This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. That means, no more school for many of the kids, pools are open, beaches are the goal and vacations are on the brain.

For me? I’m brainstorming about WHAT TO DO ALL SUMMER. I’m panic stricken thinking of my little red head 5 year old at the pool every day this summer dodging that HOT summer sun!!! Furthermore, without many close friends in the neighborhood, I’m on the lookout for social opportunities for my family.

My husband and I have decided that our social life needs a lift. We have friends all over the US but so many of our friends here locally have a lot of family in town. Every time we try to get together with them, they are having a cookout with their parents or having someone over. We have felt less and less connected to some of these people over time because they are never available. As a matter of fact, I told a friend today that I was OVER trying to get together with her. I’m the one that always plans everything. When we get together, it’s a great time. She’s fun! She’s lively! She’s funny! She loves to laugh!!! And she has great kids! Sounds perfect to me as someone fun to hang out with. The problem? She knows so many people that she’s always being invited somewhere so she’s always busy!!!

So what about you? Is your social life up to standard? Are your friends excited when you call or are they hum drum about it, “oh, it’s you again.” Gosh.. what a great welcome!!!

So, I decided to today: TAKE CHARGE! I made a list. I made a list of all of the friends in town who have kids who are my son’s age. I wrote to several of them, called them on the phone, bumped into them at the store or have a plan to be in touch with them.

I called a bunch of friends that we haven’t seen in a while. I called some friends from out of town and asked if they wanted to get together at their place or ours this weekend. I offered to host a Memorial Day cookout at our house on Monday.

I also decided to put my son in a summer camp. And I’ll volunteer so I can meet and get to know the parents. Suburb living has advantages, but you’re not usually running into people that much. In NYC, we had 800+ people in our building, so it was no problem to get a group of 7 women who all had kids the exact same age and that absolutely loved each other and that will be lifelong friends.

But in the suburbs, we have about 30 houses on our street with exactly NO families that have a five or six year old boy. And as a working mom, I don’t have everything in the world in common with stay at home moms and as a part time working mom, I have time every afternoon to hang out with my son. Other friends who work full time are arriving home when we are winding down our day.

Because I have met so many people in my classes that I teach who are always trying to meet sharp or fun people, I have a few things I want to run by you first before I start dishing out advice that I’m going to follow myself.

First of all, let me ask you:

1. Are you a good friend? Do you call people back in a timely manner? Do you initiate any of the times that you get together with friends? Do you host any of the events or do you wait for other people to initiate everything?

2. Are you fun? I mean, let me say this another way: Do you LIKE to have fun? Or, do you ever laugh? Can you have an enjoyable conversation with a stranger? Do you initiate conversations with others? Are you an optimist or do are you a complainer? Do you ever try to BRING THE FUN WITH you wherever you go?

In my experience, everyone likes to have fun. But there are not that many FUN people! Fun people are those who can get excited for other people’s achievements or activities. Fun people ASK you about you. FUN people say things like “WOW, that sounds like FUN” So many people like to talk all about what’s on THEIR mind and how THEIR lives are, and rarely ask about yours. That’s what I call an “ex friend” or “well known acquaintance” .

“Fun” people aren’t overly competitive. They aren’t selfish, and they aren’t overly opinionated about how YOU should live your life. They also don’t compare children and they they’ll admit when either they or their kids aren’t perfect.

3. Do you have a home that people feel welcomed in? Or do they have to check their personalities and their shoes at the door because you are so uptight that you’d rather have everything LOOK perfect than make your guests FEEL comfortable. YIKES!. I’d rather stay home!

4. Have you done everything in your power to become a good friend, neighbor or co-worker to the people that you already know? There might be people in your network who are also interested in becoming better friends. You’ll never know until you ask them to spend time together.

5. And lastly, do you ever have TIME for a social life? Or, every time your friends call, you go on and on about how much you have going on in your life.. and are just SOOOO busy. . They’re content. They’re happy! They have tons of close friends! That’s GREAT. I’m happy for them.

I think for myself, I’m seeking to get better acquainted with a few of the friends I already have. I think they are great, but we just have busy schedules and haven’t planned well enough. I think with these friends, I’m going to plan a weekly get together happy hour that will be for my friends and their families at the pool in our neighborhood. This way, they can all get to know each other and it’ll be a reliable thing we can look forward to every week.

Next, I think I’m going to test the waters with a few people whose company we really enjoy, but don’t know very well. There is one lady at the school who I think is just great. We saw each other in the halls but didn’t have our kids in the same classes. But she is someone who I think has a lot of enthusiasm for life and likes people with a good attitude. That’s what I enjoy too! So, although I don’t know her well, I think we’d have a lot to talk about and our kids are roughly the same age, so that’s easy!

I’m also going to continue meeting with a new friend who is also a writer. She’s incredibly interesting even though our kids aren’t similar in age. She’s the one who will keep my brain challenged and my outlook fresh. We have been meeting every week for the past month and I’m going to do whatever I can to continue our meetings. I need adult friends too!

Finally, I’m branching out! I’m ready to meet and get to know some really fun and interesting people. I’m going to seek them out. I’m going to start showing up for classes at the YMCA. I’m going to take come Continuing Ed classes this summer. I’m going to get involved with training for a triathlon. I’m going to get out there and meet people who are DOING interesting things!!! I’m basically going to take this on as a project.

This morning I went to breakfast with a guy I swim with every morning. He beats me in freestyle and I beat him in breaststroke. He’s married and has 2 kids. He lives in a big and beautiful house. That’s about all I know about him. But this morning, at breakfast, I felt that I had met a new friend. We talked about our lives, our kids, jobs and our goals. I had no idea that this quiet and mature fellow I swim with is so interesting. I just had no idea!

So branch out and take on a new project this summer! It’s MEMORIAL DAY. It is the perfect time to resurrect old friends or make a plan to attract new ones. So, go to TARGET, and buy some colorful things for your house, and your wardrobe and CALL ME for coaching if you want to add color to your personality or your life!!! 🙂