I have a couple of automatic benches. One is the weekly moms' group at the church. The other is my book club. Emily P. Freeman defines a bench as, "a place to get the conversation started, a platform that allows them to linger and find one another." Her sister, the Nester talks about automating your friendship benches with regularly scheduled events. It's so much easier to get together with friends if it's a monthly or weekly thing.
The book club was started by my sister-in-law and her sister. I'm so glad they invited me to join! I feel like a real grown up now that I'm in a book club. We started in June and have read four books so far. At our monthly meetings we spend hours discussing the book. I was surprised at how well we stay on topic! I think it's because we're all passionate about books and reading. Or maybe because we have yet to get to know each other really really well (except for the three sisters, of course!) I'm enjoying this new place to form friendships with some lovely women.
Our group includes an English teacher, a nurse, a recreational therapist, a massage therapist/bookstore employee, a yoga instructor, a piano teacher, another nurse, and me, an editor (and I think a few others who I haven't met yet). Some of us have kids, some don't. Some go to work, some are in school, some work at home. I love the diversity.
Now that summer is over (we voted on the first three books), we each get to host a meeting, choosing the book, bringing the snacks, and compiling the discussion questions. My month is February, for which I chose Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman). Until then, I'll get started on the book for October.
Do you have any automatic benches? If so, what are they?