12:38 a.m.

          I hear you. I'm sorry if my comment sounded like I misconstrued your meaning. I understand what you're saying. I always marvel when I think that other mothers love their families as much as I love mine. And I think, wow, that's a whole lotta love in the world. 


          • Amber

            Amber on Dec. 12, 2013, 5:39 p.m.

            No, no, not at all - it was just my own insecurity speaking.

            And yes, that is a whole lotta love in the world, isn't it!  


  • jacinda

    jacinda on Dec. 11, 2013, 9:31 p.m.

    I to try to live into the unfolding self...I want to be the woman who grows into newness, nudging at the edges of my known self. I too am excited at growing older (44 and rising!) and continuing to know the untamed corners of my self. 

    You are certainly an important part of my tribe :-) I am deeply grateful for your blog and how it mentors me.  I strongly identify with the outdoors from my teens and early twenties - I lived in a kayak and with my backpack on. Now partly inspired by your words, I return (infact I have been trying to return for years) patiently and persistently bringing my husband and children with me. 


  • Sarah Mast

    Sarah Mast on Dec. 11, 2013, 10:07 p.m.

    I smiled at your thought of which words sound right: tribe, fan, etc. The other day you wrote in your response to my comment, "choir", and I thought that sounded better than any other word to describe one's group. :) 

    I loved reading this and remembering the personal growth chat, too. I feel like this year away from my hometown and families, has been a very stretching year and I've grown to see more of who I am, and who I can give myself permission to be, even though I have never "felt" that I was those things (others were, not me, like "writer" or "artist") but I've always wanted to be, and when I don't 'feel' them, I end up not 'doing' them either (a mistake).  A few books informed these thoughts as well like Emily Freeman's, " A Million Little Ways". I also like to read books that speak to where I'm at. I'm reading "An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor, and it's been so good. A quiet, reflective, winter read. :) 

    I'm learning a lot about identity re: internal & external.  I think these two are different for me but I want them to be more meshed. Or maybe I just don't want to rely on my external identity-as people see what I do publicly-I want them to see more of the internal identity, too, that I'd like to become more of. I've begun thinking a lot about my family history and past and seeing how that has informed identities in me, and it's been a really good thing to think about.

    Sarah M


    • Sarah Mast

      Sarah Mast on Dec. 11, 2013, 10:13 p.m.

      oops, meant to write one more thing--the reason I loved that you wrote "choir" is because what is a choir? Lots of different people, each with different parts, with different voices, coming together to create beautiful music, harmony, or a song. Love that.



      • renee

        renee on Dec. 11, 2013, 10:17 p.m.

        I love it!! what a perfect word and exactly the community I experience here. Many voices (smile) goose bumps.


  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on Dec. 12, 2013, 3:32 a.m.

    What a heartfelt post! I feel so connected to what you say and to you, through those words... I have felt that split so much in the last decade... I have felt like an inadequate outdoor woman in the Yukon, surrounded by the serious athletes that made up the majority of the population and our friends... Like you, I have stopped trying to define myself, because I am constantly evolving and connecting more and more to who I really am instead of who I think I am (or should be). And I feel so free. Sometimes I feel alone, but mostly, I feel very content with who I am. And that is the greatest feeling.


  • Marianne

    Marianne on Dec. 12, 2013, 4:01 p.m.

    What a wonderful post.  You commented that you have sometimes struggled to pin down your identity as a blogger, while other bloggers seem so completely, cleanly  defined.   It made me think that of all the blogs I have read over the years yours is the only one that I haven't take a break from or abandoned completely and it occured to me that it is precisely because I enjoy the growth and change you write about.   When I turned 40 I took up running as form of exercise because I needed something that I could do easily, at the drop of a hat, with no class schedule or driving anywhere.  Shoes on, out the door.  A very fit, gym regular neighbor of my own age commented,  "Why are all these women suddenly taking up running?"   in a derisive tone.   I thought to myself that maybe we needed to grow and learn something new and that what I had done in my 30's was not necessarily the be-all and end-all of my existence.   Six years later I now embrace the idea that I like challenge (from never having run a mile I went on to run several half marathons - not fast but with lots of heart) and change and growth and the knowledge that comes with it.   I don't want to be stagnant.  I want to know ALL of me.


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 13, 2013, 2:45 p.m.


      I love your running story. I'm "afraid" I may become a runner myself, we'll see. 

      Have you seen Vanessa's book The Summit Seeker? Vanessa came to visit us this fall, on her round the continent travels with her significant other Shacky. Damien knows her better than I do, with his minimalist shoe connections, she's part of that world.

