We working women make time for our jobs and our marriages, our children and our aging relatives, our children's school projects and our church projects, our houseplants and housework and even our pets.
"We're all so busy nowadays!" said a Baltimore attorney who's also an attorney's wife and the mother of three small boys. "It's hard to remember how important it is to set time aside for your friends when you have a demanding career and a demanding family, too.
"The weeks have slipped by, and I just realized this morning that it's been months since I've even talked on the phone to the three or four women in my life who've been my strength and my salvation since we were all in college together.
"I love them. I miss them. But I haven't a clue about how to find the time to catch up with them."
My own best friend put it this way not long ago, in the midst of scolding me for neglecting her: "Jobs come and go. Older relatives die eventually, and our children will grow up and move away. And even the most wonderful, most beloved husband in the world can't always understand -- and doesn't always want to.
"But it's our women friends who see us through, if we're lucky enough to have real ones. Our women friends are there when no one else is, and these friendships -- our friendship included -- are just too important for you -- or any of us -- to neglect!"
We women are fortunate to have long had permission to enjoy what some men are just now discovering: the power and rewards and satisfaction of having deep, enduring, emotionally intimate relationships with members of the same sex.
We've never had to spend much time talking to each other about sports instead of what's really going on in our lives, in other
But as we take on more and more of the tasks and responsibilities that the men in our lives used to carry, we're going to have to make the time to nourish these emotionally intimate friendships with other women.
My friend is right: Like finding time for ourselves, finding time for our women friends must be at the very top of our list of priorities. Because, like finding time for ourselves, our emotional well-being depends upon it.
Questions and comments for Niki Scott should be addressed Working Woman, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.
Universal Press Syndicate