Overall the Venuses were in a celebratory mood – and it wasn’t just because the book (The Big M) is finally out. We (at least for now) seem to have found a new calmness and serenity in this middle of our lives.

The Venuses brought gifts for one another – spontaneously! I guess we just wanted to say thanks to each goddess for all she has meant to us in this journey. One thing we are sure of: this newfound peace would not have been possible without the support and commitment to growth our group has nurtured.

Oh sure, we had our share of challenges this year. 3 of us had skin cancer lesions removed – we’re all okay. One gall bladder surgery resulted in full recovery. One lawsuit was finally laid to rest, a custody battle was settled, and one Venus is in the midst of a remodel project rivaling the construction of the Pyramids in complexity and scope. (Bureaucracy, regulation, and competency issues make it so, not the actual plans or idea.) And sadly, one Venus had to miss our gathering at the last minute in order to deal with her husband’s aging parents’ latest crisis. (Said hubby was in Europe – so he couldn’t take over. She says he owes her big time.)

Still, we overall are in the best space emotionally, mentally, even physically that we have occupied in years. One Venus has recovered completely from Lyme disease, at least for now. Any effects from my own cardiac virus have disappeared. And we all have made a transition to regular exercise and enjoying it!

Question One dealt with how we spend our time. And we actually find that while we work a bit more than we’d like, essentially we’ve been good at finding time for girlfriends and ourselves. We feel balanced. Actually, balance is a poor metaphor. As author and dear friend, Maggie Bedrosian, tells us – balance is tricky. There’s usually just one point where we have achieved balance (like balancing on a beam or a ball). If we move off that point, we fall. She prefers the term "blend". Blending is easier, richer, and feels achievable on day to day basis. Blending just plain feels better. So looking at our time and how we spend it vs how we wish to spend it involves blending.

Most of us had an idea or two for fine-tuning or blending time spent over the next year. Many of the goddesses(myself included) find that we’ll watch TV or read rather than pursuing a new venture or artistic desire. The procrastination beast rears its ugly head and hypnotizes us into putting off our creative desires. We made a commitment to ourselves and one another. (See the blog entry re: "The Girlfriend Guilt Diet" and you’ll know why this is likely to work!)

A couple of our Venuses realized that they’ve been so successful at reaffirming their own boundaries; at finding time for themselves and their own pursuits that they are spending less quality time with spouses and significant others. And they need to reclaim that intimacy and connection. One Venus on the spot decided to set aside one day a week to reconnect with her husband who has been so supportive in her quest for outside interests.

Another realized that she and her husband work different shifts, but on weekends spend much of their time on chores and errands. She resolved that both of them could work on chores and errands during the week (when they aren’t together much anyway because of their varying work schedules) leaving the weekends free for them to enjoy one another. Still another Venus resolved to make an hour each morning a "catch-up" time with her spouse for talking and being together in a connected way – turning off the Today show and other distractions that have simply become habit.

Do these sound like earth-shattering revelations? Of course not. And for that we are profoundly grateful. We are thrilled to be focused on fine-tuning for this year. Most of all, knowing that as a group we will face challenges of aging parents, illness or injury, and other as yet unknown obstacles, we are going to revel in the good times. Stay tuned for our Best Management Practices in the next blog entry very soon. And for more info, wit, and wisdom about Menopause and all its accompanying transitions, don’t forget to order your copy of "The Big M" right here Order The Big M