Does everyone else keep their circles of friends separate?  I am quite curious as to why.  I have done this for a long time with no real justifiable reasons. There are the work friends, the friends since school days, and those met through the school years of my children.  Sure, there are some different interests and a multitude of personalities and perspectives but why was I keeping them apart?

Finally, after years of keeping my circles of friends separate, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit. After a trial run a few months ago, last night was the kick of a monthly dinner club.  Third Saturday of the month, 26-30 people in the group, rsvp the week before; someone can choose to host at their home, we can meet at an old favorite place or check out one of the plethora of new venues popping up in this city.  I know not everyone can come every month, but the goal is with enough notice and a bit of planning, most everyone can show up to at least half a dozen.

At the event last evening (and in spite of the snow) there was family, a friend I have known since 1st grade, a work friend, friends I have known since our daughters were in kindergarten and friends I have known since my son was in 4th grade. Some are retired and those who work are in all different professions.  A couple have no children, some have children out of college and may be married and ready to have babies, some of us still have at least one child in high school.  Several like musicals and symphonies, some like fishing and camping, some love the beach.

Several played sports, some coached, others of us are merely spectators.  There are a few differing political and religious views and probably differing opinions on any number of topics.  None of these are reasons to keep people apart.

What they have in common, besides their friendship with me, is a desire to connect with others.  They are all open-minded and have big, loving hearts.  They can all carry on intelligent conversations regardless of topic and even if they are a bit shy. They love to laugh, enjoy good food, a few drinks and a chance to relax.

No one said no to the idea of the dinner club, in fact everyone enthusiastically said yes!  I look forward to these outings for the engaging adult nights out and for the potential growth as new connections are made.

As we get older, don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit. Throw out that “we have always done it this way” concept.  There is unlimited potential for this group.  It may be just new or enhanced friendships or we might just save a small piece of the world.  Regardless, it’s a win-win all the way around and I can’t wait for our next gathering.  As always, I would love to get your feedback.  Let me know why you keep your circles separate, or if you are ready to take the leap and mix up your circles.