We had a party last weekend to celebrate the end of summer, which it won't really feel like until late October, because Florida, but still. It's been at least a year since we've had a broad group of friends, coworkers and such over. We've acquired a surprisingly large group of friends and neighbors since moving here, and I feel like it's important to maintain that, and mix them up from time to time in the same spot.
I've been having parties for a long time, for as long as I've had a place to live bigger than 500 square feet. I think at first, my motivation was just that I didn't think I should wait for other people to decide, "Let's get together!" That may seem obvious, but as socially inept as I was in high school and college, it was a discovery for me. But as time went on, I found that people moved, changes jobs or simply fell off the radar (which was easier prior to social media). My motivation changed and it became more about appreciating time spent with your friends while you could. Since those earlier days, I've done a lot of moving myself, and some friends are no longer with us. Midlife seems to make celebrating the people in your life even more important.
You never know who is going to come to a party, but we had more than 40 this time, and most were here at the same time, which was a little challenging. We decided to get catered food from Tijuana Flats this time, which was great for ease of execution, but I probably should have looked at the cost before committing. Fortunately, the meat was gone before the last guest left, and we were mostly left with a metric ton of chips and salsa, cheese and some of the toppings.
Funny how small worlds happen. One of my current coworkers knew a former coworker, and his wife's father conducts the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, where one of Diana's friends works and sings in the show. One of our neighbors works at Universal, and she's occasionally in meetings with one of my roller coaster nerd friends. My direct neighbor is a teacher, and Simon's first grade teacher were here, and another current coworker's wife was a teacher before they moved here recently. And then she also had a conversation with another neighbor who previously worked for Disney and shared information about some of the education programs. It's also interesting that the coaster circle includes a bunch of us that all came from Ohio/Michigan area, and now we all live here.
The world is as big or small as you want to make it. I'm grateful to know so many excellent people from so many places. I almost had high school and college people represent, but both couldn't make it. That would have been wild. Still, happy to be here, and I feel fortunate to have the friendships that I do. Never take that for granted.