I love to be around people. It fills me with smiles and good cheer. You would think since I know this about myself I would have taken more time to get connected to my new community. I have been busy settling our house and trying to make it a home. Unpacking all the boxes and finding a place for everything is overwhelming. And one reason I have found it so difficult is I am not taking any breaks.
Balance is what I need in life whatever I am tackling. All work and no play does, in fact make Lisa a dull girl. Actually it makes Lisa a lonely girl. I do not know anyone in my new community. I talk to the dry cleaner and the clerk at the post office more than anyone else. Lovely people sure but not folks I am going to call for a cup of coffee or ask to go on a hike together.
I suddenly realized this week that I have been locked in my house in getting my home in order for weeks. I have made progress but there are enough projects here to keep me busy well into the New Year. I would hate to look up in the spring and realize I have a lovely home and no friends to share it with. With that scary thought in mind I took action.
It’s hard to put myself out there in the community. How do I even begin? I looked online. I searched for churches in the area. I made lists of services and will try out a new congregation each week, till I find a church home. Then I went on the Ravelry knit site and looked for knit circles in my area.
I knit everyday. It is one thing that keeps my overwhelmed feelings at bay. And the knit community is a pretty welcoming group. It would be a good place to start connecting with the community. I found a group that meets Thursday afternoons at a library just 15 minutes from my house. On Thursday I packed up my needles and switched on my Garmin navigator.
Walking into a new group takes some nerve. Knitters may be friendly folks but I still I didn’t know anyone. The multipurpose room of the library had a large table in the middle and was surround by knitters chatting and working. There was no more room at the table. I stood there a moment not knowing what to do. They were all so engrossed in their work they didn’t notice a new knitter.
I pulled a chair off the rack and set it down next to a couple knitters at the corner of the table. “Hi I’m Lisa. I’m new.”
“Hi I’m Nicole.” I pulled out my knitting. What are you working on is the first question any knitter asks another. Nicole and I admired each other’s work. From there the afternoon got easier. Nicole introduced me to the ladies at our end of the table. We chatted about our projects. Of course this lead to stories of who the garments were for and tid-bits of family info was shared.
“What brought you to Westchester County?” This natural question led to me tell a little of my story, which in turn lead a few ladies to share some of their story. It’s a slow process making new friends. But connecting to the community where I live is as important as organizing my house. I made first steps this week.
I realized I had neglected this part of relocating to a new place. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I had been very blue and reaching out beyond the piling of boxes has made a big difference in my attitude. Now I have to find a book group…
I’d love to hear your stories. How have you connected with your community? If you’ve been in one place for a long time, do you have a story of welcoming a newcomer?