What a joy to have spent the weekend with my college roommates. I roomed with my original, and only, roommate (the rest were on our floor Freshman year and we all roomed together as Sophomores and Seniors…Junior year the Liberal Arts majors went abroad and my engineering roommate and I held the fort down on campus). We missed one of our group, and Skyped her early on Saturday so that we could all see and hear her. The last time I saw her was a year after graduation when I was in graduate school and she briefly moved back to St. Louis.
The five of us spent most of our time eating, talking, and taking group selfies. The artist amongst us impressed the rest of us with her ability to take group selfies with a small digital camera…no iPhone needed and no re-shoots either.
We started with the stories we shared and then came the stories of our lives as adults. We each had our own story to share, and no matter how different our experiences, we could all relate. The stories poured out. These were the stories not mentioned on Facebook and not included in our blogs. Between us we’ve experienced many things that tend to hit at mid-life. Themes arranged themselves around raising teens, raising a baby in our forties, elderly parents with memory issues, mysterious and hard to diagnose illness in a child, children with emotional issues, divorce, bankruptcy.
We also talked about art (including the Chagall windows that we all gazed into), literature, and where to go for our next meal. We drank the special bottle of French wine that the French major amongst us received for her 50th birthday. We toasted each of us, and our missing roommate, in order of birth, which spans an entire year. I lead off with a November 29th birthday and the last is November 28th of the following year. This is just a reminder to me, that I’ve vowed to celebrate for an entire year!
Too soon, the weekend ended. I enjoyed it immensely. I find it hard to disconnect from the worries of my life, but for this weekend they were suspended. With a smile on my face and tears in my eyes, I said goodbye. We set the first week of August 2015 as our next reunion, and assigned planners to “make it happen” and to include our missing roommate.
The two of us who’d driven, got back in the car. This time I took the Chicago traffic and we switched after clearing it and getting most of the way home. Along the way, she gave me some advice. It was the kind of thing that you want to tell yourself, but you don’t. She told me to take a week of vacation (because I have some to spare) and use it to declutter my house. She told me to hire a cleaning service, that I deserved to have one less thing to do in my busy life. Then she told me to take another week and actually go on vacation. Imagine that. She told me not to worry so much about my oldest who is forging his own way solo…she’s been teaching high school for years and has seen it all. She assures me my child will be ok.
Even though I thought the drive, five hours each way, would wipe out any benefit of a girls’ weekend, I was wrong. The renewal of the bonds of friendship are stronger than I realized. I got home feeling renewed and energized.
Find the Joy in the Journey…a Journey oft aided by the bonds of friendship!