      Anyway, she gave us a copy of her book and I wish I could have read it before she visited. She has a fascinating life story and is a good writer. Running changed her life and I think you might like her book. It was inspiring to me.

      Shall I mail you my copy? One less thing to pack in a couple months. Just send me your address.


  • Barb-Harmony Art Mom

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom on Dec. 12, 2013, 5:14 p.m.

    Lovely, thought-provoking post today. I thank you for putting words to many of my feelings right now. My spin is this= I always thought I SHOULD be like my mom. I think for the lack of having any other adventuring/homemaking moms as role models, I didn't know how to be that sort of person but it happened. My mother never has or can even imagine living the kind of life I do. I am 51 years old and have finally decided it is fine to be who I am without labeling it. I am Barb...unique and special to those that know me. I would love to find in real life the kind of role model I need right now and pray that kind of relationship comes to me but if it doesn't, I can just be me and read posts like yours today that make me feel like that is good enough.


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 12, 2013, 5:58 p.m.

      Barb, I can relate in some ways. For years I have thought I Should be like my mom and my mom is a fabulous role model of many things. And I have struggled, internally (not even vocalizing much to her, as close as we are) with insecurities that I am not the kitchen goddess she is. She's really amazing in that domain (and many other domains) And I think I should be like that - able to host amazing large get togethers, etc. but I don't have the same drive or desire to rock the kitchen the way she does - always experimenting, recipe development, etc.

      I think we all look to our moms as a model and even when our moms are amazing women and excellent role models in many areas, we will not be like them. We will be our own women and I know my mom wants this for me, the same way I want my girls to be their own women one day. I can't wait to see who they become! 

      All that to say, I relate to thinking I should be like my mom but needing role models in the areas I am not like her. In many ways I want to be like her. And then in other areas I have to forge my own path, just like my girls will and I hope I can come along side them and grow myself in new ways, the way my mom has with our outdoor adventures. She'll be joining us on the AT next year for part of the way!

      "I would love to find in real life the kind of role model I need right now and pray that kind of relationship comes to me". I felt that for years also and I do believe God has answered my prayers, in unexpected ways (as is His speciality).

      Thanks for commenting Barb and adding your experience to the discussion. (Your blog is such an amazing resource.) I need to mention it on the blog again one of these days...


  • Kyce

    Kyce on Dec. 12, 2013, 8:10 p.m.

    My path has been a bit of the opposite--I spent my twenties as an Artemis (but hunting wild herbs, not deer) and in a love affair with the nature. It defined everything about my life, most of all my sense of place and wellbeing. For six years I've embraced the hearth, and found richness and contentment there. We kept hiking, kept camping, kept skiing, but now, but now things are changing. The kids are too big to be carried, and can only be lured so far down the trail by "honey beans" (carob chips) and stories. We do insist on family time in nature, but it is so profoundly resisted that it leaves us exhausted. I am suffering from nature deficit disorder, and so is my relationship with my husband. That is where we formed our union, and where it feels strongest, most nurtured. Anyways, I just had to share this challenge of my currently blessed life stage. Thank you for listening :) 


  • Rachael

    Rachael on Dec. 12, 2013, 11:06 p.m.

    Renee, I get this. I am a homemaker educating eight kids. I am a not-too-risky-adventurer who took hubby and said kids traipsing across Asia and Europe for 15 months. I read. I crochet. I hike. I bake bread. I pray. I garden. I aim towards zero waste. I wish I could be a photographer. I love long distance walking. I dream. And I realise that I am not defined by any one of these activities. All of them swirl together in seasons as I live. It seems it's similar for you. All the best.


  • Paula

    Paula on Jan. 2, 2014, 2:37 a.m.

    This is my first visit to your blog and I loved this post.  I am in the midst of one of those "who am I now" phases.  I married at 23, moving right from my parents home to my husbands, and had my first baby a little less than 2 years later.  For years I worked full-time and spent the rest of my time with my husband and child (and later second child as well).  My work was just work, not a "career". My identity to me was who I was with my family.  Fast forward 14 years to when my husband passed away suddenly when my youngest was 4 years old.  Life was completely different.  I had support from my family, but realized I had immersed myself so much in my life with my husband and children that I really had no friends.

    When my daughter started kindergarten, I came into the orbit of a group of great women in the other mothers at the school.  I now count a handful of really good friends that I can count on when I need them and a larger group of friends that I enjoy spending time with.  These people came into my life when I really needed a social circle and improved my life immensely.  But it's been five years since my husband passed away now.  The kids are older. My oldest will be going away to college next year and it will be just me and my daughter at home. I'm in the process of building a freelance career. I'm trying to simplify my life.  I'd love it if there was someone who was in the same place I am now.

    I'm looking forward to reading more from you. Thanks!


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