By MaryAnn McKissick
During my middle-aged crisis, a "sacred quest" that involved a fervent exploration of Native American rituals, Zen meditation, Goddess mythology, fitness gurus galore, and astrology to name only a few, I tenaciously searched to find the " One True Path" that I would walk for the rest of my life. Among my excursions, I was fortunate enough to meet several extraordinarily talented "seasoned" women who were also searching for purpose, meaning, and value to their lives.
I didn't meet these Boomer Beauties all at once. Like everything else in life that really matters, our friendship connection evolved slowly and individually at first. Then our bonds continued to strengthen until over the years, we have become a surrogate family to one another. The ties that bind our friendships are even deeper than most connections between sisters of biological happenstance. I believe that's because we are sisters of choice. We decided of our own free wills to treat each other dearly. We honor our relationships and hold our commitment to our group in the highest regard. We, indeed, do love each other.
Lest you think we are all about sitting with one another as we await a second opinion for "questionable" mammograms, holding hands at burials, standing vigil as one of us gathers her belongings together to flee a violent home, or that the Bevy only responds in times of crisis, let me explain further. While we do all that, we share a much greater purpose. We provide each other with the opportunity to play! We insist on it, actually.
We purposely call ourselves the Bevy of Beauties! I am very proud of that name because it is our Truth. We relish each sunshine wrinkle on our face, shock of gray or thinning hair, bodacious body bulge, and south-traveling belly or breast with panache and complete acceptance. Whether we congregate to participate in charitable events that benefit the entire community, go out dancing and dining, or just paint each other's fingernails, we make no hesitation in unabashedly displaying ourselves in ways that affirm us as the one-and-only Bevy of Beauties.
Our Bevy is not anything as formal as an association or society. We have no organized structure, no by-laws, charters, and very few "rules." We do not gather regularly together to promote our businesses, pray for solutions for world hunger, nor try to make sense out of someone else's nonsense. Our purpose is clear: We are here to PLAY! But if in that playing some good happens, so-be-it.
Women share a long-standing tradition of coming together in large socio-political organizations to develop an effective voice for societal change. However, according to national statistics, most of these formerly huge icons are experiencing waning memberships. The more intimate little "play groups" where adult women gather to share sisterly time among themselves have recently skyrocketed. It's a real Baby Boomer phenomenon. Our Bevy of Beauties didn't even realize we were part of an under the radar "movement" that celebrates joy and spreads happiness throughout the land. We love that.
It makes sense that career-minded female Baby Boomers who were hitched to huge corporate fast tracks, well educated, and constantly driven to compete and succeed are now choosing to spend leisure time together to rejuvenate and totally let go of their everyday pressures in these small, close ways. Our circles of friends offer us wonderful companions with whom we can attend events, go to the theater, venture off on world travels, exercise, have cocktails, dine, shop, but most of all, play.
We older gals are making a deliberate decision to share the last half of our lives in these considered ways that bring us happiness, more at this time than ever before. Our little Bevy of Beauties is empowering and helps create a positive future that gives us something valued and important to look forward to each day, making this time in our lives one of the best,
Copyright © 2003 MaryAnn McKissick firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
MaryAnn McKissick is a prolific relationship author who writes lifestyle columns in central California for John Derby's Merced County Times and other local outlets.
Her first book, Get out of your head...and into your LIFE (Huntington House: 1996), was well received and informs people about effective decision-making techniques.
MaryAnn's second book, The Lump & Dump Cookbook (CSS Publishing: 2001), is a playful collection of her favorite easy-to-prepare, healthy recipes designed for people who want to eat what they like in ways that keep them healthy.
McKissick finds her strongest voice when using examples drawn from her "Robo-hub's" antics and her hill-country relatives. She crafts cheeky, sometimes irreverent, pieces that attempt to build emotional connection to her characters for the reader.
We welcome her to Suddenly Senior, and hope you enjoy her writings.