While at our retreat in Lake Tahoe, I captured this photo of the paddle-boat Tahoe Queen on one of its daily tours and I submitted it for a photography feature. Since “circles” is the theme, you will see the circle of the paddle wheel as well as the circular wood structures on the pier in the foreground.
Not an especially amazing photo, but the theme of “circles” brought to mind something I wanted to share from my retreat experience.
I spent a beautiful weekend in Lake Tahoe at a ladies retreat sponsored by our church. In yesterday’s post I introduced the concept of Sobremesa, which was the theme of our retreat.
Spanish culture embraces sobremesa, the time where people gather for dinner, then spend up to two hours just talking and enjoying each other’s company. It is a concept mostly lost to us in today’s busy world, especially in the U.S.
After experiencing some wonderful quality time with the women of my church, I want to find ways to experience a little sobremesa! Family time is so precious, and having recently witnessed my youngest daughter’s college graduation, my time with her is limited before she leaves for her internship. After that, she will move on to her own adult life.
I want to encourage you to dedicate some family time at your main meal to simply talk about the day’s events and draw closer to each other. Believe me, finding time to sit down for 5 minutes, much less two hours, is nearly impossible. When the kids were young, we were always on the go and ate a few fast-food meals in the car on the way to somewhere.
No wonder so many of us are overweight and stressed out!
If you fall into this category, try committing to one family meal a week where you can all spend a few extra minutes talking about the day’s events. Gradually add a few extra minutes each week and make it something the entire family can look forward to. If you are someone who lives alone, think about other ways you can eat a meal with a colleague, friend or family member.
Our friendships may also suffer in our “hurry-up” world. Because we barely have time for our own family members, how can we possibly find time to meet with friends on a regular basis?
Re-connecting with my friends at the retreat and simply having conversations really fed my soul. Conversations connect us together and create new circles of friendships, or re-create former ones. I also made new friends at this retreat and would like to get to know them better.
While it may be unrealistic to have a two-hour lunch with a friend every week, make a little time to meet face-to-face.
I need to practice what I preach. I have a wonderful friend whom I have known since 1980. I consider her one of my closest and best friends and we get together for lunch and shopping every three or four months. We both have retired and have more time, so we need to meet more often. MC, if you are reading this, we need to meet for lunch again, SOON!
One of the songs we sang at the retreat was “Circle of Friends” by Point of Grace. I love the lyrics in this excerpt.
If you weep, I will weep with you
If you sing for joy, the rest of us will lift our voices, too.
But no matter what you feel inside there’s no need to pretend
That’s the way it is in this circle of friends.
During our weekends at the delta, our friends in our windsurf campground often gather spontaneously during the evening meal. They are likely drawn to my hubby’s wonderful BBQ and just bring over their meal to our large communal table. After a great sailing session, dinner can come late, and many of us eat quickly but linger long afterwards just talking about the day.
A wonderful circle of friends, indeed.
Who is in your circle of friends? Do you get the chance to connect on a regular basis?
Embrace the idea of sobremesa and see how it can enhance your time with family and friends.