Aha...if I can get out of my OWN way I can still manage to have a GREAT time!
I've been so stressed lately and with stress comes sadness and with sadness comes depression and with depression comes stagnation...and I don't even want to tell you where stagnation puts us...but it's not the place I want to be!
For you who read my blogs you know I've been debating and debating about pulling back from our large circle of long time friends. We have SO much history with this group it's been a long and difficult decision. Not one that I take lightly at all.
We get together almost every week at someone's house to have some appetizers and a few glasses of vino then the hostess lets us know the dining destination where she's made our reservations. Sometimes we agree as a group where we are going, and sometimes it's a surprise. She gets to pick if she does the hostessing duties.
Sometimes during season if the restaurants are too busy for such a large get together the hostess will cook the main course and then assign each of us a side dish. Most leave it up in the air...but I suggest what to bring because I hate having duplicates and I don't leave the lazy ones to chance walking in with a bag of dinner rolls. This group will 'skate' on cooking duties every chance they get!
Took me a LONG time to figure that one out...but once I did...they KNOW...if you are coming to Bobbi's house for her MOST delish meals..you're going to pull your weight!
This circle has been together for eons. Some of us...for over 20+ years!
That's a LOT of history for sure, for sure I know these couples like I'd know my own brothers and sisters!
The problem on our end is that this group is quite well off...most of them VERY well off..and we used to be right in the thick of it...taking European trips together, booking cruises, sporting the high life.
Then...it all came crashing down for us with the loss of our beloved son in 2006. Talk about a kick in the teeth change viewing the world!
We learned LITERALLY overnight that money and stuff and rank and position mean NOTHING in the overall perspective of life and those living it!
Without our beloved son the life we were leading, although with great prior zest and what we felt in our puffed up egos was QUITE important...we found out that there isn't a THING in the world that can replace someone that you love MORE than yourself. MORE than your stuff, more than your rank and file, more than ANYTHING!
Of course Josh's loss was a big blow to our group also...but let's face it...unless you have lost a child yourself...you are never going to really realize the impact that this event has on the grieving parent's being. Our criminal attorney friend...left brained all the way actually told DH a short 4 weeks later...that he was going to have to get AHOLD of himself and move on???
If you have a friend who has lost someone they love NEVER say this! DH has never felt the same about this guy since.
We truly lost our will to live. For a GOOD long time. I think we were almost considered wet blankets that sucked the 'high spirit's and 'livin' la vida loca' out of the gatherings.
We truly lost our any drive to DO, DO, DO, and BE, BE, BE, AQUIRE, AQUIRE, AQUIRE which understandably put an uncomfortable barrier between our group's consuming interests and ours.
This is a big lesson learned...wealth does not necessarily buy compassion.
With no family to speak of we felt somewhat abandoned by our long time buddys. It's a sobering feeling and we've experienced it for such a long time it's become much more subtle, but still it's always there. Poor Don and Bobbi lost their son, and then lost their wealth.
Ridicioulous...as if the housing bust didn't have a thing to do with the situation.
But....It's kind of like being kicked out of the sorority that YOU were the founding member of. DH and I along with our best friends are actually the ones who put the group together.
Now don't get me wrong every single person in our group DOES have a heart...it's just tightly guarded and wrapped up tight.
I guess to rise to the ranks of the super wealthy you have to have that all consuming fighting spirit and an over active protective self-preservation gene.
After all in the business world we know it's a dog eat dog world. I personally NEVER believed that...the hubs and I were always getting taken to the cleaners by builders that we worked for...but through HARD work and dogged dedication...we still managed to do well.
BUT...now that we no longer identify with those goals, nor do we any longer care about the so called 'game'!
We learned QUICKLY through tragedy...what makes the world really go round and it's simply LOVE. Love of family and love of friends.
It's hard to hammer that message home to a group that thinks if you don't TALK about bad stuff...and don't THINK about bad stuff that you will actually be IMMUNE to bad stuff coming your way.
For most of them...this theory has pretty well worked out pretty snazzy in their lives. They have their health, they have great successful kids, they have their social functions, and they have their big money.
I've been trying for a good long time to figure out where we fit in their picture other than the fact that we have history.
I've actually been debating about sticking with a few treasured couples and starting once again another social circle.
The last several times we've entertained for the group and attended functions we've felt more like it was work than leisure. I don't mean this in a mean way...once we GET there we are fine.
But...this has caused me big stress...everyone needs friends...and how do you tell friends that you've outgrown their silly bastions of success...and worse yet...would they even CARE if you have this point of view anyhow?
I guess that's the more painful part of the process to ponder.
BUT...last night restored my faith in this group. Maybe it was because we weren't all there...when the group is a little smaller we seem to get along a little better. The women aren't talking over each other as loudly to steal their little circle of the limelight.
After yacking all week to customers who come in the consignment gallery I like a little QUIET conversation...not the usual...blather, blather, I I talk louder, I'm more important...and this is what I did this week that makes me SOOOO wonderful!
Told ya...big dysfunctional family!
This week I suggested we do games! This lets everyone participate, brings out the good ole' competitive spirit, and encourages some brain power too!
We had SO much fun...it was 11 p.m. before we knew it!
We played a form of charades where we split the girls against the guys and acted out movie titles. Being big movie buffs...the hubs and I cleaned everyone's PLATE! Too bad we were on competing teams. I guess we still DO have a zest for competition.
Then we did another fun game called OUTBURST which allows any # of people to play. I have that game here at the house...bought it YEARS ago to try and introduce to the group but everyone poo poo~ed the idea.
Well last night it got launched at our SMART hostesses' house and it will never be ignored again! At least if I can manage it!
This is just what this group needed. Less about ME and more about US!
for teaching old dogs new tricks!