Creating your tribe.

Making friends isn’t easy for some of us. I think this is true for more people than we might realize going about our daily lives. It isn’t something that people talk much about. What’s more – making and keeping friends takes work! Who told you that when you were young?

I found it pretty easy in grade school. We played half the time and were surrounded by peers. I did events after school and saw them there, and our parents helped us get together in groups.

Then I had the great fortune to go to a boarding school for high school. Friendships were deceptively simple because I lived, studied, and played with my peers. We formed deep bonds without having to make conscious plans to get together. We were already together, and it was simply – what should we do now?

As an adult, there are far more steps involved to get together with individuals who eventually become friends. At least someone has to organize, and that takes effort. It’s like dating to make friends, and then you must work to keep them. Bumble, a dating app, has a BFF feature to find friends. I know many adults who choose their retirement location based on their long-term friendships. It’s a valuable asset.

I was recently fortunate to experience a great example of someone taking the effort to build deep friendships. This is an individual who does this in many ways – but one has been an annual birthday tradition. For 23 years (!!) she has invited friends out to play golf, followed by a feast that she hosts. Everyone is invited to golf – no matter how incompetent (like myself). We are organized into groups who go out and play 9 holes (with some special rules to create maximum fun). The evening feast includes golfing awards of different types, along with great camaraderie with an awesome group of people.

There are many other little touches to make for a great event. I find it incredibly inspiring and I’m thankful to get to play a part.

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