Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fabulously40 Weekend Getaway

A Hectic Departure

The eve of my second official Fab40 All Girls Weekend Getaway had finally arrived, and I found myself excited and anxious at the same time.

Last year's event was a great hit, however, I knew everyone on that trip. This year would bring together several total strangers. I will people I’ve never met fit into our Fabulously Forty Group?

Waking up an hour later than planned (for the first time in my life!) sent my husband and I into a frenzy. While I desperately tried to squeeze my “shapely” thighs into just-out-of-the-wash jeans, my husband dashed around the house gathering my things. I arrived at the airport at the last minute and had to charm my way into my plane, which was just about to shove off and taxi down the runway.

Greatly relieved at making the plane, I dropped myself into a seat and slowly exhaled. After a moment to unwind, I pulled out the agenda for the weekend and began reviewing the jam-packed roster of fun and relaxing activities. This time around I hoped to get my Fab40 group interested in setting up their own chapters, book clubs, gourmet clubs, knitting sessions, etc., and give them suggestions on how to do so in away that had all their Fab40 members screaming for more.

As my plane landed in Miami, I felt like a little girl going on her first big trip to the amusement park. Inside the terminal, I met with my group and was introduced to the sorority sisters that I didn’t know-about half the group. With smiles and hugs all around, we set out on our journey.

Controlled Chaos

We arrived at our condo and crowded inside, where we flipped a coin for beds and began unpacking. And that’s when the fun began!

Picture the following scenario-a small, two-bedroom condo right on the beach, two very small bathrooms, and seven pre-menopausal women all trying to get ready for a night on a town at the same time. The excitement, noise and laughter kicked the evening into high gear, and we didn’t slow down for the entire weekend.

Observing this year’s Fab40 gang brought a big smile to my face. How wonderful that seven women from all walks of life could leave their husbands, boyfriends, kids (15 total), jobs, parents and responsibilities behind, and come together for a weekend of fun and socializing! All of us had the same agenda-we wanted to be happy, healthy and content-and all of us deeply valued friendship.

At the same time, the seven of us were as different as women can be. Although most of us were working girls, not everyone had a hobby. I could see that I had my work cut out for me in terms of relating how important it is to have something you can call your own. But I also knew that as we got to know each other, we would bond within each passing hour.

A Night on the Town

Eventually, we all got ready and headed out for our big night on the town.

The place was South Beach, the scene was “Night Life,” and we were dressed to kill, or so we thought. As we approached our first night club-from the front entrance, like most people do-we were instructed to go to the side of the building and find an entrance there. We were just about to comply when a half-naked, 6-foot tall blond with unbelievably long legs and a scandalously short skirt sashayed up behind us and was immediately welcomed into the front entrance. No one instructed her to use a “service entrance” to get into the club.

At first we looked at one another in total disbelief, then we burst into laughter. And that, ladies, is the greatest part about being a women over 40. Rather than taking offense at getting turned down, we felt proud that we no longer had to compete. No longer did we have to prove to anyone that we were smarter, wiser, more confident and more composed than some 6-foot anorexic creature with wildly bleached blonde hair and 6-inch high heels!

women over 40

However, being Fabuously40 also meant that we didn’t have to leave, either. We stood our ground and firmly explained to the bald-headed, overweight, arrogant bouncer (who was wearing sun glasses in the middle of the night!) that there were seven very temperamental women in front of him and he was being discriminatory. Between us we had the power to have him fired and enough legal wits to file a lawsuit against his “fine” establishment. He eyed us cautiously for a minute or two, and then reluctantly agreed that maybe we could use the front door after all.

The irony is that once inside, we quickly agreed that the place wasn’t good enough for the likes of us. We made a hasty exit and headed down the street, where we found another club more to our liking went and had a blast for the rest of the evening.

Wrapping It Up

Many power walks, swim-a-thons, noisy book discussions, movie reviews and “girl talk” sessions later, the weekend finally came to an end. As we threw our belongings into our suitcases and prepared to go our separate ways, we all came to the same conclusion about how to have a great Fabulously40 weekend.

Destination and accommodations are not important. Weather is helpful, but not crucial. Shopping is great, but we could live without it. What we couldn’t do without, and what made the weekend so special, was the exchange of valuable information and nurturing support we all gave each other.

We spent hours putting on make up, experimenting with different hair products and trying on each other clothes. When was the last time we had really done that? Or, more important, when was the last time we had the time, energy or desire to do that?

Personally, I found it very soothing to feel the camaraderie with other women who have the same weight problems, teenager issues and Fab40 medical syndromes and concerns, who want the same things out of life as I do, and more. My Fabulously40 sisters were empowering, inspirational, insightful and funny. The weekend gave me a bust of energy, and I really had to pat myself on the back and say:

Fabulously40 & beyond-what a great idea!

Join us as at Fabulously40 as we embark on our journey to the BEST part of our lives.

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