Every year for almost 20 years, my tribe of women, our friendship cemented from our college days, gather for our annual reunion. The destination and hostess change every year, but our commitment to see each other is steadfast and unwavering. It is a given that our reunion location will be inconvenient for at least two of us. As we have made our way through career moves and pursued Lives well lived, we have trekked and established base camps in many states. Our living configuration typically means two live on the East Coast, two live on the West Coast, and there is the Midwest floater.
We designate our soul circle, the tribe, the gathering of Notre Dame women as the “MPU,” otherwise known as the Mobile Party Unit. A moniker self-bestowed upon us in our youthful days when we thought the fun always found us. More precisely, together WE ARE THE FUN.
Each reunion is an opportunity to pause from our hectic, balancing act of life. Work-Life balance is a debunked myth we have decided. We accept the chance to reflect and report the significant moments of our lives, full circle in a year. What were our goals and ambitions from last year? Did we make progress? Did we move forward? Stumble along or fall flat? Or this year, do we bask in our successes?
We stopped competing with each other long ago. Now we are cheerleaders for each other. We are witnesses to each other’s journey. We share. We inspire, intentionally and unintentionally. We laugh and laugh some more. And most importantly, we are ourselves.
Together, we are a safe place to express hesitation, uncertainty, or doubt.
We have collective memory of who we use to be. Who are we? Are we the same 18 year-old gals now in 40 year-old bodies? There is such a comfort and a beauty to be among women who have known each other for 20 years, who are witness to each individual journey, who notice the changes, both subtle and obvious, but know the heart and essence of the 40-year old maturing woman before them remains the same as that 18-year old young idealistic woman left behind. We are older and wiser and much more generous and kinder than before.
Together, we are a fun place to marvel over Life as we understand it—its beauty. Its indifference. Its irony. Its connectedness. The ups & downs in a marriage. In personal growth. In family dynamics. With aging parents. With growing kids. With health challenges. Life itself.
Next year, we face a milestone birthday. We are facing major change and transition, and not just the number of years and its accompanying proliferating grey hairs. 4 out of 5 of the MPU are moving out of our comfort zone to confront change. Change in career status, in love, and location.
The sales manager is considering moving out to the ‘burbs for her family.
The immigration rights lawyer is welcoming her 2nd child.
The web designer/user experience guru is embracing a new job with a highly visible tech company.
The military spouse is accepting with hard-earned wisdom and grace the uncertainty of military life while she awaits notification of the next duty assignment.
All the gals await an update from the hospital/pastoral care chaplain.
Such is life: Waiting. Living. Loving. Change and transition. Life goes on, only better when the MPU is involved. Together.
With the constant moving of military life, do you have a group of friends or a bestie with whom you meet regularly? If not, make the call. Plan the get-together!