I cannot help myself. I think it is an addiction. I love to plan events, and apparently I am fairly good at it. Where does this fit in with a journey of gratitude though? Let me tells ya…
Bringing people together is a joyous thing. Events are quite often a catalyst for new friendships and lasting memories. If a gathering can create a legacy of friendship, then it is indeed a worthy pursuit. It is very rewarding to have a hand in that.
I host a couple of leagues at home. The BSOP (Bixby Series of Poker) and the BFD (Bixby’s Formula De League). The BSOP is an eight game series of Texas Hold’em Poker Games and the BFD is a 6 game series for a racing simulation boardgame. They are both replete with camaraderie, laughter and trash-talk. They are full of friends.
Additionally we host a number of gatherings in our backyard. The firepit is a magical thing. Everyone loves a fire. It is a center point for a host of other gatherings. Lobster boils, dart games, werewolf games, meals, or simple gatherings to sit and enjoy friends and while away the evening.
Then there are the host of boardgame events with SaskGames and the 24 Hours to Play with Your Food charity event. The list goes on…
There is a common theme to most of these events, they are centered around an activity. That makes sense when you consider that I am socially awkward. One of the things that surprises people about me is that I am an introvert. I am awkward when it comes to small talk or conversation. I struggle to connect to people. I enjoy talking with people, but my conversation skills are lacking when it comes to small talk. I tend to talk about abstract things, ideas, plans, and concepts. I also like to talk with people about matters of the heart. Deeper things such as what motivates them or brings them joy, what are their fears. What are their struggles, their triumphs? I call that “big” talk. Those are things that most people are not really comfortable discussing. When you consider that I am not good at small talk and big talk is generally something that is difficult to achieve in most social interactions, what is left?
That is why events are magical. They can accommodate a broad spectrum of people and conversational styles. Introverts and extroverts alike can come together and co-mingle in an environment where the focus is on the activity. The activity provides a context for interaction. It is the catalyst that allows people to get to know each other in steps and on their own terms.
I watch very little TV, I do not watch many movies, I do not follow sports, I am not an armchair meteorologist. That leaves out a whole lot of conversational fodder. I can, however, plan an event where we come together to engage in some eccentric activity. Hopefully, in that space we establish some common bonds for friendship and maybe pave the way for some “big” talk. I am thankful for the opportunity this give me to get to know some very interesting people, some of whom I am honoured to have as friends.