Start Something You Love
One Saturday morning a few years ago, two girlfriends and I made a decision. In between remembering and laughing over the night before's debauchery, we realized that despite our love of reading, none of us made time for it anymore since graduating college - picking up a book wasn't a priority because we were no longer forced to read textbooks to pass classes. We forgot how much we enjoyed reading for the sake of reading. So, on a sunny yet somewhat hazy Saturday morning, we founded a bookclub, and have kept it going ever since. Keep reading for my insight into and tips for sustaining the things you are passionate about in life.
Starting any type of group that interests you (hiking group, cooking class, cult movie club) isn't hard at all - at the moment of creation it sounds like SO MUCH FUN. Of course you will make the time to hang out with your high school besties every other Thursday for crafting and catching up on your fave throwback show (Arrested Development, anyone?). However, as with most things, keeping the dream alive and that initial excitement there is harder as the time goes on and when life inevitably gets in the way. I have picked up and quit many hobbies throughout my life, but my bookclub is in its 5th year, has almost doubled in size, and going strong as ever. Here is (I think) why:
- My ladies and I plan ahead & incorporate bookclub into our lives. We rarely, if ever, double book (no pun intended) when it's bookclub day. Our gathering is a priority for all members, so other activities that pop up on our social calendar work around bookclub, not the other way around. My group even has one member who Skypes in for every meeting - d e d i c at i o n. (Megan you the real MVP).
- This is a no brainer - my booklclub is fun! Booze and food are present at every meeting; we spend as much time picking out the menu as we do looking up questions to discuss about the book. And not to mention, we probably catch up and talk about our lives more than actually discuss the novel we just read. Bookclub is basically brunch with books thrown in which equals us leaving feeling smarter, full, and maybe buzzed. Simply stated, people do things they enjoy, so, make whatever it is you are thinking about starting fun.
- We don't try and make fetch happen, aka, we don't try and have bookclub too often. We all know that too much of a good thing gets old, fast. My club meets about once every month and a half to every 2 months, which works well with all of our separate, crazy schedules. If we tried to meet more than that, I have a good feeling not all members would show every time. A good rule is to not force your interest upon your friends if you want to keep it enjoyable. Once you start planning meetings you’ll find a frequency that works and feels natural for the group.
- Club with benefits - I enjoy the following benefits of being part of an extracurricular club:
- I've added ‘bookclub founder’ to my resume. This might sound silly but I truly think it adds something extra that makes me stand out from the crowd on paper. Remember all those clubs you were "involved" with in HS to help with college applications? This is the adult version.
- Because of bookclub I'm guaranteed to see my girlfriends who live a couple of hours away at least once every month or so. Knowing I'll see them and get to hang out is motivation to continue with the club because it's become as much a social gathering as it is a meeting to discuss a book we read. As busy as life is now, this is a really nice bonus. I started my bookclub with two close friends, and because of it I have strengthened relationships as well as met someone completely new, who I am lucky to now also call a friend. The chance to meet other like-minded ladies, collaborate, and empower each other has been amazing, and if not for our group, that opportunity might not have presented itself.
- I end up staying pretty current and in the know about the literary world, which besides taking a little bit personal pride in, helps in social settings, at work, gives me something to talk about with that boring aunt at family gatherings, etc. The more you know, ya know?
- And lastly: the ladies in my bookclub appreciate being challenged and introduced to concepts totally out of our comfort zone - seriously, we've read some odd books. Bookclub stretches our minds, making us wonder and think about the world in a different way and this fact alone makes continuing on with bookclub worth it to us. If you crave doing something out of the ordinary; starting any type of group or activity that changes up your normal routine and adds value to your life is always worth creating, and sustaining. If you've been thinking about starting something that you are passionate about, I highly recommend going for it! Be prepared to make it a priority if you want to keep it going, but also be prepared to be rewarded. Keep living those dreams tombabes.