Living

Why a girls’ weekend is the ultimate recharger

Valerie Jones went on a weekend trip with her friends to Deerhurst Resort and rediscovered the importance of female friendships

neon clothes, women friends, 80s

As I kissed my kids goodbye, I felt a rush of guilt. Did I really deserve a weekend away? Did I really want to leave my husband alone with all four kids? But working moms like me can take a break once in a while, right? Luckily, soon after meeting my girlfriends for our trek to the Muskokas, my guilt quickly dissipated as did the guilt of my four long-standing friends who were joining me.

We arrived just before dinner to check in to Deerhurst Resort’s Annual November Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend, our second time at this event. It’s aimed at providing an escape for women who want some R&R or to have a fun and relaxing weekend bonding with friends. Touted as Canada’s largest girlfriends’ getaway of its kind, this year it also features special guest star Amanda Marshall live in concert.

At check-in, we were welcomed with lots of cool giveaways and ‘table shopping’, then it was off to our chalet where we turned on the fireplace, and opened a bottle of wine. Bliss! We chatted about work, kids, our marriages, about aging, beauty and our ever changing lives. What I have become more aware of lately is that, just like when I was single in my twenties, my lady friendships are more important to me than ever. Perhaps the boyfriend turning into husband turning into family has created a need to go back to the days of just being me — a woman who really enjoys the company of her girlfriends. Great female relationships provide a kind of support that husbands and kids (even wonderful husbands and kids like mine) cannot always provide.

That Friday night, we went out to the resort’s 80s Flashback Black Light Party in our neon gear. My friend Audrey sported her neon running shoes, and Lori wore her Cindy Lauper-esque glow-in-the-dark earrings — we were decked out in glow-in-the-dark everything! It was quite the experience dancing in a room full of glowing ladies with no men in sight. And boy can those ladies boogie! After a fun night of dancing and drinking, we made our way back to the chalet and to our comfortable beds and plush pillows.

The next day’s agenda was offerings of yoga, aquafit, cake pop baking, floral arranging and something called ‘Love Your Boobies’. We took part in a few activities, then went for a jog to relieve the guilt of excesses to come: chocolate bars, poppy lemon cake, wine and beer to be followed by a three-course dinner and a fan-packed Amanda Marshall concert.

What I loved most about our weekend getaway, was that I got to have much-needed intimate discussions with my friends. I realized that my seemingly insurmountable problems, were the same issues my friends were also facing — which mostly boiled down to too much to do and not enough time to get everything done. Sometimes life can seem so different than everyone else’s. Our challenges seem so unique to us but really, everyone feels the same way. And that’s a comforting feeling. It’s just life and we should just enjoy every minute of it.