I’m writing this after returning from a trip to the city for a corporate holiday event, and I’m in a mood to muse. Having recently left post secondary education and returned to a career I had left behind, and it has been fascinating to see what has changed and what hasn’t, in the 20 years since I last was a businesswoman.
For one thing, it looks like I may be able to avoid learning to golf! I used to say that if I wanted to prioritize career advancement, I may need to take golf lessons. Indeed, golfing for career goals is a thing.
So in my 8 months back in business, I am pleased to have had a few pleasant social opportunities – lunches, dinners, holiday parties… but awhile back I was invited to a afternoon at a spa, sponsored by a vendor. It was specifically framed as a women’s event, which caught my eye.
I don’t really know how I ended up on the list of invitees, but I wasn’t going to turn it down. And I’m so glad I didn’t. In truth, I’d never been to a spa. I’d never heard of them, outside of some stereotype of eastern European mud-baths… I didn’t come from a wealthy family, nor from a family who was going to spend a lot of money indulgently. Plus I grew up in a small logging town. There were no spas. Once I started being a city gal, I had no idea what they were. Eventually I did clue in, but I still never considered going.
So, I went. And it was pretty lovely. Yes we walked around in robes and ‘slippers’ (flip-flops). We had water with citrus and were encouraged to speak with a “spa voice” (clearly a topic for a linguistic blog!). I LOVED the “water therapies” – a citrus-scented steam room, a cool pool and a whirlpool. I had my first massage in years and it was great. After our ‘services,’ we got dressed and headed to restaurant as a group of about 15 for a very enjoyable dinner.
Beyond the getting pampered, I was struck by the chance to be with a bunch of women colleagues. The event was sponsored by some female professionals who tend to work for companies in my industry. We are their clients. It was pretty cool to see so many powerful women in one place, and I made some important connections for myself.
So spas and exercise… they kind of go together, maybe? For me, the power of solidarity, and an alternate opportunity to connect was meaningful.