Guest Blogger: Deb Dominguez, www.insightstream.com
Have you noticed that, when it comes to social events, some people seem to be mostly planners and others mostly attenders? Whether it’s an established tradition (we always go to grandma’s for Christmas) or an occasional event (my sister’s legendary dinner parties), we all fall somewhere on the scale between “get things going” and “sure, I’ll go.”
Being on one end of the scale or the other, or being balanced in-between, is strictly a matter of personal preference. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ve probably moved around on the scale over the years depending on life stage. I recently had a realization. For the last half-dozen years since I’ve been single, I’ve been mostly an attender!
On the heels of that awareness, I realized that I want to spend more time with my favorite people doing fun things. So, going forward, in addition to responding to random invitations to parties, events and outings, I’m reactivating my inner planner.
Letting Go of Limits
I have a very large, close-knit family and lots of wonderful “women I want to grow old with.” Because of schedules, geography and “life,” I see some more than others but none as often as I would like. Also, I have some really nice neighbors I would like to get to know better and I’m always interested in meeting new people.
At first I felt defeated by my “story” that my daughters and I live in a tiny (but very cute!) house that will only accommodate small groups. On top of that, we’re on a budget and I’m a single mom who’s busy running a business. Wow, if I stick to that line of thinking my choices seem pretty narrow.
Letting go of my story about my “limitations” was going to be essential to my intention of being the center of an active hub of connection and fun. I’d been pondering this for several weeks when I woke up the other morning with the answer. January 2013 is the debut of Deb’s Happenings!
Once a month I’m going to pick a date and time that works for me and plan a fun outing or event. Then, I’m going to put the word out to my list of family, friends and neighbors, and even encourage everyone to invite their friends. Here’s the magic: every month, some will have the time and inclination to come and others won’t. So, each event will be a different mix of people, an amusing “grab bag” of new combinations.
The events are easy and inexpensive, some are seasonal and all are high in pleasure potential regardless of the guest list. Here are a few of my ideas:
January: Happy New Year Hike
Meet at my house and caravan to my favorite local hiking trail which leads through a fairy-tale worthy forest canopy to a waterfall. If 10 or less people RSVP, we’ll meet back at my house after the hike for some of my famous homemade soup. If more, we’ll make it a pot-luck or grab a meal at a local café, Dutch treat.
February: Positive Vibes at the Negative Tide
During a short window in the winter months, there is a negative tide which means that the ocean floor is exposed for several hundred yards and the rare up-close and personal view of marine life is spectacular. Meet at Crystal Cove and explore the tide pools.
March: Bowling for Dollars
Meet at the kitschy bowling alley near my house for a $5 buy-in bowling tournament—winner takes all. Then, back to the house for crock-pot chili.
April: Happening for the Homeless
We will meet at “Friendship Shelter” armed with all the ingredients and enjoy the communal experience of preparing a healthy and delicious meal for 40 homeless guests.
May: Signs of Spring Hike
Meet at my house and caravan to a springtime hike among the gorgeous flora and fauna of Laguna Canyon.
June: Stars Under the Stars
Everyone bring your blanket, lawn chair and favorite picnic fare for an outdoor movie experience in my beautiful backyard on my portable screen. I’ll supply the popcorn!
You get the idea! Now, feel free to steal it outright or adapt a version of it to fit your lifestyle.
Love and Light to You!