I had a conversation recently where someone mentioned the phrase lighthouse keeper.
A lighthouse keeper is the person within the friendship circle that makes things (lunches, suppers, get-togethers, etc.) happen.
Some people land up in this role quite accidentally. And others choose to be that person.
I'm actually a lighthouse keeper in a lot of my friendships for two reasons that immediately come to mind:
- I like to get things done. If we say let's get together, I'm the one who actually sends out a meeting invite and schedules it.
- I have the spreadsheet, so when I do my monthly goals night wrap-up and I see I haven't seen someone for a while, I initiate contact.
Here's the thing: I don't actually mind it because I feel more "at sea" if there isn't a firm plan. I don't mind if the plan is 2 months out - I just like having it in the diaries and scheduled.
However, something happened recently that made me question my lighthouse keeper role a bit.
I scheduled a lunch with 3 friends. At the end of our time together, one said, "okay, well, Marcia, we'll wait for you to set the next one up" and I said, "what?...." and she said, "well, you know that you do these and without you, it won't happen"
Maybe that was intended as a compliment but something niggled at me.
I've decided to set the first one up for next year and then say, "okay, your turn next".
As I said, it's not the work of doing it. I think it's because it feels like only I want to see them if I keep organising it. If someone else initiated, I'd be happy that they wanted to spend time with me, not that they felt like it was easier to just click accept. :)
I've decided some things about friendship and me, and ....I'll have to share that in my recap of the year. I see some recaps of 2015 around the internet and I'll have to get cracking on mine soon.
Anyway, are you the lighthouse keeper?
Does it bother you in any way?
If you're not the lighthouse keeper, what's keeping you from sending the first email/ text/ whatsapp? Are you afraid of being rejected? Or just don't enjoy the admin of setting things up?