How many friends do you have? When I was in High School I had a few close friends and I had a whole crew of friends in college. But we graduate, move, get jobs, get spouses, have kids, essentially live our lives. And when we started tramping I didn’t make it a priority to keep in touch with my friends and we drifted apart. For some weird reason that I’m sure would require hours on a couch to unpack, I wore my independence as a badge of honor! “I don’t need anyone.” “I can’t have friends because we move so much.” “No one understands our lifestyle.” All. Lies. Lies that I fully believed but lies nonetheless.
Let’s look at probably the most pervasive one. “I don’t need anyone.” Another version of it is “Friends aren’t important now that I’m an adult.” Patently false, y’all. Actually, our relationships with other people, including our friends, make up a whopping 70% of our happiness! In 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven it says,
“Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70 percent of personal happiness.”
More than just our happiness is dependent on it though, our health is too. A study published in the PLOS (Public Library of Science) Medicine journal found that people with strong social relationships increased their odds of survival over a certain age by 50 percent. That’s as much as quitting smoking, and nearly twice as helpful as physical activity in terms of decreasing your odds of dying early.
What about moving? Are you out tramping with your Lineman and it’s hard to have a group of friends to go out with? I absolutely get that. It is hard in it’s own way. But that just means we have to get a little unconventional. Just like you Skype or Facetime or *insert technology here* your LM while he’s away, you can have the same kind of meetings with your friends. I love to read so a favorite way to connect with friends of mine with a book club. And I know that texting or messaging isn’t the same as having a face to face conversation, but it is better than nothing. Are you in a fandom? Can you forge friendships with other members? Internet friends are still friends in my humble opinion. In fact, some of my best friendships are with people I’ve only spent time with once.
Don’t let “No one understands our lifestyle” hold you back from making friends. Real friends will sympathize with you even if they haven’t experienced a missed date because of a windstorm. You can have commonality in areas other than work experience. But I will admit that it is really nice to have a few friends in your specific position. Both are good! Here’s a few simple ideas for where to meet other Lineladies.
- Wear your Linewife gear.
Every day at school pickup I’d see a truck with a linewife decal on the back window but I could never see who was driving. One day I wore my IBEW shirt and she approached me. And be sure to go introduce yourself when you see someone else with their Linewife gear.
- Attend the activities.
Christmas Parties, Family BBQ’s, Line Rodeos, etc are all great places to not only network as a Lineman but also meet other ladies involved in the trade. If there isn’t one near you think about organizing something. You could start small by having his crew and and their families or ladies over for a bonfire.
- Put Social Media to work.
There are several Linewife pages that are very active. You can check the hashtags too. See if someone is in your area that you can get to know. And while you’re at it be sure to connect us on Facebook and Instagram! We’d love to get to know you.
Wishing you friendship,