This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge”
What is it?
Blogging every day. It begins on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.
In yesterday's post, I wrote about my reluctance to become socially involved in our community.
I suppose the word to describe my behavior might be snobbery.
I'm not normally that way, but I will admit to a smidge of ageism when we first moved into this active adult, age restricted neighborhood.
In the last few years, because of one too many of life's curve balls, I felt my self-imposed isolation was necessarily justified. It was hard to be out and about.
Anyway, I'm awfully shy which made it even harder for me to stir.
But about 18 months ago I was coaxed into attending a meeting of a group of people who came together once a week to grieve the loss of a loved one. In the beginning, with the first few sessions, we were individuals, each immersed in our own sadness. Gradually we came together to become a unit of hope and support for each other.
At the end of the eight weeks, we promised to continue to meet once a month. And we've kept that promise.
I believe that's when I started to evolve.
About nine months ago I joined a group of women who meet three times a week to grunt, bend, lift, dance and laugh, mostly at ourselves. The first time I participated I felt awkward and out of step with the rest. Afterward, I found out that most of the members of the group had been attending this aerobics class for the last fourteen years. A couple of the women asked if I was new to the community. When I told them that I had been living here for nearly 15 years, they laughed and asked me where I had been hiding. I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders.
My new exercise routine has given me a burst of energy.
A few weeks ago I joined the Nimble Fingers group. These women meet once a week to knit, crochet and check in with each other. They've been meeting for the last 15 years. A couple of the women asked if I was new to the community. They had the same reaction as my exercise buddies when I told them how long I have actually been here.
We are currently working on making baby blankets for the local Children's hospital which provides a purpose for me as well as lifting my spirits.
Then a few days ago I had a most unusual experience. I had just come out of the house with our dog, Rico when he spotted his girlfriend Lucy. Lucy and her "mom" were walking on the other side of the street. I crossed over to say hello. While Rico and Lucy expressed their affection for each other, my neighbor and I exchanged pleasantries, as we normally do.
Although we've been neighbors for about eight years, we never met until about nine months ago. That's when she rescued Lucy and we began to run into each other when we walked the dogs.
We would let the dogs play for a short time while she and I would talk about the weather. After a few minutes, we would both move on.
But, this other day, for some reason, our conversation about the weather went further than normal. I happened to mention my blog. She was quite interested and began to ask me about it.
That's when she told me that she also liked to write.
One thing led to another and we discovered other things that we had in common.
At one point we both became emotional, each of us waving our hands in front of our faces to fan away the tears.
Embarrassed, I admitted to her that I did not even know her name.
"I'm Sue," she said.
As I was about to say goodbye, she told me she would like to read my writings and we've since exchanged our offerings.
It's amazing what I've seen since I opened my eyes as I tiptoed into this community of awfully nice people.
After our meeting Sue and I have exchanged e-mails. She sent the following piece to me.
March 30, 2016
I'm sitting here feeling sad
But then again I'm feeling glad
I know that made little sense
Maybe I can explain
Yesterday I met someone
I often see when walking my dog Lucy
This time we stopped and talked
As if it was just meant to be
What I find amazing
Is how often I meet certain people by chance
Only to find they have many of the same interests and life challenges
But for whatever reason we just walk by each other without even a glance
I find life can be strange in many a way
Where just a casual talk can help us find inner strength
Just because two people stopped that particular day
I'm sitting here feeling sad
Now knowing that just stopping along the way
Really is not so bad
I'm realizing walking on without a glance
Really takes away that chance
You might just end up feeling glad
That this day you stopped to talk along the way
So after all it does make sense why I am feeling sad and glad
All in the same day
The answer is so simple
It is because this time I did stop along the way