One of my friends has recently separated from her husband and plans to get a divorce sometime in 2007. She's had a difficult year. So she decided to spend the last day of the year doing something healthy: she called up her friends and invited us all over for lunch.
We met at her house around noon, some of us bring platters of fruit or dessert. We gathered in her kitchen to eat lentil soup and vegetarian chili. We talked about the holidays, about extended families, about partners and kids and work, about all kinds of stuff. As more people arrived, the room grew quieter, as women paired off for intimate conversations.
After the busyness of the holidays, the gathering gave me space for thinking, for reflection. It's nice to be surrounded by people who know you well, who are aware of all your faults and obsessions, and who like you anyhow. At the end of the afternoon, I hugged my friends goodbye and drove home to take a nap before spending the evening with my husband, my kids, and my extras.