Spending time with like-minded people is energising and motivating. Today I spent the afternoon with three girlfriends. Our first choice of a restaurant for lunch was fully booked, as was the second, but the third cafe had a lounge we could sit in until a table became available. Sinking into the large comfy leather two-seater couches we let out a sigh of pleasure. As we looked at each other we started laughing. We had all felt, thought and done the same thing. Left everything behind, shed the home cares and allowed ourselves to focus on catching up with the goss.
Lunch at Hippos, Warners Bay, was a three hour pause in our busy schedules. It felt like we’d been on a mini vacation and emerged refreshed, reconnected and yes, we felt rejuvenated. Girls just do it differently. We hold each others cares lightly but closely and getting together to catch up is like each one of us bringing something to share and taking something away that enriches us. Joyful tales of a brand new granddaughter yet sorrow at not being able to spend more time with her. We listen to the struggles with ill-health, finances or family members who have behaved badly towards one of us. An understanding nod, always eye contact and sometimes a touch because there are no words.
We pause for breath when the food arrives and as we savour the flavours it’s time to quietly process what we’ve shared. Tummies full, the conversation lightens and we laugh at internet jokes, or funny emails we’ve been sent and our elderly moments with social networking. We laugh at our efforts to keep up with the cyber world of our children and grandchildren, yet feel like we may lose the connection if we don’t. One of the girls announces she has shut her Facebook page down because she is concerned about the voyeuristic interest people have. (I’m one of those I’m afraid. Everyone’s pages are more interesting than mine and their lives seems so exciting; going for job interviews, visiting exotic places and trawling through someone else’s photos offers a peak into their world. Why wouldn’t I want to know what they’re up to. Isn’t that why people post on Facebook? To be noticed?)
Next is a lengthy discussion about a new kitchen gizmo that prepares food, and can steam, boil and bake the different components of a meal simultaneously in eight minutes and if that’s not enough it then keeps the meal warm until you’re ready to eat. We lose interest when the price is mentioned. However, we agree to attend a demonstration because none of us believe such an appliance truly exists.
The afternoon risks being rounded off with somber musings of the world economic situation worsening. We’re being exhorted not to place our trust in banks; property or superannuation, investments previously touted as the only secure and sensible way to go. What if China’s economy declines, how would this affect our country. Someone suggests a prophecy of the USA and China engaging in war. Australia as an American ally and China as our trading partner the future looks gloomy. This mood doesn’t last long as we remind ourselves that the Newcastle Craft Fair is on next weekend. We agree to go acknowledging it won’t be a cheap trip out; more laughter. Phew, time enough to ponder prophecies later as we regain the lightness of the afternoon.
Emerging from the cafe we walk into a soft drizzle but nothing to dampen our spirits. Friends make the journey both bearable and enjoyable.