As we grow up, we make a lot of friends, first at school, then at college. Then we go to work, but by then it takes just that little bit longer to make friends. Sure we have lots of acquaintances, but I am talking about friends.
Then many of us get married and start a family. Our lives revolve around the family and making friends often gets put on the back burner. Sure we still have our old friends, but many of these have spread to the four corners of the world. And looking at events unfolding in the UK at present, who can blame the lucky bastards!
Internet is wonderful for keeping in touch with old friends, and for making friends with new people. I have friends in Canada, the USA, Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and parts of Continental Europe. But I can’t call them and pop round for a cup of coffee at will.
So you have woken up, in late middle age or, like me, old age, and found that local friends are a little thin on the ground. I have recently made friends with a guy “up the road” and between us we know a dozen local people. But those people know others and the others know more.
After a short discussion we have decided, once a month, to have a morning session in a local Eastern European coffee bar. The management take their coffee very seriously and have just installed a £21,000 coffee machine. And it is excellent coffee. The best in Finchley.
This month we had our first meeting. As many of you will probably guess, it wasn’t all that busy, four turned up. But one of them was a gentleman who has a plan to revitalise local communities which coincided with my wish to start a local community newspaper. (I started one in North London fifteen years ago and it is still going strong.) The discussion was very animated and we all said we would each try to bring at least one other person to the May meeting.
We chose a Tuesday for our morning sessions. Older people tend to get busy later in the day so we thought a morning would be best. A Monday would give problems as so many bank holidays fall on a Monday. Making it the second Tuesday ensured that those who go away for their bank holidays won’t be so likely to be away. We meet between 10:30am and noon when the coffee bar is less crowded. What I am saying here is you have to plan carefully for any event, or series of events you wish to hold. If you are still working there is nothing wrong with an evening meeting.
Remember my previous blog about asking the right questions of yourself to define your objective.
The moral of this story is: “Don’t sit on your backside waiting for things to happen, get up, get out, and make them happen!”