29 February 2008

Friends, not the TV show

Thanks. This morning I was sort of struggling and I took time out to read everyone's blogs and I feel better. It is so refreshing to remember my friends and the life that exists beyond the one that I live in here. Sometimes work and private life become one in our lives here and you can get stuck and not see outside the bubble. You all are part of life outside the bubble and it feels really good. It felt for me almost like we all just hung out for the evening and I came away feeling good. I think that is a sign of an extrovert - to be refreshed by interaction with others!

We have friends here and we do have evenings of laughter and hanging out and that is very important to me. I hung out with Spanish speakers two evenings this week which is also a mental work out - following and participating in a conversation in another language. Losing the thread of things and trying to find it again. Sometimes in the middle of those moments I suddenly think - wow I understand. And then I immediately lose it because I broke concentration. For obvious reasons, that's not always as refreshing as hanging out with old friends.

We have a constant turn over here at the office. A girl we'd hung out with a lot the last few years went home for good in December. A couple we've done a lot with for the last year, practically every weekend, will leave in a couple weeks. They are young marrieds and I'm not sure we would have been their first pick for hanging out but they weren't allowed to drive and liked to get out and do things, so they came with us a lot. It's been fun and we'll miss them.

The mix at work is three couples in the 60ish range, and now with the new marrieds leaving, three couples between 36 - 44 age. I have a sort of weird dilemma at times of wanting to include two or three couples but not wanting to include all, but since there aren't a lot of us; it can be viewed as exclusion. (and occasionally lectured about at work...) The other side of that is if we just do things with one couple all the time, we could be viewed as a click. Another couple isn't in the habit of being social but asked me to help them be more conscious and involved. In reality I know I'm a grown up and I can invite who I want but I don't want to hurt feelings or be perceived as exclusionary. This would not be an issue if we weren't all in the same office so that annoys me too.

Anyway...all that to say I miss my friends even though you're not all in KC anymore. It's just good to know you're out there.