As a business owner and mom, dance teacher, volunteer, and runner of a pretty complex calendar, I admit that it would be very easy to get to the end of each month and have foregone any opportunity to wallow in some “me time.” We are all guilty of it. We fill the calendar with school events, doctor appointments, family activities, work functions, and then move right on to the next week.
Miss You, Girl!
Sometimes a bit of time passes, and we realize we haven’t checked in with our friends or seen any of them in months. This is a major problem for someone like me (read: extrovert) who needs, thrives, and survives on the connection with those I love. I totally understand that we all need a little quiet time, trust me. But I know that my soul sings when I see my girlfriends. A weight is lifted, and I feel that joy spark in my insides.
We jokingly call our gatherings “therapy sessions” because they provide a time to vent and laugh and catch up and just be ourselves for a few hours.
I have an amazing circle of friends in my life who are truly my lifeblood, my tribe. One group of girlfriends, women gathered together from different threads over the last decade, have committed ourselves to monthly dinners or get-togethers that we diligently upkeep.
People always ask us how in the world we have kept our dinner routine up for so long and how we pull it off. I know it’s a major commitment for each of us, and I’m so proud of our dedication to our schedule and our friend-time. Truly, we all need it and commit to it, so it works.
It’s A Date!
At the beginning of each year, we sit together (at our January dinner) and look at dates for the upcoming six to seven months. Yes! We are that dedicated to it. We work around kid schedules and dance class and tutor schedules and husband work schedules. Somehow we manage to always find a date that works for everyone. And then we mark it down in our family calendar so that all the husbands know well in advance, babysitters can be called in if necessary, or necessary adjustments can be made.
Then we meet for margaritas and tacos, or all-you-can-take Italian dinners, or try new restaurants we have our eyes on. We sit and talk and laugh and share stories for two or three hours. Simply glorious.
A Decade of Dining
It is work to get this accomplished, but it’s worth it, and we do it! Then around summer, we do the same scheduling activity for the remainder of the year. Ten years! For ten years this dinner club has been running, and I love these human beings who make me laugh till I cry. They have seen me at my best and at my worst and have loved me through all of the seasons. We celebrate the birthday girl of that month (we have almost one birthday per month by coincidence!) and have a cake and share our life’s joys with each other. They are my tribe and “my people”, and it is worth all the planning and scheduling.
It’s so important as busy moms that we have things to look forward to each month and take time to be ourselves. It’s such a gift just to not be needed for two hours by any little people. It’s fundamental to our lives to have that connection. We need friends to bounce ideas off of, vent to, celebrate life with. If you don’t have a monthly friend gathering, I really encourage you to find a group that you can’t wait to see and love you for all your idiosyncrasies and bizarre sense of humor.