For women only

29 08 2009

A birthday lunch for Georgia was on the calendar this week, girls only, and a day or two prior Nancy, the organizer, called to say she had a ride for me. We hadn’t talked about carpooling and her thoughtfulness was a surprise. Gail would meet me at the appointed time and place in her red RAV4 after she picked up Becky, and we’d go to the Japaneses restaurant together. What a great idea. Okay!

I didn’t know Gail, and I was only acquainted with Becky. Most of our spouses knew each other through sailboating. These women knew the art of socializing. Me, not so much. It was Georgia who decided who would get invitations for her special day. We were a party of seven.

Folks who know me say I’m reserved, which is a nice way of explaining that I don’t seem very friendly to others until they get to know me. I’m naturally that way and always have been. It’s the way I’m wired. So I was appreciative that Gail and Becky in the front seat drew me into the conversation as we rode around the island from Kaneohe to Waimanalo, around Makapuu Point, along Sandy Beach, pass Hanauma Bay to Niu Valley.

Makapuu Beach

We talked all the way, but it wasn’t gossip, just a real friendly exchange of observations and practical information. How we did stuff, what do you think about this idea, did you know that, and what do you grow in your garden.  It was a delightful ride with scenic views of our beautiful island.

By the time we had finished eating the sushi, tempura, and the Okinawan sweet potato haupia pie, Georgia the birthday gal learned that Gail was a certified pig hunter (traps), that Camille who walks fine had gotten one of those senior accessories with wheels and a seat not for her but for her miniature dachshund (the pooch rides in a custom basket made by the sailmaker), that Candy was an expert at identifying and harvesting wild mushrooms in Idaho, that in exchange for room rent Nancy accepted very snazzy high-end sun glasses, and that Becky would be able to help Rebekah find new homes for darling husband’s bromeliad collection gone astray.

I had an absolutely wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed this group of ladies—thanks for including me, Georgia!—which brings me to my point: the importance and significance of having a group.

Well, that’s obvious, you might say, that’s part of living. People have families, work-related colleagues, professional or trade associations, civic/hobby/social clubs, school,  sports, church, and most people have at least some friends. But think about it. Do you have a group that is not tied to an obligation or a service to others? Please don’t misunderstand. Purpose and service are high on my list.

I mean, do you have a group that fits you and your passion especially, among whose company you feel comfortable enough to be silly and have fun with as kindred spirits? It’s been found that a key to living life well as we age is regular and continued socialization with others.

Darling husband throughout his entire career, and now in his volunteer work, always spent his lunch hour with the same couple of buddies. My friend Jerry, also retired and who’s always lived life well in my opinion, that’s all she does—socialize! Okay, now that I (we) understand, I’ll go first and tell how I think I socialize. These are fairly tame activities. It’s not all I do, but these are my current standing dates that I enjoy, my faves.

Once a week I paint with a group on location. It’s not a class, most are hobbyists, and there’s no formal critique. We just go religiously to paint together and have Chinese lunch afterward.

•  At least once a day, we take Puppy-chan for a walk, usually on the beach. It’s here that we meet our neighbors and exchange news. The pup checks her peemail.

Beach at Kaaawa

I look forward to the gatherings my friend Cynthia hosts periodically for a group of women who help interpret each other’s dreams a la Alice Anne Parker in Understand Your Dreams (ISBN 0-915811-95-2). We’re all graduates of Alice Anne’s dream workshop. We bring potluck for dinner, and with wine and gold-flecked sake, we enjoy a gourmet experience.

Twice a week, I go to tai chi class. Not a whole lot of time to gab, unless you come early or stay late, but the group energy when doing tai chi creates a bond.

Now it looks like everyday I’ll be going to Rebekah’s Studio. I’m such a slow learner sometimes. My gosh, coming from the old school of writing news and information in the traditional manner of publishing before there were desktop computers to the new way of using the social media on the internet—it took me awhile. It’s not too hard to catch up, I found.  WordPress.com explains that the personal news and commentary a blogger writes will attract readers of like interests, thereby creating little communities in cyberspace—little groups socializing. Voila! I get it.

What is your group? ~ Rebekah

P. S. Okay, how many guys out there read this post? No problem, the bit about socializing to thrive applies to men, too! ~ RL

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke
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2 responses

31 08 2009
Rebekah

Thanks for sharing, Sue.

30 08 2009
Sue Hylton

I read your social blog. Well written. I have a couple of groups I socialize with throughout the year. One is photography workshops. I just returned (November) from a trip to New Mexico where we had photographers from CA, Tx, Virginia, and Taiwan. Always fun to meet new people and share photo adventures. It was a 6 day workshop and we really covered a lot of ground in the Northwest corner of New Mexico.

Another social group I have is 3 other people and I go to our local playhouse for 5 plays a year. And we usually meet for dinner first. Get to see lots of good acting and share some laughs.

And I have a few ladies I know, some retired, some still slaving away that meet for lunch at least once a month to catch up and just enjoy chatting with each other and being out together.

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