It's a crazy busy time of year, what with the kids going back to school (another parent-teacher evening please?) and the intensity of getting ready to relaunch The Motherhood, so my lunch in the city yesterday was a bright shining oasis.
The occasion was my friend Jacque's 60th birthday, and it was a fun, hilarious, wonderful celebration, the gist of which was-
It's all about our girlfriends, girls.
Twelve of us were there to celebrate Jacque's big day - some had known her forever, some for 10 or 15 years and some like me who are newer friends. We were told not to bring presents, just be prepared to say a few words. And so we talked. The stories were brought-tears-to-my-eyes funny, and moving, and all about being there for each other through thick and thin. As one friend said, "everyone's saying the kinds of things that don't usually get said until there's a funeral."
We kept coming back to Jacque's great capacity for friendship and how much that mattered when the big stuff in life showed up. Many talked about Jacque being the friend they needed when they really needed one. And Jacque told great stories, saying the same about them.
After an amazing couple of hours with these wonderful women, I floated out of the party, found my way back to my real, day-to-day life, and here's what I've been thinking about since -
- When life unfolds as it does - with good times, sadness, struggles and whatnot - our girlfriends hold onto the memories with us. All those times we talk things through together, help each other through the day, figure out what we're learning along the way, and laugh of course, we're creating this great stash of goodness that layers in the meaning now and later on.
- I lovelovelove my girlfriends but I wish I had and made more time for them. I've been beating myself up about this because I want to be a better friend and I'm tired of putting inconsequential things first. What's with all the busy-ness? So, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. I'm going to reach out to a friend each day (and not feel guilty about taking the time for me and them). I'll keep you posted, but as I said, I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I'm feeling a shift coming on.
- When it comes to hanging with my girlfriends, if the choice is between a big bash or getting together for some great converation, hands down, I'll take the bonding. Throw in some champagne, good food and a beautiful setting, and we're set.
- Having girlfriends who are are both older and younger might just be the key to staying young.
- And as a side note from the party, if you want to kick off a conversation with a group of people, ask everyone to say something about their name. You'll get a great mix of personal histories, and if they don't all know each other before, after hearing the stories, everyone's names will be cemented in their brains.
Happy, happy birthday, Jacque, my friend! It was wonderful to celebrate with you and I look forward to many more!!!