Once upon a time last weekend there was a great art exhibition, great dumplings and some girlfriends – clearly a recipe for revelations. Mel, one of the girls in question, brought up the rising stress of setting catch up dinners and lunches, to the point that sometimes an email chain of 20 or more develops and dinner is in 3 months time – is it really worth the trouble? Is it just the age group that’s difficult, being parents with young kids under 5?
In the face of this adverse ability to maintain regular catch ups with our friends, Mel offered the idea of bringing back the ‘calling card’ – a time that the people in your circle know you would either be home or free with a babysitter booked, on certain nights of the week – let’s say 2 nights. It sparked a fabulous discussion and ‘planned spontaneity’ was born. We were instant enthusiasts, with flash dinner parties planned and promised and the idea that this was the way forward – popping in for cups of tea was back on the day’s agenda!
I do find it super hard to see old friends especially that aren’t maybe so much involved with what i’m busy with right now, just as I’m not involved with their day to day, but it certainly doesn’t mean I’m not wanting to see them. The last time a friend knocked on my door spontaneously, I was frantically preparing legal documents for the sale of a business, and had to bark at her and her kids and turn them away. Hmmm… not exactly embracing spontaneity there but this is exactly why the calling card should work!
Can you imagine being a little stumped for what to do one Sunday morning and saying ‘ Ah, Jessica’s always home Sundays, why don’t we pop in on her’. Done, your morning is planned. Could you knock on the door of a friend who’s stated clearly they’d be home to everyone they know, and feel 100% comfortable though? I’m actually not so sure I could. Yet. It’s going to take some work.
We definitely need more real time connection (ironically as I type a blog post to the universe that i now call ‘friend’) Perhaps we should take the plunge with some planned spontaneity indeed!
I’m going to try it with a small group. Baby steps. I’d love to see what you think about the whole idea!