I’m on a mission. “Mission: Peeps.”
Here’s what my life is like: working, traveling, writing, sleeping, running errands, hanging out with Claus. Many of you will find that list is roughly your life, too, except for the Claus part — I hope. It’s a busy kind of life, but it’s important to not lose sight of what’s really important. Community. Relationships. Friendships.
I talk to friends and family in my life and write sincere emails, comment on posts, and send/receive funny texts and things. I have people I love and I assume these people love me at least a little bit or they wouldn’t send me .gifs of dogs getting blowouts. There are catch-up calls with long-distance friends from time to time, but those are often months apart. Even years apart in some cases.
The problem (and I hope this is not a problem for you) is that I don’t hang out with people much. When someone asks me to do this or that fun thing, I’m out of town. When I’m home for a spell and want to get together (in the past year or so I was never, ever home for a spell but that’s another story) other people are on vacation. Or they have a commitment, or they have a baby. So it’s all texts and emails and it’s better than nothing.
But then I need a friend and there’s no one there. “There” like on my couch “there.” One friend would be fantastic; I don’t even let myself dream of a whole crew coming over and hanging out just because. It used to be like that. In high school, in college, people just dropped by, and your whole world was your relatively tiny campus, so it was easier to have a close community. If you were going through something, sometimes you wished you could isolate and think for five minutes, but nope, there’s The Fons coming in in her leather jacket going, “Eeyyyyy!”
This has to change for me, this lack of real-life peeps in my life who I see on a regular basis.
When I come home from a teaching trip, I can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing for a long time, now: flop, bake things, write things, work on the next thing. I have to call people. People who are in town, not six states away. There’s a once-a-month sewing group that my (fabulous, steadfast, now longtime) friend Heather hosts. I love going to sewing group and even if I’m bushed, I need to go to sewing group. And I have to connect with and follow through with new friends from sewing group. I need to make friend dates and keep them. I need more women in my life and I need them in my house, not just on my text message screen. If I can go to someone else’s house, great. Not only will new relationships form, hopefully, I enjoy seeing the inside of people’s homes.
The great news is that it’s already begun. In fact, I began Mission: Peeps almost two months ago. I’m happy to report it’s working. You just have to say yes to things. For me — an introvert who likes activities that are usually done on one’s own, e.g., writing, sewing, bathing — it’s a challenge to say yes. But I need people around me like anyone else and I’m not going to stay stuck in a place that on a really bad day, has an echo.