Friends in high places |

Friends in high places

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

Waving goodbye to my best girlfriends from Indiana, who flew into Colorado to help celebrate my 40th birthday last weekend, I couldn’t help but choke back the tears. I didn’t want them to go. After the weekend of serious girl time and relaxation, I realized just how important friends are in life.

I literally wanted to crawl in their rolling bags and fly home with them.

But that didn’t seem realistic considering the cramped space and stringent air transportation rules. So all I could do was watch Lynne and Megan drive away from my house, with my 14-year-old dog by my feet and tears in my eyes.

Saying goodbye is never easy.

We celebrated my age milestone in Aspen, enjoying the perks of off-season rates and Colorado resident status with an all-ladies weekend away. The weekend was filled with dinners, drinks, dancing and getting our share of vitamin D by the pool. That saying is really true – that in this valley, we live where people go on vacation. We are so lucky.

Sometimes I need to pinch myself just to make sure I’m not dreaming.

When Lynne, Megan and I were young women, in college and before the days of marriage and kids, we would have never have imagined someday I would be living in Colorado. And that we would celebrate my 40th birthday in Aspen. The thought would have never crossed our minds.

Turning 40 is hardly on a college kid’s agenda.

But here we are at 40, still friends after all these years and planning on many more. Actually, I say “we” but what I really mean is “me” because I am the oldest of our bunch. Lynne is next, then Megan, and I plan to be there for their transition out of 30.

I would not recommend going at it alone.

For months I have been thinking about this age because it holds a lot of meaning for me. Change is upon me, and I can feel it like someone tapping on my shoulder. Now that this age is actually here, I agree with the people who told me it’s not that bad.

It really isn’t.

Turning 40 just might be the best thing that ever happened to me. And turning 40 surrounded by my girlfriends was the best feeling, knowing that they understand what it’s like to be a woman entering a new phase in her life. I still have questions like, “What is the meaning of life?” And “Why does bacon have to taste so darn good?”

“Just because” is an OK answer.

I may not have all the answers, but I do know I’m prepared to try and find out as many as I can in my coming years. I guess it’s a good thing the reporter in me asks a lot of questions. The answers don’t have to come immediately. They can take their time, so as to arrive just at the right moment.

Any comic will tell you it’s all about the timing.

The timing of this particular birthday and my girlfriends all getting together to celebrate it was perfect. I’ve never needed my friends as much as I do in this moment, so I cherish them. They are always there for me, and that can’t be overstated. I know that no one understands me better than friends. Sometimes they even know me better than I know my own self.

Especially the ones I’ve known for 20-plus years.

The crazy part to me is that they still like me after all these years. There have been plenty of times when my timing wasn’t right. There have also been a lot of times I was right on target. The good must outweigh the bad.

I’m not sure how soon again I’ll see all the friends who came together over the weekend to play in the playground that is Aspen. Hopefully it will be sooner than later. There’s always something to celebrate. And believe me, 40 is something to get excited about, ladies. Trust me.

A friend like me wouldn’t steer you wrong.

– April E. Clark thanks everyone who helped make 40 the best birthday yet. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo. com.

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