When I was preparing for retirement, one bit of advice that made sense to me was to plan some sort of structure to one's days and weeks. So in addition to various writing projects, I made a conscious effort to establish a few longer-term projects with weekly or daily goals.
Since my retirement began in July, some of these have worked out well (scanning books, updating my LSH site, working on PR). I've been less diligent about others (clean/organize, scan old paperwork). By and large, though, I've been pleased with my results.
One of my weekly projects/goals is what I labeled "friendship/social." While I was working for the library, most of my time and energy went to work and writing projects—what was left over for friends and social events was never as much as I wanted. This is complicated by the fact that I'm an introvert: being social depletes my energy, rather than replenishing it.
Now I'm making it a point to connect with people more regularly, and also less on a wholesale level (i.e. in large group events rather than individuals or small groups). Thomas and I have been doing dinners and such with friends, that sort of thing.
I guess the point of this whole dreary monolog is this: I consider events like the St. Pirate's Day festivities to be as important a project as the Quarterly or the Analog column. For a long time, the joys of friendship tended to get short shrift in my life; in this new phase, I'm determined not to have the same thing happen.
Treasure the people you love, and make time for them. It's more than worth the effort.