celebrating big events

Images Last night we went up to Greenwich for our friend's 50th birthday party.  A huge rite of passage.  50 is a big number but still feels so young.  Watching my friends pals get together to celebrate the moment was really touching. I am connected to her and know her family but really do not know any of her friends except for events over the years. I keep thinking about the evening and my take away. 

Women are such different animals than men.  This particular event was definitely a girls party although there were some men in the room.  Each speech was from the heart particularly touching were the one's from her children.  The few speeches from her friends were hilarious.  Here is a group of women who are smart and have led interesting lives.  Many of them have chosen to stay home with their kids and put the careers on the back burner.  Because of that, one of the speeches was geared towards shopping, pilates and being a chauffeur to the kids.  Not something you'd find the men doing or talking about.  In essence, women still take over the brunt of the family life. 

Everyone is certainly different.  I have one friend who couldn't be happier to be at home, hang with her kids, and do her own thing from taking classes around art galleries to reading a book.  Unfortunately for me, as much as I love being home, I want something else and continue to look for it.  I wonder how does one define success when there is nothing that I do that is necessarily defined.  Why is it even important to feel successful?  Does coordinating 5 lives for a summer vacation define success?  Does making a yummy dinner define success?  Is success just defined in our culture by validation through financial success or creating happiness for yourself?  These are just some of the issues I am thinking about these days as I have worked at re-inventing myself as our kids get older and need me in different ways.  Or maybe don't need me at all.  It isn't easy and certainly other women are thinking about these issues too. 

Being in the room last night, watching friends and family come together to celebrate a big birthday, I do believe that did define success.