Settling In Successes
We've been in our new home for two and a half months now, and I am amazed at how much our lives have changed for the better in our beautiful new coastal location.
I well remember this post I did in July, where I described some of our settling in challenges as feeling a bit like being in mini-mourning over the loss of familiarity we were feeling in our new home and community. This case of relocation 'blues' only lasted a couple of weeks, but regardless they were very disconcerting in that we'd just effected a life-altering change that would have been very difficult . . . and costly! . . . to reverse should we determine that a mistake had been made.
The solution seemed to be to simply keep pushing onward and upward, meaning we continued to expend effort exploring our new community and looking for ways to both connect with other people, as well as get involved in activities and organizations that were meaningful to us. We also made a specific effort to meet all of our new neighbors so that we could wave as they drove by us on their way out of our cul de sac, and say 'Hi' in person as they walked by our home each day.
And I think these were exactly the right things to do in that just some six weeks later from my original post about this topic we now feel very connected both to our new neighborhood and our new community.
So connected in fact, our calendar is rapidly crowding up with events and activities and we are almost at capacity from both a time and energy standpoint. And while new friendships are still in their fledgling stages, there are quite a few of them occurring and I know from experience that in another six to nine months they will bloom into real, hopefully lasting, friendships.
The lesson here, were someone to ask, is that you really have to work at making new connections. It seems odd to describe building a new meaningful life as work, but really, that is what it is initially. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, risk a bit of rejection if you don't quite fit in, or conversely, a bit of disappointment if they or it doesn't quite measure up to snuff. And find the wherewithal to keep searching and trying things out until you find that ones that fit.
I'm so happy we've made, and continue to make these efforts however, it that it feels like our lives here are continuing to get richer and richer. We found several volunteer efforts, one of which is focused on education visitors about the wonders of all things pertaining to the ocean, and one of which seeks to help those in need by providing a hot meal each day. Both are rapidly multiplying into many different areas and opportunities we didn't foresee at the time we volunteered for what we thought would be singular duties. Nope! They have both delivered spades of things in return, and of course the new people that go along with.
Just in the last two days, as I've checked my email, my snail mail, and the various online and social media sites I'm involved in, the following ideas and things have come my way-
- Participate in a statewide beach clean up day, specifically at the beach just two miles down the road from our new home.
- A repeating Friday night group hike, potluck dinner and campfire at another beach that is within a 15 minute drive.
- A lecture on our California coastline, free to volunteers (that's us!) at the ocean institute we're involved in.
- A training opportunity to become an interpretive volunteer at one of our local ocean tidepools.
- A weekly group hike down to the beach at the trail literally down the street from our home, followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant.
All of these activities have gone onto my/our calendars, and my days are now showing multiple activities occurring almost every day. I so love being active, and I also love socializing, so these all fit me to a 'T.' Add in visits from 'old' friends, new friends and family, plus the ever expanding social invites, and life feels amazing currently. I'm feeling unbelievably thankful that we made this move, even as it was the most terrifying and stressful event we've undergone in our lives thus far.
Plans and Goals for Today
- Monitor completion of new windows installation.
- Finish organizing master bedroom closets.
- Bake brownies for tonight's potluck dinner on the beach.
- Paint the stacks of baseboard, stair risers and quarter round currently stacked in the garage, so that it is all ready for Monday's flooring installation kick off.
- Identify documents to be taken to tomorrow's free community document shredding event.
- Post newly emptied metal file cabinet on Craiglist's free items site.
- Finalize new sliding closet doors order with vendor.