Announcing My New Project: Reasons to Gather


For the past three months, I have been creating itineraries for adults under the aegis of Reasons to Gather. Based on the strong response, I’ve built a new platform for those adventures and invite you all to follow me there. I will no longer post to The Family Savvy (at least not until I have grandchildren!) and will spend my time searching for the most worthy activities and news to share with you.

Hammer Projects: Chiharu Shiota, Installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, March 26,2023 – August 27, 2023. Photo: Jeff Mclane © ARS, New York, 2023 and the artist

The April To Do List is posted on the new platform, which you’ll be able to access for free for two weeks. After the two weeks, you’ll be encouraged to become a member for $6 a month. The membership model allows me to produce content free of sponsors or advertising messages. If we build enough of a community, I’ll be able to offer events for this group – think private tours of museums, etc.

I hope you will follow me there  – there are seven itineraries already posted in the archives, so check those out as you decide whether you’d like to join. All new members will receive “Great LA Days” chock full of resources for planning a fun day around town.

Gathering with friends is good for your mental and spiritual health. There is actually science behind what we know instinctively to be true. 

Here are scientific underpinnings of why gathering is good for us.

STRENGTHEN FRIENDSHIPS: The Wall Street Journal recently explained that the #1 element that brings us happiness over time is the quality of our relationships. Here is the story about the “lifelong power of closer relationships”.

EXPOSURE TO THE ARTS IS GOOD OUR WELL-BEING: In their new book “Your Brain On Art: How the Arts Transform Us” Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross write that “art and aesthetics can quite literally rewire your brain. They are a secret sauce that helps build new synaptic connections.”

Seek to be AWED: The Washington Post declared “experiencing AWE is associated with lower stress and inflammation levels and a higher sense of meaning and connection”. Here is the story from a neuroscientist. And the New York Times says “awe is critical to our well-being”in a story about how why wonder is an “essential human emotion”.

Three More Great Reasons to Gather:

  1. Los Angeles is a world-class city and there’s more culture here than we could possibly explore in a year, but we’re going to try. I believe that part of aging gracefully in the City of Angels is being cognizant of the city’s assets and organizations and doing our best to help foster connections and better our community.
  2. Putting our phones down and giving our attention to something completely is good for building our focus.
  3. Most of all – it’s satisfying and really FUN to step out of our comfort zones, gather with friends, and look at something new.