So on Friday evening, instead of glugging back half a bottle of wine over dinner with my dearest before plumping down like a stuffed turkey in front of the TV on a cold wintery night I went to an organised Girls’ Night Out.
I answered “Yes” to the invitation with gay abandon, until the event loomed, and I felt just a little wobbly because none of the friends I’d invited to come along could make it.
So it was me, on my tod. Gulp. So much for sisterhood!
What to wear?
The thoughts that were running around my head wouldn’t have prevented me from going, but still a niggling inner voice asked a number of questions.
Would I know anyone? Would I cling to the rails like an old dried up wallflower? Would anyone want to get to know me?
Ke-rikey should I wear something inconspicuous, or flash bright pink boots with say a mini, or should I go for the power look to make me feel a little more in control of the situation? Maybe I should dress as Mrs Sensible and wrap an old comfortable cardigan around my shoulders, or go Boho, I’m comfortable with Boho, but maybe I would be ruled out by more funky females as a relic of the 60s?
To say I was a little nervous would be right. And I was driving. So that meant only one small glass of sparkly Dutch courage during the event to help my tongue sing and dance throughout the evening.
Surely this wasn’t going to be all that enjoyable? Moi, alone, without my hubby who I often turn to for encouragement and affirmation when I’m faced with a lot of people to talk to.
What happened next made my little heart smile, and a big loud thunderbolt crashed into my consciousness.
Of course. I remember. Being with other women en masse, even if you don’t know anyone at first, can be enriching and fun.
Yes, The Sisterhood rules.
Within minutes of getting to the event I was surrounded by women who were talking, no … babbling, gathering information, laughing, asking me questions, turning me this way and that to look at gorgeous shoes and handbags, saying “Sit next to me for the fashion show”, and “Look over there, you can go and get your nails painted” and all of us gorging on gorgeous canapes, diets forgotten!
As women we laughed and swapped stories (funny that so many were similar in theme or essence), we encouraged each other as we ogled at things we couldn’t afford but would dearly love to splash out on (think unessential stiletto shoes with pointy toes, tassles and bows).
I met the Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Merino MP who was as much fun as she is stylish, and I clapped my hands enthusiastically when my new friend Wendy won the best dressed prize (Yes, she dressed a little Boho – should have known!)
Yes, I met a lot of potential new friends and had so much fun.
I laughed at jokes, joined in conversations, and inwardly wept at sad stories. Having met so many new people I also made a note to self to remember not to judge anyone on first appearances ever, and always to be kind, because everyone you meet has had to face struggles or sadness in their lives.
Get up and Get out!
So today Lifestylers I’m encouraging you to go out and get involved with the Sisterhood. Take an interest in the women around you, don’t slump into the comfort zone and watch reality shows on television and (I’m sure that you don’t but in case you do) don’t live your life through the lives of others. Note to self: Get out from the computer more and actually interact with reality.
Find ways to have coffee mornings or maybe organise charity events, or if you’re invited to a Girls Night Out – say Yes! Please say Yes!
Honestly, it’s not as scary as it sometimes seems.
Not watching from the sidelines
I know so many of us have focused a large part of our grown up lives on bringing up children, some might have been like me immersed in keeping the family fires burning while moving around the world following our husbands’ careers. Others might have been deeply embroiled in their own careers and perhaps now for many of us after the age of fifty things have changed. Without the previous security of routine and a sense of place within the world, that big wide world out there so full of life, vitality, energy and experience seems a bit daunting and some of us might wonder where we fit in.
People often complain to me that life goes faster as we get older and I wonder if that hasn’t something to do with reduced expectations or in fact just doing less.
Getting out to the Girls’ Night Out meant contributing, taking part and not watching from the sidelines. It felt good and in a way it felt as if time was stretched – much more so than sitting in front of the TV or computer.
Like doing the splits, but in my mind 😉
In the International Best Seller, The Rules of Life by Richard Templar, Rule 93 states that “Getting involved means having fun, real fun, not TV fun.Getting involved means helping other people appreciate and enjoy their lives a bit more than they would have done without you.” You can buy this book Here on Amazon – and if you do I’ll earn about 46 cents commission 😉
Don’t know about you but I’m going to roll up my sleeves and commit to getting out into the real world more, getting in amongst the sisterhood, and having some real life experiences along the way.
The Absolutely Fabulous Girls Night Out was a paid-for, fundraising event. It was organised by Nola Marino MP, Federal Member for Forrest and held at ShoeBeDoo in Bunbury. We enjoyed a fashion show, raffles, and discounts on clothes and shoes, a style bar and goodie bags to take away. Not to mention copious canapes and refreshments.
