Thinking about activities to share with others

Over the past two weeks, I had been planning to go see Hugh Jackman’s concert with some friends. Apparently, he can sing quite well.

I found myself hesitating even as I juggled coupon codes and RSVPs. With a week to go and seats selling out, I ended up deciding not to go. I realized that I’d rather spend a quiet evening with W- or by myself than watch a concert.

One of my friends really wanted to go. He asked me if there was anything stopping W- from watching with us. I replied that it wasn’t really W-‘s kind of thing. Come to think of it, concerts aren’t particularly my kind of thing either.

That made me think about what activities I might share with friends, and about introversion and friendship.

It’s easy to reflect on this because J- provides good contrast. She’s on her summer break. At 13 years old, she’s independent enough to choose her own activities, such as sketching at home or walking over to friends’ houses. She’s comfortable spending time on her own, but she lights up when she hangs out with friends. Not a day goes by without a get-together.

I remember being a bit like that: enjoying lunch with friends at school, inviting people to our house for snacks, suggesting things to do and movies to watch. But I’m also really comfortable by myself or with W- and J-, so it takes effort to organize or go to get-togethers.

Time to break out a tool that I sometimes use to help J- think of ideas: the list. If I think about activities I can share with other people, then it might be easier to get out there and do it, and it might make it easier for other people to share activities with me.

Some ideas:

  • Concerts and symphony performances: Probably not. They tend to be more expensive, too.
  • Musicals: Very rarely. I enjoyed “Evil Dead” and “Wicked” greatly, and sprung for the awesomest tickets I could get. Other musicals tend to be .
  • Opera: I like opera. Watching opera makes the music come alive for me. I prefer community opera by the Toronto Opera Repertory over the Canadian Opera Company. Maybe it’s the memories (the particularly awesome date with W- that kicked all of this off). Maybe it’s knowing that the singers are doing this on top of their other lives.
  • Movies: Hmm. I watch some movies in theatres because I want to vote for them with my dollars or because I think the theatre experience will be worth it (usually great effects or decent 3D). Watching a movie is a fairly passive sort of experience, though.
  • Movies at home: I much prefer watching movies at home, actually – a cat or two on my lap, subtitles, the ability to pause it whenever, a comfortable couch, maybe laundry to fold… The library is awesome.
  • Exercise: Biking. Walking around. I’d be up for that, even if biking involves relatively little conversation unless there’s some sort of picnic.
  • Cooking: Definitely. I wish more of my friends organized potlucks, or were up to coming over for one. In the meantime, I host tea parties as an excuse to prepare interesting recipes. I enjoy the process of cooking, particularly when I’m sharing it with other people, and I like sharing the results.
  • Writing/reading/drawing/sewing: I think it would be really cool to share more of my learning activities with friends. I might be up for a book club, for example. Or a writing group with exercises. Or drawing lessons. Or sewing lessons, although I’m more keen on writing, reading, and drawing. =) I’d much rather develop skills than consume experiences.

It’s a little weird working on understanding this. J- plans the other way around: she calls people and invites them to hang out, and then they figure out what to do. I feel the influence of my introversion here. I often prefer to spend time writing (look! here I am) than hanging out.

I suspect it’s good to put myself in the way of learning from other people’s lives, though, especially since many people share their lives in conversation and not online. Maybe it’ll come in time. (I’m starting to have parent-y conversations about summer enrichment!)

What activities do you share with other people?

  • Elena

    I really enjoyed this post, Sacha! I think I might go and create a list like that for myself. It’ll probably include walking, going to galleries/museums, or talks and workshops, where I could learn something new. Cooking, and sharing a meal.. Roadtrips.. tennis, running, swimming.. Taking kids out for a walk in the park. Obviously, you got me thinking :) Also, I think it’s about time we shared a cup of tea or coffee! I’d love to treat.