Ladies Who Lunch

When I worked overseas, I used to marvel at the trailing spouses (usually Tai Tais) who I would hear busily planning their weekday afternoons – a workout, perhaps some shopping and then lunch with friends at some great restaurant. Lunch? Midweek? During the daytime? That, I honestly could not fathom. Being a school principal, I seldom ate lunch, at least not during the day, rarely in a restaurant with friends and never leisurely. How I silently envied those ladies who lunched.  Don’t get me wrong, it was not the frequent connotation of ‘money to burn’ that captured my awe, but the sheer freedom that their lifestyles implied.

Recently, at our Newcomers’ Monthly Ladies’ Luncheon (yes–midweek, during the work day and unhurried), I looked around and caught myself. This is the moment of which I had long often fantasized–I didn’t want it to slip away without savoring it just a bit more. In life, we often spend much time dreaming of deeply desired future moments, both big and small. Then our present day realities consume us, dampening the sustained awe that these realized moments truly deserve.

Think back to that yearned for job, house, marriage, child–see them in the craziness of the present moment, and then look at them through the eyes of your younger self. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” –Thornton Wilder

I left that lunch vowing to take the time to look at my current life from the point of view of a much younger me. “Pretty amazing!” I can hear my younger-self saying. And right then and there, the routines of my present-day life regain their rightful magic!

What would the younger-you say of your current life and treasures?

 

 

15 Replies to “Ladies Who Lunch”

  1. You come a long way girl….growth through tragedy…to the blessing of beautiful children and grand children! I think that is what my younger self would be saying!! Was a great sole thinking process, thanks Donna! Another great reflection…..

  2. I love, love that Wilder quote! I’m not sure what my younger self would say but I know she’d be pretty happy with the way things turned out. I often think about what I would say to my younger self… but even without the sage advice from my older self, I think I did pretty well. I do love the idea of scheduling a monthly luncheon with friends… I enjoy being “a lady who lunches”! Nice post!

  3. Thanks, Janis. I greatly appreciate your comments. I am glad that you liked the Wilder quote. Wilder also said (among many other quotable sayings) “Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.” He gives great advice and lots of food for thought.

  4. Aging isn’t easy, but I certainly do appreciate the perspective it gives us. The younger me would be amazed that I’d been given great career opportunities , a wonderful (2nd) husband, two children and life after cancer. I never dreamed my life would be so difficult, yet satisfying. Great post! Made me think.

  5. I love being in the “ladies who lunch” camp… however, I found that too many lunches, and happy hours, were starting to weigh in (pun intended), so I’ve moved some of them to walking connections. The moments that bring me awe these days, besides the walking connections, are the early morning coffee and journaling, the time to read and write for the fun of it, and the freedom to choose to do in a day whatever I want. That sense of freedom is awe-inspiring every morning.

    1. Thanks, Pat. I also love my walking connections and early morning coffee/writing time. Having the freedom for (extensive) reading/writing for pleasure is an awe-inspiring gift indeed!

  6. Hi Pam – You are absolutely right about perspective — it is amazing what it brings. I appreciate your open reflection. It made me think as well.
    Donna

  7. My younger self would be overjoyed that my life turned out so well. The death of a husband (my best friend) and raising a child by myself, it all seemed so hard at the time. But life does go on, and happiness is found again! I love the perspective you took–usually the question is “what would your older self tell your younger self.” Your question actually brought me great joy! Thank you!

    1. Hi, Gwen – I am glad that the ‘turned-out question’ was helpful to you. I greatly appreciated your sharing.
      Donna

  8. Donna, I think it was a much more interesting question, because we’re always giving advice to younger people, kids, grandkids, whoever. Our “advice” is basically talking to ourselves, addressing things that either worked out for us, or wishing we could have done things differently. The way you asked the question makes you really speak to yourself. I’d be curious to see what other people think.

  9. Man, Donna – You really scored with this post! It really touched me and smacked me in the head with that reminder to be mindful in our day to day events. Just to breathe and appreciate all that the moment brings. Thanks for that. You may consider that Wilder quote STOLEN!!! (Big shouty capitals!!!) It took my breath away (no, seriously, it really did!) And for the record, I’m going to lunch tomorrow with my “ladies.” Former teachers. who never had a real lunch hour! I’ll be truly grateful that we are able to do this!

    1. Thanks, Lynn! After I read your last post, I thought that you might like that quote — I am glad that you did. Enjoy your ladies’ lunch tomorrow!
      Donna

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