Islands are Awesome… But Don’t Try to Be One
by Cathryn Cade
August 23, 2022
Remember that old saying ‘No woman is an island’? Yeah, I paraphrased that. We all like it better now, so hush.
My name is Cathryn and I write about biker babes and their men. The Devil’s Flyers are unabashed alphas, each one of them a force with which to be reckoned. But these tough bikers are also smart enough to know that they’re stronger together – not only in a fight, but when life gets rough. They consider themselves brothers, in heart and in spirit.
As for their ladies? They’ve seen each other through break-ups and make-ups, rough pregnancies, being stalked by evil exes, post-kidnapping trauma, and more. And though the Flyer ladies are brought together by their love for their bikers, they are from re-e-a-ally divergent backgrounds.
So what’s the glue that holds this sassy sisterhood together? And why is that so important, anyway?
But wait—wait, we’re supposed to be talking about islands!
My husband and I love Hawaii. We try to visit for a month every late winter. One of the joys of our life is immersing ourselves in the balmy climes and laid-back culture of the Big Island. We snorkel, walk, shop, eat a lot of local fish, and visit friends we’ve made there … all while the temps are still at freezing back home.
The hubs even suggested we should move there. To which I replied, “Honey, Hawaii is a magical paradise, but our sons and their wives would be a long, expensive flight away. We’d miss all those birthdays and holidays.” And now we have grandkids!
Visiting our favorite tiny islands as often as we can afford to, YES. Us living there full time, NO.
Okay, now back to our romance heroines. And more importantly, to YOU.
The Flyer women are held together by love and friendship. They are sisters by circumstance, but also by choice, there for each other in good times and bad. Let’s face it, bikers aren’t gonna be accepted by everyone in town, and neither are their women … so they need to stick together.
And that goes for the heroines in any romance series—it’s what makes reading a series so fulfilling! We not only get to experience the powerful highs and lows of the love stories, and spend longer in their world, we are invited into the community that builds around the characters.
Why is this so fulfilling? Because, as any counselor or psychologist will tell you, people need people. Yes, even us introverts!
Humans are genetically programmed to live in groups. Being with supportive people is good for us. Good together time or even a supportive phone call produces oxytocin in our brains—a soothing, natural high that can last for hours and even days as we recall that pleasant time together.
Only in our modern Western societies have we so isolated ourselves in our private homes. And that’s not even counting in COVID—the biggest isolation whammy of them all!
So, to stay mentally, spiritually and physically healthy—‘cause they’re all tied together—how can you live your life with scheduled visits to your personal ‘island’, meaning catch a break from the busy-ness of life when you need it, without isolating yourself too much?
Here are 3 ways to create a bridge from Isolation Island.
#1 – Join a club
No, not necessarily a biker club, so wipe that smirk off your face. There are all kinds of clubs out there—garden clubs, knitting clubs, book clubs, etc.
Being a non-clubby person myself, I belong to exactly 1 club. And to my shame, I kind of had to be dragged to my first meeting under protest. Too easy to stay home and hide, y’know?
P.E.O. is an international organization of women dedicated to raising money for scholarships for women who want a higher education, but for whom life has gotten in the way. We raise millions of dollars to reach back and lift up other women.
But wait, there’s more. We also laugh and talk and support each other. I’ve made some of my closest friends in the world through P.E.O. Now that’s my kind of club.
Wait—I did a book club this year too … though only on Zoom, because COVID. Still had some great discussions, and I discovered new authors, always a plus.
#2 – Volunteer
Boy howdy, do our communities need volunteers.
So many opportunities, and all of them ways to help and make friends. How can you not do both when you’re working side by side with other folks day by day with a common goal? In PTA or PTO, raising money for kids in the schools, walking dogs at shelters, folding donated clothing at thrift stores, stocking food at the local food bank, weeding a community garden, docent at a local museum … etc.
So very, very much needs doing, and nice people like you are there doing it, and waiting to meet you.
#3 – Go to church
Even if you are not a believer in anything or anyone bigger than yourself, you meet the nicest people in church. Slip into a middle pew and listen in one Sunday – or Saturday, or whenever.
Feel whether your heart unfurls just a little. If not, move on. If yes, come back. And stay for coffee and cookies – you might get to know that neighbor down the street, or someone who loves cats as much as you do, or a fan of your favorite streaming series.
And if not church, what’s an alternative that could work for you? A neighborhood pub, regular walks through a local park, dance lessons, or maybe Tai chi.
Now, ask me how I know these 3 ways work?
Well, I did mention earlier I have to be dragged off my Isolation Island at times, right? True.
After 42 years of marriage, it’s easy to be part of a couple, easy to be such good friends with my DH. But no matter what my age, I still need a few girlfriends, and a broader community too. So these are things I do. Not like clockwork—I’m not a paragon, by any means. But as time and energy allow.
And some of them may work for you, friend. Step off your island with me, won’t you? The bridge is there.
Hugs and courage,
… who also wrote a series set on Hawaii—‘cause even native super-heroes need community!
Cathryn Cade is the author of 40+ published romance novels. She began writing in Sci Fi Romance and moved on to spicy Contemporary Romance. After a hiatus of 2 years, she is gratefully back to writing, working on Book 11 in her Honey Series, about sexy alpha bikers and the women who tame them. You can learn more about all of her books and reach out to her on her author website.