It doesn’t really take much to make us Real Women happy. Really, it doesn’t. Sure, we’d all love to win the lottery, hire a butler or housekeeper, become ladies of leisure and spend our days shopping or having lunch or travelling the world…. But for the most part, we are able to distinguish fantasy from reality, so we set our standards for happiness at slightly more attainable levels.
Treat us with love and respect, make us laugh, and once in a while, let us go “off the clock” – and we are well on our way to contentment. Sure, our younger, more high-maintenance selves may have in the past needed a bit more than that… but as time goes on, our perspectives change.
This past weekend, I traveled to visit a couple of BFFs. It was one of those very rare occasions when I was driving by myself. Just me, myself and I in the car. And although I was not looking forward to the length of the drive, and was worried about the boredom factor, I soon realized that it was just fine. As the miles ticked by, I allowed myself to go off duty. Rather than try to solve all of the world’s problems in my head, or worry about whatever I wasn’t getting done, I attempted to practice some mindfulness. The colors of the foliage along the drive were spectacular, so I soaked the sights in. I considered such lofty conundrums as why the first windshield bug splatter is invariable at eye-level on the driver’s side. I cranked up, and sang too, my 70’s channel on Sirius. (Play That Funky Music). I daydreamed. I did some writing in my head. And though I wouldn’t call the drive heavenly, it was not all together unpleasant.
Upon reaching my destination, we three lovely ladies immediately went into sloth mode. The hosting girlfriend lives in a beautiful home in the woods, at least 9 miles from the nearest town. It is like stepping into a woodland resort. So it is easy to become one with a comfy couch while gazing out at the trees. We talked, we laughed, we caught up on each other’s lives. We watched trash TV. I mean real trash. Programming we otherwise would not be caught dead viewing. We made drinks and sat out on her deck and watched birds. Really, we did.
20 years ago, we would have been all about going out to a funky bar, or out to a party, or gathering a big group of friends, or going to a club to dance – or even hitting the theater for the latest new movie. But now, what we crave the most is just….relaxing. Having no time constrictions or must-do responsibilities. Dressing up and going out on the town on a Friday night was fun then. Lounging around in fuzzy socks with a few close friends is heavenly now.
Now before any of you (especially those who are still young and trendy) are completely appalled, I will tell you we managed to summon enough energy and desire the next day to take a nice walk in the morning, followed by some fun shopping, and then went out to dinner that night. We even got out of our sweats and put on real clothes… at least for a few hours. But we still stuck to the theme of the weekend of no rushing, no game of beat-the-clock… we roamed wherever our whims took us. It was lovely.
I had the added bonus of being able to visit with my brother and his family before heading home at the end of the weekend. My timing was great, because both of my nephews were home — so I had the joy of catching up with them, and get their updates on the trials and tribulations of high school and college. Sitting around their dining room table, listening to stories and laughing a lot – yup, it was family bliss.
As Real Women, we can find enjoyment and delight in the simplest moments in life. We don’t need jewels and designer clothes and yachts with cabana boys….well, ok, those things would be pretty awesome. But time to slow down and enjoy just “being” — those are the moments that mean the most. Sadly, we don’t take them often enough.
Let’s all try just a little bit harder to fit a few moments of bliss into our days.