One of the things that I did after my husband moved out was to check out www.meetup.com. Meetup is a website where people can organize events. There are all kinds of groups ranging from dining out groups to hiking and camping groups to groups for single or divorced people. There are quite a few groups in my area and I’ve done some of the activities. One was an incredibly reasonable dinner at a wonderful French restaurant; a restaurant that I would never have gone to on my own. I’ve found the other people who participate to be really nice and easy to talk to. Going to meetups was a good way for me to ease into new social situations.
This past Saturday was an event for a new meetup in my area – one devoted to doing good deeds. Saturday was just awful outside; there was another Chicago snowstorm and the roads were just terrible. I had an early appointment that morning (gotta do that annual mammogram!) anyway, so I figured I would go to the meetup. To be honest, had it not been for that mammogram I may not have gone anywhere, but I was out so I went. I was kind of worried that the organizers wouldn’t have anyone show up in that yucky weather.
To my surprise, 26 people showed up. How lovely. Twenty-six people braved the snow and messy roads to come out and talk about doing good deeds. Just that.
I got involved because I decided that, at this time of my life, I was a little tired of it being “all about me,” and it was time to get out of my skin and do something for somebody else. I don’t know what everyone else’s motivation was, and it really doesn’t matter. It was incredibly heartwarming, though, to see 25 other people who didn’t let the snowstorm stop them. Right now it seems like every time I turn on the news it’s all about corruption in politics (I AM from the Chicago area), war and foreclosures. It was really nice for a couple of hours to get away from that.
So, if you’re looking for something to do that’s pretty low-risk – a great way to ease back into new social situations, check out Meetup. And if you’re in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, check out the good deeds meetup. Or start one in your area and maybe you’ll be surprised too.