sex

How a girls' weekend will change - and not in the ways you think.

I’m just back from a girls’ weekend.  I feel 10 years younger but have more laughter lines.

We roared, we cackled, we cried, we swam, we shopped, we walked, we ate, we ate, we ate – and did I mention we ate? We also caught up on a year’s worth of life, wrangled ideas and talked books and authors.

We watched a pod of dolphins round up a school of fish to gorge on then, bloated, leap into the air with new-found energy and delight. By the end of the weekend I felt like one of those dolphins – satiated and stuffed with love and laughter, lighter and more joyful.

Image: @visitsantabarbara.

Girls' weekends are soul food - enriching, energising and wonderful. I've been having them regularly since my 20s and we have vowed to continue them until we share a nursing home. Even then, we might make a break for it and see how far we get.

My mum has an entire girls week in a timeshare up the coast. She's not revealing too much about what goes on - what happens on the road stays on the road no matter if you are 18 or 80. But I suspect as life gets more serious, women just get sillier when they get a break together.

Here's how girls' weekends have changed over the years.

1. The fun/sleep ratio.

In your 20s, you are up nearly all night chatting, laughing, dancing and exploring. No one cares where they sleep.

In your 30s, you're up until midnight, thrilled that you don't have to wake up early. Some have bagsed their own bed (because they snore, or because they don't sleep, or they need light). Only some will share.

In your 40s, you're in bed by 11pm and still up by 8am. Only one or two of you will agree to the top bunk.

In your 50s, most of you are in bed by 10pm and up at dawn. The top bunk stays empty.

2. The Drugs.

In your 20s, some will be on pot and some on the Pill.

In your 30s, wine and pregnancy vitamins are the drugs of choice.

In your 40s, good champagne, Valium and anti depressants are on the menu.

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In your 50s, it's anti-anxiety medication, evening primrose, HRT and Metamucil to keep you regular. You stop drinking at 9pm so the woman who might just have to have the top bunk (usually me) doesn't break her neck doing a wee in the middle of the night.

3. The Talk.

In your 20s, you talk about sex and love and movies and books ... and everything.

In your 30s, you talk about kids and politics, kids and books, kids and how they interfere with sex, kids... and everything.

In your 40s, you talk about teenagers and porn, not having sex, ageing parents, politics, books, movies, travel ... and everything.

In your 50s, you talk about everything, including life and death, health and happiness, politics ... and bowel movements.

4. Contact with the Outside World.

In your 20s, you talk to your lover in hushed tones on the phone from the balcony.

In your 30s, you sing your kids a lullaby on the phone and check in with co-workers.

In your 40s, you check texts of the sport scores from your kid's games and your emails.

In your 50s, you don't call anyone. You just stay in the moment and enjoy it to the full.

5. Laughs.

My friends are the funniest people alive. It astounds us just how much we can crack each other up. Always have, always will.

In your 20s, you laugh until you fall over.

In your 30s, you laugh until you cry.

In your 40s, you laugh until you squeeze.

In your 50s, you laugh until you wee.

6. Activities.

In your 20s, you lie around reading magazines, go for a swim, hang, walk to the restaurant.

In your 30s, you enjoy long lunches and long coffees and have massages booked.

In your 40s, you're up early for a morning run, then head off for a spiritual reading. Or a nap.

By 50, it's lovely long walks and lots of cups of tea in the sun.

7. The Music.

In your 20s, you listen to the latest music you love.

In your 30s, nothing can be heard over the talk anyway.

In your 40s, you rediscovering old favourites.

In your 50s, you sing musicals together as the sun comes up.

I loved Rizzo but I'm becoming a bit more Sandy.

8. What People Bring.

In your 20s, you bring clothes, grog and not much else.

In our 30s, one friend started bringing her own tried and trusted teapot.

In your 40s, you bring your own pillow to reduce bad backs and sore necks.

In your 50s, you bring meditation apps, fruit and bran.

What doesn't change? Your love, passion, fun and admiration for one another. The sound of the raucous laughter from dawn to dusk. The satisfaction, fulfillment and fondness you feel all the way home.

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