I was in Lagos about a month ago. I went primarily to run my seminar called Create Your LIFE which is designed to help people in or approaching mid-life to think about the way they want to live the next chapter of their lives, then identify goals and first steps to creating that life. A secondary reason for the trip was to join my cousin as she celebrated her 50th birthday.
This cousin is part of a group of friends made up of people she has known for years, some of them as early as primary school. I got that they were a close-knit group because I remember 10 years ago they went away together to celebrate their 40th birthdays together. And it truly sunk in when last year, they flew in to Lagos to support my cousin when her father died. This year, they have flown across the world to celebrate each other turning 50. They are a fun-loving bunch of women and have never really let age or their families create a barrier to them enjoying each other – in the best possible way.
But during the week of her birthday I was privileged to participate in an act of love that really showed the regard these friends have for my cousin. It was also the best fun I’ve had in a very long time.
I was invited to join these friends in a flashmob-esque surprise for her birthday party. Kaffy, a Nigerian choreographer was engaged to, over 3 evenings, take us through a dance routine to 4 or 5 of my cousin’s favourite songs.
And I’m filled with admiration for these women, none of whom is a performer.
Were there complaints that it was hard?
Yes there were.
Was there anxiety that the routine was too long for us to learn in the allotted time?
Indeed there was.
But did they give it all they had?
There were about 13 of us in the group which also included my cousin’s sister. We worked from about 5.30 – 8.30 each evening and some of us were able to join what we called the ‘remedial classes’, where the assistant choreographer slowly took us through each step of each routine.
And then on Friday night, the night of the party we performed it in front of the other guests and my cousin. And I had the best fun.
These are women, successful and accomplished women aged 48-53 (I was the eldest at 55). They were prepared to jump right out of their comfort zones, learn a dance routine, wear a costume and they were prepared to do this in front of an audience. I found that to be really inspiring.
On top of all that, they generously gave me permission to post the video here.
If you’re approaching or in middle age and you think it’s too late for you then think again.
This is where life REALLY begins.
Oh yes, we were called Destiny’s Aunties.