When I get restless, I tend to start poking around looking for something new to do.
It’s been both a curse and a blessing because sometimes I get entangled in things that I probably should have left alone. However, since I like to look for the bright side of things, it’s more often than not at least an interesting experience.
This past winter I became rather listless and felt like I needed to crank things up a notch or two. Inspired by Bridget’s success at finding new friends for social outings, I too went looking for like-minded individuals in my area.
I found an Over 55 seniors’ group which was active in outdoor activities. Perfect!
While Helen was still wintering in Portugal, I went hiking with this group one cold day in February. It was at a conservation area I had never been to and our group consisted of only 4 people – a perfect scenario.
Except it wasn’t.
I didn’t feel that sense of *bonding* I was looking for, and so I didn’t sign up for any more outings. A few weeks ago however, I acknowledged that I hadn’t given this group a fair chance, and decided at the last minute to attend their upcoming monthly meeting.
I trudged out, somewhat reluctantly, in the pouring rain to an unfamiliar part of the city. A big part of my reluctance came from an expectation that this would be a small cliquish-kind of group who all knew each other, and I would feel like an outsider.
It wasn’t … and I didn’t.
Seating had been set up for at least a 100 people in the community centre where we met. Every seat was taken, and people were crowded along the sides and back of the room.
This should have been a nightmare scenario for me, but it turned out to be the opposite.
We each had name tags which included the year we had joined the group. These people – mostly retired, some not – are ACTIVE, and this was a lively bunch. Newbies like me were drawn into conversations and introduced to others who shared our interests.
It was one of the most welcoming environments I’ve ever experienced as a newcomer.
I learned this group had started about 20 years ago, was incorporated as a non-profit with a formal Constitution and an operating Board of Directors. It turns out I was sitting with the President of this seniors club and she was a spitfire. At 80 years old, she had gone downhill skiing this past winter for the first time.
It was at this point that I knew I had found ‘my people‘.
She encouraged me to join their executive team in one of their vacant positions … and so in a moment of blind faith, I jumped in with both feet. I am now the new Secretary of the Seniors For Nature Outdoor Club. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but what’s in a name anyway?
I’m not sure exactly what I’ve gotten myself into this time, but I do expect, if nothing else, it will be interesting.