This weekend, a precious group of our friends gathered at our cottage for a couples’ weekend. This isn’t just any group, and this isn’t the first time we’ve weekended together. We call ourselves the Mystery Club and have been together for years.
Formed in January 2003, during the SARS outbreak, this group of twelve (six couples) began with the idea of creating mystery events for each other. One couple would oversee the evening, and the rest of us would show up at an arranged location knowing only how much money to bring and the appropriate attire to wear.
Our first event was dinner at Marche and an evening at the Senator, a Toronto Jazz Club. Since then, we’ve planned numerous events for one another. We’ve attended a play at a local theatre, participated in our own Amazing Race at the local mall, braved a group Swing dance lesson, and occupied a studio at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts to paint our own original masterpieces.
We’ve engaged in a retro movie/games night, an African themed dining extravaganza, a ‘Nine and Dine’ golf event, and an evening of outdoor skating where one of our members nearly passed from this life due to a head injury while couples skating with yours truly (there remains a bald patch on the impact site where no hair grows!).
Between these planned events, we have also taken great pains to celebrate our big birthdays together. When each of the women in the group turned forty, the rest of the ladies created a song to be sung at their party, with lyrics written especially for the birthday gal. I can’t tell you how honored each recipient felt being serenaded by her ‘talented’ girlfriends. Years later, some of us can still sing the birthday songs’ lyrics. Just this month, during my birthday gathering at a local restaurant, the ladies sang my birthday song to me!
Seventeen years later, whether an evening event or a weekend away, our Mystery Club is still going strong. We’ve weathered the years, and various individual hardships, and are cemented together by the glue of friendship and fun. As I reflect on our group, I realize anew how precious it is. What we threw together as thirty-somethings has withstood time and become a treasure.
Our combined journey through this life is sweetened with the friends God lovingly tucks into our lives to surround and support us. This gaggle of dear souls has made my life richer and more beautiful with their encouragement and presence. I’ve gleaned from their wisdom, their faith, their marriage relationships, and their life experiences. We’ve championed one another, cried with one another, and prayed for one another. Being an Enneagram Four and an introvert, I don’t take our shared years of love, laughter, and care for granted!
All this to say, cling tightly to the life-givers in your world. Cherish and champion them. Don’t let life get in the way of carving out time with them. Tell them how much they mean to you. Heck, write them a song! But whatever you do, spend time, create memories, and love them fully.
While we were away this weekend, my nineteen-year-old daughter and I chatted on the phone. She was working on a script and had me ask the Mystery Club for one thing, good or bad, they have learned. Being a list-lover, I couldn’t help but share it with you. Enjoy!
Mystery Club List of Wisdom 2020
- Don’t live in regret.
- Appreciate the people you love, and tell them how you feel about them.
- Never judge other parents.
- You’re not really in control.
- Don’t try to change people.
- Work on your own humility because God humbling you is not fun.
- Unspoken expectations are never met.
- Sometimes life sucks.
- Encourage instead of criticize.
- Enjoy the moment.
- Get outside.
- Do something fun every day.
- Marry the right person.
- Marry the person your parents approve of—listen to your family.
- Life is too short. Enjoy it. Don’t take it too seriously. Have some fun!
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.