We all know the value of social connections and how they make us happier and even prolong our lives.   I’m going to offer a simple suggestion.  If someone else doesn’t suggest a celebratory get-together, then you be the one to do that.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I belonged to The Transition Network (,  a women’s organization that has chapters in a number of cities throughout the country.  TTN offers opportunities for women over 50 (who pay just $100 a year for a membership fee) to get together with other members, with shared interests, in groups which meet regularly.  The simplest type of shared interest group is a book club but TTN in New York City also has groups that attend the theater or opera together, or enjoy leisurely lunches or dinners, or the delights of travel.  There are many, many more.

The jewel in the TTN crown is a program called The Caring Collaborative, which is based around members who live, roughly,  in the same neighborhood.  The “caring” part of that program is the value of proximity if a particular TTN neighbor needs some assistance, say, after surgery, for grocery shopping, or to be met after a medical procedure and escorted home.

At the most recent monthly 2-hour meeting of my particular neighborhood Caring Collaborative group, which meets in different member’s apartments, attendance was down to 6 from more robust levels of 12 and 13 in times past.  I proposed that our group have a pot luck holiday dinner party in lieu of our typical 4th Monday of the month meeting, which this month would fall of Christmas.  After some discussion, we decided on Wednesday, December 27 and one of the group’s members is hosting it.

The RSVP’s are now just coming in.  I suspect it will be well attended and people will enjoy clinking glasses together to toast the New Year and be reminded of the benefit of having neighbors who are there to help if you need it.