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happier hours

dear lee,

A week ago, you and I and dozens of women gathered in my yellow living room to talk. It was quite amazing, really, the whole thing. We discussed your latest book, the beautiful and also bestselling Those We Love Most, which is also your first novel. We also chatted about your previous non-fiction books, as well as about your non-profit. But what we really talked about was life. Real life. Not the shiny lives we all aspire to live, but the real lives, beautiful still, we actually live.

Lee, you were absolutely wonderful, witty and warm throughout. You had so much wisdom to share with all of us women who are striving and struggling and celebrating our way through our days. Here are a few of the things you said last Wednesday or in our emails since. I am totally paraphrasing and possibly butchering what you actually said, but the following are all bits have have stayed with me since:

  1. Forgive yourself. Sooner rather than later.
  2. Quality & quantity of time both count when it comes to raising kids.
  3. Imagine what your kids will think when making decisions.
  4. Get a good night's sleep and things will feel better in the morning.
  5. There is no expiration date on decades.
  6. Everything new will get old.
  7. Everything that goes up must come down.
  8. Nothing is linear-- and everything is possible!

It's funny because about thirty minutes before you and the others arrived last week, I stood in my kitchen talking to my girls' nanny. I said something to her: Why do I choose to host 60 people every couple of months? If I weren't me, I would think I was really weird. And I think this is true. But I am clearly doing this because it matters to me. I love these evenings, these escapes, these chances to stop and think about what it means to be a woman and a person in this modern world.

In the past week, I have heard from so many women who were there with us. There has been a common theme to their feedback: inspiration. In just a few hours, you inspired them. And me. And I cannot thank you enough for this, for taking time from your busy life to join me and us to talk and, yes, get happier. We all deserve to be happy, don't we? Not Happy in that mockingly perfect and Platonic sense, but quiet lowercase h happy, happier at least.

It was so wonderful to meet all of your friends who were able to come. It is my sincere hope that they, and you, will join me for future Happier Hours. And, no, I cannot take credit for the gorgeous flowers I presented to you at the evening's end. They were from Angelica Flowers and Events downtown. Arranged, and exquisitely, just for you. That you carried them along the city streets to meet your husband at the end of the night, collecting compliments from strangers, that you took them away with you to your cabin to write the next day... all of this makes me smile.

I could go on and on, but there is time for that, no? For now, please just know how happy I am to know you, to consider you a new friend and an always inspiration. Per your encouragement, I am hard at work trying to finish my novel. It too is a quiet novel, hopefully much like yours in feel and effect, an ode to real life and real love, and I can only hope you will be able to read it one day. And soon.

Once again, thank you. So much. From all of us.

yours,

aidan

♣

Have you ever had a chance to meet someone you really respect and admire? Do you have any questions or curiosities about my HH with Lee or the evenings in general? Do you agree that I am a bit of an oddball for hosting these not-so-tiny events so frequently? Do you agree that we all deserve bits and pieces of happiness - or happier - in our lives?

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