Medicine Hat Community Living Expert – Diane Eley

The subject of downsizing seems to be a popular concern especially as we find ourselves thinking about moving to accommodations more suitable to this particular stage in life called “retirement”.  As one prepares for this step in the journey, one step as we “downsize” is to discard items that don’t bring you joy.

Perhaps that same thought could be applied to those we choose to surround ourselves with! We want to be careful who we choose as friends in our lives, who we “let in” and who give us joy.

But what about when someone dear to us moves – or we move, or that treasured friendship is forever taken away?  The joy in your life diminishes, and you feel alone, bereft and your world seems to grow smaller. What then?  You need to make new friends – and I know that sounds trite, but bear with me.

You may already have a circle of friends – and that’s lovely; or you may be a person who really only has one dear person you can count as a friend.  Whatever the situation, you need to expand your horizons.  Again, without being glib, how does one do that at this point in life?  I’m going to suggest, instead of going “friend-shopping”, pursue your passion.

Are you someone who enjoys a spiritual atmosphere?  Feed your spirit and your soul by immersing yourself in a church that meets your spiritual needs and attend the social functions it offers.  Do the arts appeal to you?  Attend musicals,  join a theatre-going group, a museum or gallery showing.  Revel in the beauty – then share it with someone else.  The point is, whether it’s dormant or active, you have something within you that once gave you enjoyment. Stir up that passion!

Of course, there are other factors to consider: perhaps you’re lacking motivation or confidence.  Absolutely these are issues to be dealt with and they may take time – so be gentle on yourself.  Perhaps now is a time to get to know yourself – reconnect once again with yourself.  Start with small habits: go for a walk, become aware of the fresh air, the blue sky – let your body relax. Once you have established a habit that builds your confidence in yourself, increase your level of commitment.  Establish a habit of prayer, meditation, remind yourself each day of one thing you’re thankful for…become your own best self.

Now, it’s time to invite other people into your life.  As you’re pursuing your passion, as you’re taking care of yourself, there are many people who cross your path.  Smile.  Say hello.  Take the initiative.

I’m also going to make one other suggestion:  put yourself where others are.  Living in a community such as Chinook Village will open new doors of friendship in a safe environment. Let us help you how to find ways to live your best life now!