This weekend I’m going away with three of my best girlfriends. We are celebrating the fact that forty is upon us and an amazing friendship still exists between us. Rather than rue the day we turned 40, we are relishing the excuse to get away, to catch up and reconnect. We will travel from New York, New Jersey, Boston and Atlanta for 72 hours in Florida where we will surely laugh a lot, possibly cry a little and most certainly realize how lucky we are for the friendship we have. As I embark on this journey, I can’t help but recall my musings of a brief girls getaway last year – 36 hours in Newport with a different group of gal pals which reminded me that…
- Only your girlfriends will tell you that you need to lose the Mom jeans. Or khaki pants. Or sensible shoes. Maybe not all the time, but certainly some of the time. Your girlfriends will remind you of your life pre-kids and reassure you that you are just as cute/smart/great now as you were back then -- and, that you should at least occasionally dress that way! They will also help you find the right jeans and, having suffered through the hunt, will wisely tell you that when you find the magic pair, you should buy two of them. Listen to this advice.
- Your girlfriends will make you realize how much you've changed. For the better. Sure you may now have saggy boobs, a few gray hairs and a mid-section best not exposed but you have gained the wisdom of years and a newfound confidence that perhaps was missing in your younger days. Perhaps you've advanced your career or left it behind for the full time job called motherhood. Either way, you believe the decisions you've made are the right ones. And that deserves a pat on the back -- a pat that your girlfriends are all too willing to give.
- Your girlfriends make you realize that your problems are, for the most part, universal. Everyone occasionally struggles with their kids, their husband, their finances, even their sex life. Who wouldn't as the years pass by, the babies arrive, the sleep disappears and the daily responsibilities grow? The days may be long but the years go by quickly; enduring friendships are a great way to commiserate about the challenges you face now -- and the ones you faced before and now can laugh about -- which leads me to...
- Girlfriends are great to laugh with. And be silly with. And just be yourself with. They accept you for who you really are and love you for the person you are today -- even as they laugh aloud at the person you were back in the day. The one in the daisy dress, drunk as a loon, dancing like a rockstar. Or, perhaps more like Elaine on Seinfeld. They don't care. They love you for you and you love them back. Even when they are laughing at you. Or with you. It really doesn't matter; either way, they are there for you now, were there for you then and will be there for you tomorrow.
- A getaway with girlfriends is like a "get out of jail free card." I don't mean to imply that the “Lyons Den” or motherhood in general is a jail but rather, that a brief getaway provides joy-filled freedom to have a break from it all – all the laundry, all the cooking, all the cleaning up and all the obligations of our busy, grown up lives.
I truly believe that girlfriends, and girl’s weekends, are good for the soul. In a brief exchange with one of my pals on the way to the airport, I mentioned that I forgot to pack sunblock. Without hesitation she responded, “I’ve got you covered.” I had to smile as I responded, “You always have.” After all, that’s what friends are for.