About 8 years ago a major relationship in my life came to a sudden end. I was traveling for work. I was away from friends. I felt completely disconnected to the world around me. I was lost. 

(Dramatic pause)

My friend Chris decided what I needed was a long weekend with some dudes, some beers, conversations about life, cheese, brats, and some make believe card game that I'm still trying to figure out (Sheepshead). He was right. Every year I look forward to this annual weekend in the north woods of Wisco the moment I duck my head and board my plane out of MKE from the previous year. 

In the last 7 years I've gotten to know these guys really well and in a sense we've become the best of friends. Though we only see each other for 4-5 days a year, the days are packed with some of the most fun and the best conversations I have all year. 

Since this tradition has pulled me in a few of the dudes have left the group, one very tragically (RIP Drew), and one mysteriously. Rob, where are you? Last year, cabin-master Greg graciously extended the invitation for a few new guys to join the fold, to join the tradition.

My friend, Brian from Atlanta and Chris' brother-in-law, Allan from San Francisco came aboard. It was a perfect fit all around and a joy to be able to add these new voices to the conversation.

While life here in Atlanta is pretty great, about a year ago I decided it was time to start getting friends together every few weeks over drinks and wings to have those great conversations, to make those life connections here in my own town.

Brian and Gale had organized a semi-regular Tron Night where we watched, you guess it, Tron, and it was great. A large amount of meat, beer and rum was consumed and we talked for hours.

Since then we've had a few more movie nights, but I really wanted more of a regular gathering where we could talk as friends and more importantly, as men. So, every few weeks we get together at Trackside in Decatur and catch up. It's something I always look forward to, and even though I've only known some of the guys for a few years, they're some of my best friends.

Recently, Fabio got married and everyone from the group attended the wedding. I even played guitar and sang. Towards the end of the reception, Mickey said, "Hey we should all get together some weekend up in the North Georgia mountains."

Someone called it Mancation. Someone else snickered.

So, this weekend we assembled in the north Georgia mountains. We ate meat, Barry made a special beer called Mancation Brew, we watched movies, took pictures, and talked. I learned so many new things. So many gross new things. It was a great time. 

A new tradition has been started. 

It's so important to make time for good conversations, friends, and fruity lime drinks from Brazil. SO IMPORTANT, YOU GUYS!

What are some of the traditions you look forward to each year?