What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Susan and I have a lot of friends outside the club, and we can do other fun stuff elsewhere. But the benefit is not in the doing, it's in the connecting. Seeing the same people each week creates a shared commitment that feeds the soul. I helped start a poetry group, and we've grown so devoted to each other that, when one member moved away, her last meeting was like a wake. When I did a book reading at Nicola's in February, many club members were in the audience. And I would bet you any amount that if my husband or I got sick, club members would be the first at my door with a casserole.
"The friendships I've made at the club are more meaningful than in other social groups I'm in," says one of my friends in the poetry group, Kathleen Fitzgerald. A local investment professional, Kathleen faces plenty of time pressures but says that involvement in the club enhances her life. "There's a lot of wisdom and know-how among the younger and older members. They are a source of ideas, information, creativity, and encouragement, and it's easy to access that know-how when we come together at the club."
Past president Barb Pomey, who now heads up our community outreach activities, taps that know-how when deciding what nonprofits we should support each year (we make a financial contribution to one and encourage members to volunteer with others). "I like the process of people coming together to learn about what's going on in the community," Barb says. "We hear about issues and efforts we weren't aware of. Writing a check is nice, but working on a project together with people you like and respect adds another dimension."