|Friends by Vinni123 on Flickr|
What I really want is a close group of friends to hang out with on a regular basis. I don't know how to get that without unleashing my inner cruise director and driving myself (and everyone else) crazy in the process.
What is it about our lives (especially with kids) that makes us so busy that scheduling a Girls' Night Out takes a level of planning ahead and coordination that is so complex I'm tempted to draw up a schedule in MS Project? I've had several occasions in the past few months where getting together with good friends took 3-4 weeks to finally come together, after rescheduling on both sides. I'm blaming my own life as much as everyone else.
I find this really depressing. It's just SO MUCH WORK. I want to be able to call or text someone and see if they can grab dinner or coffee. And believe me, I've tried. But no one can ever make it on short notice.
So I've resorted to setting up "events" a few weeks in advance - booking something on a calendar and sending around an invite. The sort-of-monthly Crafty Nights I've been holding at our house since last year. A monthly-ish night out with some of the mamas from T's toddler group.
But I want both more and less. I want to see my friends more often, dammit. I want to just grab coffee or drinks and chat. I don't want it to be a THING. Which is how I feel when I send out invites. It makes me so tired to do all this planning.
I know we need to coordinate with our partners, find childcare, and schedule around our work, gym time, toddler naps, and the other 9000 things we cram into our days. But really, is it supposed to be this hard?
I know some folks who are actually friends with their neighbors. So popping over for coffee or an unscheduled (gasp!) playdate is not unheard of. But we don't have that in our neighborhood.
I've met several women locally who seem like they could be friends, but I just don't have the energy to do all the planning it requires for us to get together regularly enough to actually *become* friends.
I feel really disconnected and overscheduled lately. I want laid-back, fun time with friends without complex strategic planning. How do I get that?
What do you do to "feed your soul" with friend time? Is it enough? How can you avoid making it just another appointment on an already packed calendar?