Last year, I started listening to a podcast called Forever35. If you’re not familiar with it, the two hosts (Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir) discuss all kind of issues from skin care to meal planning to dealing with anxiety to cultivating friendships. It made my wheels start turning, and last summer as I lamented how much time had passed since I last got together with my girlfriends, I had an idea.
After a lot of group texting with a few close girlfriends, Girls Night In was born. On a Friday evening in July, about 20 women came to my house. Everyone brought a dish to pass and my friend Kelly, who happens to be a yoga teacher, led us through a brief, relaxing yoga class. Then we came back inside and ate and gossiped and got to know each other better (or caught up on what was happening in each other’s lives.)
We did it again in August, this time at Stacey’s house. Summer months are tough because people are SO busy, so we picked a date that worked well for the majority of us and scheduled it.
We took a hiatus through the holidays, and then got together again on a Sunday afternoon in February to learn how to make wreaths, this time at Sara’s house. Again, we all brought a dish to pass, and this time we added a little intro people so people could tell us who they are and what they’re interested in (which turned into people saying where they work out, hilariously.)
After the first event, the feedback I got was incredible positive. People loved having an excuse to get together, especially since we were actually DOING something and not just coming together to have a potluck (not that there’s anything wrong with a potluck.)
I tell myself that it’s just this season of life that makes me to busy. I’m a partner at a law firm, I have a one-year-old, I have neverending school board and community commitments, I have a marriage that I try to nurture, I have a black granite floor in my house that I have to clean every freaking day because it shows every single smudge and drop of water. It is so hard to find time to unwind and connect with friends, but it is also so important for my mental health.
As the weather heats up, we can schedule another backyard yoga class, but we also like to brainstorm and come up with new things to do. I loved the wreath making, since it was something that is totally outside of my normal hobbies.
What activity would you plan for a group of friends? How do you find time to maintain friendships and relationships when life gets busy?