I had the good fortune to run away recently and spend a couple days with a good friend whose weather didn’t involve the triple digit humidity and stratospheric heat index of Tallahassee. What a treat!
At home we’d call this a little tea and sympathy. Not that I had any need of sympathy at the time. But women do tend to need some time for a chinwag with other women to solve the problems of the world (or at least their worlds!).
When British men go “down the pub”, women gather around a kitchen table for a little tea and sympathy – it’s what community means, even when there are no major problems to be discussed. It helps to know there are other human beings who will help carry whatever burdens you happen to have. As an innkeeper for the last 16 years, the venue has often been our breakfast room where guests find themselves comfortable enough to unload a burden or two on another human being who has the time (and heart) to listen. Sometimes that’s the innkeeper, but many times it’s another FSU parent, also going through empty nest season and happy to talk to someone who has survived that season and thrived. Sometimes, it’s traveler A who’s headed to a town that traveler B knows well and can offer a useful suggestion.
Either way, it’s always good to pause for a moment or two to connect with another, particularly in the isolated, disconnected, social-media world we all inhabit.
Tea and sympathy … always complimentary at the Little English Guesthouse!