Last week began with a retirement seminar which I attended with a dear friend who I've known for 27 years. I can easily recall the days Emily and I looked at the older women with whom we worked and told ourselves if we were still here at that age, wearing sensible shoes to the office, we’d have to shoot each other. The seminar covered the type of investing one should be doing before age 50 versus the type of investing one should be doing after that milestone. We discussed pensions, Social Security benefits and long term health care.
The week ended with 3 a.m. jello shots. Friday night was the start of an annual reunion with my college girlfriends and our families. Sure. We get together more than once a year, but this event is a tradition that has spanned some 20 or so years. It started when we decided it would sure be fun to spend a holiday together, but family obligations made that prospect impossible. Somewhere along the way, the term Mock Thanksgiving was coined.
Retirement planning, empty nests, the early signs of arthritis all fly out the window when I get together with these girls. We are twenty again, reliving that magical time of life when we had independence without the obligations that usually go with it. We put aside our aging parents, our teenagers’ antics, our marital challenges, our financial troubles, our aches and pains. We laughed. We drank. We danced.
These ladies in my life do not age. Instead, they get more beautiful with each laugh line, with every extra pound with every touch of gray hair. They are even more interesting than the day I met them. They are uproariously funny, and painfully sweet. My sides still ache from 2-1/2 days of laughter.
Sunday afternoon, our hostess’s mother stopped by for a visit. And for a few hours, you could see her cares disappear as she told us story after story about her past. It seemed to be another magical moment for all of us, and our obligations and pains were not invited to the party. I’m already looking forward to next year.