Last weekend I had the great pleasure of celebrating the 50th birthday of a friend I have known for nearly 4 decades. Even as I write that sentence I am amazed I can speak of this kind of history. There is something about having people in your life since you were a teenager that is so very comforting. They know you better than you know yourself. These are the women who don't always tell you want you want to hear, but they surely tell you what you need to.
And man, can this particular friend celebrate. Women from all stages of her life gathered for a dinner and spa overnight in the most glorious setting. A little tox and detox, if you will. And we did both with quite a bit of gusto.
As the friend that organized this event said, 'when you try to get 15 women together there are a hell of a lot of moving parts'. Quite a fluid group to say the least. Kids, jobs, travel, holidays, husbands; hard to believe we pulled this one off. Maybe that is what made it all the more special. The fact that everyone found a way to juggle themselves to this mountain retreat in order to celebrate is a testament to both our love for her and desire to still have fun. Even at 50.
Or more importantly, especially at 50.
Life is so very hard. When given the opportunity to have fun and enjoy it, we must grab the chance at all costs.
Although, if you were any other guest at this resort you were probably not too happy with this raucous group. Let's take the naked man who leaned out of his room as we left the dining room and said, "Would you PLEASE shut up". This was answered by the birthday girl with a simple, "Um, would you PLEASE put some clothes on". Seriously! That only made us louder.
On the other hand, there was the couple who came over to our table and asked if they could hang out with us because we seemed to be having more fun than anyone else in the place. The husband had dared his wife to do this when she told him she was a bit jealous of our good time. He seemed a little embarrassed when we saw him the next morning after he sobered up. Not the quiet retreat he had planned for them, I am sure.
The staff was split between those who hated us and those who wanted to hang out with us. We have a tendency to split camps wherever we go. Fun is like reality, it is all in the perception.
In only 23 hours we squeezed in massages, swimming laps, hiking a mountain trail, a soak in a glorious outdoor hot tub on a brisk afternoon, a wild dinner complete with balloon animals (don't ask), a few memorable readings (her college roommate read a letter she wrote after the first date with her husband of 20+ years) and more topics and laughs than you could imagine. A diverse group of women, all in stages of turning or having turned the big 5-0. All still squeezing every drop out of life.
I shared a room with another dear childhood friend. Just before we were falling asleep, in the style of the slumber parties of our teens, we chatted about all sorts of things. She asked me why I thought our moms did not turn 50 this way. When our moms were 50 the idea of a weekend away from their husbands was unheard of for most. It made us think about how fortunate we are to grow up in these times. Where women are independent and in control of their own destiny.
And my destiny will always include a way to have fun. At any age.
Original 50-something Mom Blog post. Posted by Amy Zimmerman. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i don't have time and leaving the zip code.