I have a gorgeous group of girlfriends. We've shared stuff. Wins and Losses, ups and downs, crazy times and calmer ones.
Funnily as we've grown older, I've found that rather than growing together as you might expect from those with whom you've forged long term relationships based upon mutual interests, we've sort of grown in different directions on a range of issues.
The pursuit of Eternal Youth is one area on which we are diametrically opposed.
I was surprised, nay shocked, to hear one friend say recently that she would be happy to not live much past 60, as she couldn't possibly handle the decline in her looks. I was aghast. For me, at 52, I'd like to think I have a few more than 8 short years up my sleeve, irrespective of how I 'look'. She is still in her 30s and has young teenaged children. I wonder how they'd feel if they heard that little gem?
Another friend who I'd always considered a sensible earthy type, having shared crafting sessions and political debate with her on many an occasion, confided that she was thinking of getting Botox...just a bit (she said), on her frown line between her brows. She's a stunning woman, with a happy marriage and two gorgeous kids and a drop dead handsome husband. Why?
I have lost a Mother when she was only 60, and that event continues to impact upon me 10 years later. I can't imagine anyone wishing that upon their children. And as for Botox...well I'm scared of needles.
I don't begrudge them their opinions, nor a bit of cosmetic surgery if it makes them happy. But again, it begs the question 'what defines you?'. For both of my friends, clearly looking their best is important.
I like to look my best too, but won't be having any Botox or wishing myself into an early grave in pursuit of that desire.
It made me wonder then, what the two of them make of me. I've gained a few kgs with menopause, let my hair go grey, then dyed it black in my own moment of vanity (so I'm not perfect either!), do the majority of my clothes shopping in thrift shops and recycled designer boutiques, topping up with a few accessories, and refuse to use shopping as a way to amuse myself. Their conversations are, by contrast, peppered with anecdotes on their latest purchases and how they have to hide them from their husbands. Oh, the stress!
I love my friends...but they do take me by surprise often these days. I found myself disappointed after those two conversations, as if my friends had changed in some way I didn't understand. They may very well say the same about me.
The funny thing is, I could do what they're doing. I can afford to have Botox, shop every day, get my nails done and dress my children in designer clothes. But I choose not to. I don't understand it.
I have a new grandchild. I have a loving husband, I have a beautiful daughter and three sons who I cherish and adore. For me that's enough.
Maybe I'm the dumbo. Maybe I'm missing out.
But I don't think so.
I hope my friends find the peace and fulfilment they desire...botox and death wishes aside.
I'm the Guardian of my Budget and a Home based warrior. That works for me.