Lessons Learned and High School Reunions

Just came back from my 50th High School Reunion!!! It was a wonderful week of celebrations and reacquainting myself with old friends. What an experience!!! We went to an all-girl school and most of us were together from kindergarten to our high school graduation. Our class had only 30 students, so you can imagine. We had the well-behaved, the mischievous, the studious, the fun-loving, the glamorous, the quiet ones, the I couldn’t care less ones, the stylish, the care-free, you name it. Most of all, we knew each other rather well and were on friendly terms…….most of the time.

Attending an all-girl school has advantages that are now being discovered by different studies in American universities. Seems girls who study together have a healthier approach to education, have a higher interest in subjects like science and math and develop self-esteem early in life. Well, apparently our parents knew this and gave us this great advantage!!! Not a shrinking violet in the group, I am glad to report. Five doctors, engineers, writers, business women, nutritionists, university professors, partners in international firms, well-traveled, speakers of several languages…….amazing women each and everyone.

Once we graduated, we went our different ways to study, get married, develop careers and raise families. We gave to our communities, and still do, by working with local charities and spreading goodwill. We have taken care of ourselves and have many years to enjoy what we have sown. Life has been good and this celebration brought together a group of women who are seriously talented and full of life. They have learned from their mistakes, moved on and can now flaunt their successes without shying away.

The Organizing Committee had a year to plan and they did a fantastic job. They even started a chat on WhatsApp to keep us informed of the ideas as they developed. This brought everyone together, before the celebration even started.

Most still live in Panama and have kept in touch through the years on and off. For the ones, like myself, who live abroad it has been harder. So this was a brilliant idea. Here’s to Social Media!!! We immediately clicked again and it was as if time had stood still. All those years melted away and we had so much to talk about, to reminisce, to laugh at and even to shed a tear or two while sharing stories and details of our lives. Let me not forget about hugs……there were more hugs given and received than I could count.

Each activity throughout the 5 days was wonderful. Did I mention that our school was run by nuns? Yes, so the first order of business was attending a special mass, followed by dinner at the Club Union, best one in town. We danced, sang at top of our voices, ate and drank and were merry. Only us girls, as we were all those years ago. Even better, since this time there was no thought of boyfriends or flirting. One day we walked along the cobblestone streets of the Casco Viejo, Panama City’s historical neighborhood. Then dinner, drinks and dancing. The next day, we went by bus to see the works of the new addition to the canal on the Atlantic side of the country. Lunch afterwards. The trip was part of the fun we had that day.

The last day we travel to a mountain resort town, El Valle. Stayed in different homes, got together for dinner, drinks, more singing and dancing and fireworks!!! The next morning, we had brunch with everyone high on the side of the mountain. More hugs and goodbyes, promises to get together again soon. Plans are already in the works. I will not miss any of them for the world. The adventure will continue. Hats off to the organizers for taking time off from their busy lives to make sure our celebration was fun, unique, warm and just perfect!!!

 

 

 

 

Dress like you’re having Fun!!! (Part One)

IMG_4001No, I don’t wear that, it’s too young-looking for me, I don’t know about bright colors at my age, no sleeveless anything, too short, too much cleavage, too fitted, too loose, no bikinis, no shorts and let’s forget about form-fitting clothes……”  Who makes these rules? and why do women feel obliged to follow them? Judith Boyd, whose blog Style Crone is one of my favorites, says that “we should know the rules, so we can break them“……I like that. Patti Gibbons from Not Dead yet Style, it’s also an inspiration. She advises us “to burst out with a love for fashion and style“….Couldn’t agree more!!!

When we were young, we could wear anything and be called original,  innovative, unique. Nowadays we are called old-fashioned, out-of-touch with the times and who knows what else. Well, I am not going to be bothered by any of that. I have come to the conclusion that women of a certain age have been held back long enough. We do not have to listen and still look fabulous!!!IMG_4009

IMG_3996Do you remember when our mothers decided what we wore? I am one of three sisters. For years, our mother dressed us alike, different colors, a bow here, a belt there, but basically the same dress. Oh, we thought nothing of it for years. Did you wear a hat on Easter Sunday? My sisters and I wore ours on Palm Sunday. Mothers knew best and we had no saying in our outfits. Those days were gone as soon as we hit middle school, remember?. Our personalities took over to a point. We had some freedom, but still not complete control.

FullSizeRenderHigh school was a lot freer and more fun. We discovered that our clothes could say a lot about us. It was an epiphany, especially where I grew up. I had my hair styled as Twiggy’s famous do, wore huge white sunglasses, plastic bangles and earrings, false eyelashes and much more. It was so much fun. Remembering that, I realize that I once was one of those young women that were considered unique and original…….if not a bit off in my circle of friends.

Never mind when I came to the States for college, it was the 60s after all. Boston was home to students from around the globe, bringing with them so many interesting things to wear. So, I learned to wear what I liked, took risks with my clothes, wore the shortest skirts, knee-high boots with hot-pants……you name it, I wore it!!!

IMG_4002Then I grew up, got married, started a family, became more conventional, but only to a point.  I’ve always loved being myself, not always expecting anyone to like my style. Unfortunately, I started to get too comfortable. Our bodies change, mine did and somehow, I thought I should conform with rules. What was I thinking? Why was I listening to outside influences when I never cared about them? Still, it did happened. Now, I am back to my old self………and I am having fun again!!! I will tell you all about it soon. Stay tuned……for Part Two!!!IMG_0809