“Friends… see the first tear, catch the second and stop the third. Unknown ”
For some, friends come in the hundreds on Facebook. Others say they’re the people they see each week at church, the mosque or at synagogue on high days and holidays. Perhaps a friend is one of those people we see on a regular basis for dinner or special events that bring a smile to our faces. As 2016 begins, it’s worth doing an audit…taking a look at our lives and seeing who we can really count on as friends and who can count on us. Who is it that is seriously interested in our well-being. Who enriches our lives and brings us new ideas and shares their interests.
A friend will be there when you need him or her. He or she is one of those rare people who ask you how you’re doing and then wait for an answer. A friend knows your best stories and is the candle that lights up your heart when it’s dark outside.
It’s been said that you’re never too old to find new friends. But given the amount of time we’ve spent caring for our kids and our elders we might have lost touch with some people, and got a little rusty when it comes to reaching out for new friends.
Don’t be a wallflower. Remember, plenty of people are in the same boat as you. Here are 10 ways you can make some good progress in your search, be brave and:
1. Attend exercise classes and get to know the person next to you.
2. Take a course for pleasure and you’ll discover others who have the same interests as you.
3. Consider a part-time job to gain new contacts and keep your mind active.
4. Go to meetup.com to find events in your area.
5. Volunteer to help with community events or in a hospital, museum.
6. Take a risk by starting a conversation with someone at your hair salon or spa. You’ll both be better for it.
7. Connect with old friends or meet new ones through social media but try to extend the relationship beyond on-line chats when you can.
8. Use your hobbies or unique skills to connect with others.
9. When you can get away, look for day trips and tour operators who organize group activities and
10. Last but not least, if you are a caregiver, arrange respite and connect with other caregivers in your community to discuss ideas, socialize and have a bit of fun once every few weeks.
Plan to get your new year off to a “friendly” start… it’ll be good for your body, mind and spirit and something you won’t regret.
Caroline Tapp-McDougall, Editor in Chief