I was having lunch with some girlfriends the other day in a really posh restaurant, you know, a grown up one, where wine glasses sparkle, and the napkins are so stiff and crisp they don’t lay flat on your lap and if you cross your legs they slide onto the floor (or is that just me?). We were there to celebrate my friends fifty sixth birthday. Scouring the extensive and expensive menu, we ordered our drinks and a little bit later, wonderful food arrived, wine and conversation flowed. There was much laughter and we caught up on the last few months. Then, about an hour in, one of my other friends burst into tears.
Now, for me, she has always been of the four of us at the table, the most glamorous and accomplished one. I remember many years ago, as a mother of two under threes, her popping in for G&Ts on her way back from work to tell me all about her business travels and what was going on with her busy life. I was always happy for the excuse to sit down and have a drink and a cigarette (I smoked at the time – but didn’t everyone?), even if I was covered in food and baby sick and looked totally knackered. I was secretly a little bit jealous and loved to live a parallel life vicariously through her.
Currently she has a stunning career, lives in a beautiful home, and outwardly appears so happy.
So, we all set down our knives and forks and asked, “Hey what’s the problem?”, “You can share” “Can we help?”
She looked at us and plonked her hands on the table, and said “I feel invisible, Zac (her youngest child) has gone to University they’ve all left, and I have no confidence anymore and you all seem to be coping so well with getting older and I hate ageing”
Now, to me that’s crazy because it’s inevitable and I am also finding my fifties to be one of the best decades of my life. (I didn’t discuss mindset or positivity as it really didn’t seem the time or the place and I think she may have hit me if I had!) …. but I did let out a little laugh and she shot me daggers (Its okay we’ve been friends for 40 years – and have overcome more than daggers)
It was an affectionate laugh because for me she is still the same funny, bright, beautiful, kind, and thoughtful woman she has always been since our early twenties, but that day she just wasn’t feeling it. So as good friends do, we all set about reminding her of all that she was has done to date and all that she is today – there was a lot more laughter, and stories told that I can’t share here.
I think she went away from the afternoon feeling so much better, with things in perspective and her head back on straight. Feeling seen, heard, and reminded what a difference she has made to so many and that we love having her in our lives.
So, for anyone that needs to hear it today or has forgotten, or when those around us forget to tell us – tell yourself – You are special, you matter and for some people their world would not go round without you.
And for all the fifty somethings reading this you are a Quinquagenarian!! I know right!! (Anyone between 50 and 59) That’s pretty special as it means you are the holder of great wisdom, have made plenty of mistakes and know that when you make any more you will be just fine.
On another note: I also find this word incredibly useful when someone that knows I’m a life coach and wants to talk to me “off the clock” at parties asks “So, what do you do?” …. I say “Oh, I’m a Quinquagenarian – what do you do?” and smile. Have a great Day!