Have you been to a great Girls Night out recently – what was it, where was it, and why not spill the beans?
Until next time,
I have had to do quite a lot of that since arriving in KL and I understand completely. Great article Jo xx
Thanks Janet 🙂 and thanks for commenting. Yes, arriving in a new community on foreign soil requires dedication to getting out amongst other people and ‘putting yourself out there’ even when it doesn’t feel all that comfortable to do so. I hope, and knowing you I’m sure you have, made lots of new friends 🙂
Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it
Your experience is exactly what I’m searching for in my world. When I wasn’t retired, there were so many people that were energetic and enthusiastic about learning how to live outside the box. Only in my blogging world of friends, have I found these personalities and am thriving on the exchange of creative ideas. My daughter and I just returned from a two week adventure to Europe. Now that my marathon induced blisters are healed, I can’t wait to plan another trip overseas.
I’m so glad to hear that you’re finding energetic and enthusiastic friends amongst the blogging world, Neva. You are an inspiration yourself, and have so much to offer others about living outside the box as we get older. I hope you do plan another trip overseas very soon, and I can’t wait to read about your European adventures on your blog soon.
Here here Jo, what a fabulous idea! I love an occasional girls night out but to do it alone would probably be scary for me. Meeting new friends and swapping stories is not only fun but makes you feel ‘normal’ and not just a boring middle aged woman. I say to every woman out there “go for it girlfriend”!
Hi Kathy! And thank you. So glad you related to the Girls Night Out post. I agree that swapping stories makes you feel normal, when it’s all too easy as we get older to feel a bit more isolated. Yes, here’s to “Going for it Girlfriend!”.
That looked like so much fun, when in Bunbury I always visit that store. The outfits and shoes were to die for and you young lady look stunning xxx
Well thank you lovely young lady yourself there too, Rae! Yes, it was a lot of fun and next time you’re in Bunbury we should have coffee and go visit ShoeBeDoo for a little light retail therapy!!
I love gatherings of women and a few years ago a dear friend an I organised a huge fashion swap shop for the day.
I’ve had 30 years working with people and communities to help them decide what they love and then help them make it happen.
My friend said she never would have done the swap shop without me – she was brilliant.
Heaps of women came along and we had a great time.
Best of all, my friends confidence in making things happen outside of her family increased. She got a space in a covered market and created her own gorgeous second hand fashion shop – and now – she runs it from home and online.
I believe that adventure is about mindset not age and that nothing beautiful or powerful ever came out of a comfort zone – except maybe a martini and then it had to be shaken.
You looked really lovely Jo and the evening looked brilliant.
What a lovely story Liz! Thanks for sharing it. I love your quote “I believe that adventure is about mindset not age and that nothing beautiful or powerful ever came out of a comfort zone”.
The quote is a key part of my Life Dreaming biz and has taken me all year to hone!
When I was in Oz I did a 2 hour LD taster [and so sorry you couldn’t come along but it was a fair drive for you] and nearly 20 women turned up in a gorgeous space.
What truly delighted me was how fab they all were – they had their own styles and stories as well as confidence that comes from life experience. They were all immersed in life’s adventure and it was a deep pleasure to be in their company.
Moving out of our comfort zones isn’t always easy but Discombobulation can be out best friend because it takes us into creative spaces and new ideas/adventure spaces.
I both loathe and love the Discombobulation Zone [I call is DZ – dizzy – for short] because it is full of confusion and discomfort – that place between 2 trapezes.
At the moment I’m in that space and I have such a strong instinct to run back to the safe space – but – I know if I just keep relatively comfortable with the discomfort then the adventure might just be amazing.
And I never do it alone – I ask for help and support from [mainly] amazing women around the world.
Gotta say though – I do love being the Empress of Lolling so a glass of something bubbly, a chaise lounge and a book are my idea of heaven.
Oh Empress of Lolling, I wish you a safe and successful passage out of the Discombobulation Zone! And one day I hope to join you in a glass of something bubbly on a chaise lounge perhaps talking about a book?!
I have imagined a Lolling Lounge where women can loll on chaise lounges, dream, map what’s next – while eating gorgeous food and sipping on the beverage of their choice!
We will meet and I’d love to loll and chat about books
Bring on the Lolling Lounge, Liz!
Great post and great advice, Jo. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Persephone 🙂