I swear by my Google Calendar.
As a self-proclaimed Social Butterfly, it’s really the only thing that keeps me coordinated and put together. It’s my constant reference. It’s my guiding star for my constantly evolving interests and activities. It’s my social bible.
I AM BUSY AND IMPORTANT
On a normal week, I like to fill up my schedule with all sorts of different activities with a variety of social groups.
Volleyball, Barre, Work-Related Happy Hours, Concerts, Movies, Football Games, Travel, Dates, Book Club, Catch-up Dinners, Drinks with Friends, and other miscellaneous Distractions block out my evenings and weekends, often several weeks in advance.
Also there is the not to be forgotten regular appointments like hair cuts, the dentist, etc which make their own appearances.
I am oft-quoted stating “Let me check my calendar first” regarding making plans. However, I like to follow up with a not-at-all conceited “I am busy and important” so I think that helps out my impression, right???
SOCIAL BUTTERFLY? OR SOCIAL POLYGAMIST?
What does it say about me that I typically “book-up” a week or so in advance? What does it say that I am a social butterfly, always flitting from group to group, from activity to activity, from one event and interest to another?
Am I some sort of friendship-hussy?
(Note: I also schedule in “nothingness” time. Empty evenings on my calendar often stay that way intentionally. And they are GLORIOUS. So it’s not as if I need constant and changing social interaction for happiness.)
I realized a couple years ago when I moved back to Denver that one tight-knit social group was not enough for me. (Wow, that sounds both greedy and conceited.) The group of friends that I came back to no longer were active enough for a single gal like me. Over the intervening years I had acquired other interests that were not necessarily shared. I had developed a taste for variety. I had changed.
Perhaps this makes me flighty or inconsistant. For a while I felt like I was cheating on my old friends by branching out and making new connections. I felt as if my new activities and social groups were a betrayal. But then I realized that we had ALL changed and grown over the intervening years. And another thing became clear to me:
I am not a social monogamist.
I loath being bored.
What is that saying about idle hands or an idle mind being the root of all mischief or something? Well, I believe it. When I am bored (with an activity, with a relationship, with a job) it can bring out the worst in me. I can start to poke just to get a reaction and to change up the scenery. I can begin to prod out of boredom.
Not exactly a trait that I try to encourage.
I don’t think my personality lends itself to being content. That doesn’t mean I won’t be (and aren’t) happy. I just LIKE new things. I like pushing myself. I like the challenge of new experiences and thought processes.
The status quo may be fine for now but I don’t ever want to become stagnant. I don’t want to stop changing. And that includes my activities and friendships. Like anything alive, they should keep growing in order to live.
CRUISE DIRECTOR FOR ONE, CRUISE DIRECTOR FOR ALL
I realized that was my own cruise social director, if you will. No one would keep track of me but me. No one would encourage me to try new activities and socialize if I didn’t do it for myself. An adjustment in being single and no longer in college.
I think often as we get older and more settled into rhythms, that many are comfortable with their group as is. Making new friends becomes much harder. People have families and more obligations and narrow down their socializing to a select few and patterns grow.
I like to think of myself as diverse. I like to think of myself as an ever-evolving, ever-swimming shark. But maybe I am the lost one, looking for greener pastures through my plethora of social connections. Maybe I am the malcontent.
As time has gone by, I have made efforts to merge my groups; to become the CONNECTOR and link people together. I don’t keep separate crews because I don’t think they would get along… I have separate groups because that is how they developed naturally. And merging people and encouraging new friendships is hard.
Linking isn’t always easy. Combining separate social groups isn’t always successful. But it is something I am striving to do, in this fairly new, self-appointed role of cruise director for both myself and my networks.
I want to try and intertwine my diverse factions, whether or not it is successful.
OR HOW I BECAME A SCHEDULER…
As I continued to collect a wide collection of activities and social groups, it became impossible for me to keep track of it all in my own head.
[ ENTER GOOGLE CALENDAR ]
Maybe it makes me sound like a jerk, my whole “let me check my calendar first” mantra. But when making plans, I really dislike backing out at the last minute or giving a completely unhelpful “maybe, we will see” response. Seriously, you might as well just say no.
When I commit to something, and it goes in my Google Calendar, it is basically set in stone… it becomes reality. It’s related to my whole “If FB didn’t tell me it was your birthday, I won’t know about it” thing. (A terrible trait of the cell-phone era, yes I know.)
Similarly, if it’s not in my Google Calendar, there is a really high probability that I will schedule something else or forget about whatever we mentioned maybe doing on that Saturday. I am a self-centered jerk with a terrible memory, but at least I am honest.
I would be lost without my Google Calendar.