- Sheryl Crow -
Sometimes as we get older, some of our longtime friends either drift away from us by choice, by illness, or by death. It can leave an empty hole in our hearts and in our lives. Losing a friend can have a negative affect on our outlook on life, as well as, our mental and physical health. It has been said that women who remain connected to friends (and family) live longer and happier lives than those who remain isolated.
Some alone time is good for us. We don't need to be in the presence of others all the time. Spending time alone can be very restful, spark creativity, and allow time for things that are important to us. But don't underestimate the importance of your tribe. Your tribe is your group of supporters. Most of the time for women it is other women, but men can fill this need also. My husband, for example, is part of my tribe. Let's be honest, there are some things that women can only share with other women as men just don't get us sometimes. My tribe is small, but it is a good one.
A few months ago I met a wonderful group of ladies while visiting my daughter in South Carolina. They were all 50 or over and all full of fire! They call themselves 'The Buzzards'. The original four women met while attending a local church and formed this group to support one another. Since they started a couple of non-church gals have joined them and they have grown to fifteen buzzards. They are not a 'recognized' church group, just a bunch of ladies who like each other's company. They are a happy bunch, too.
When one of them has a birthday the others plan some outrageous thing to celebrate. Like decorate their mailbox, or hang a bunch of over sized panties on a clothes line in their front yard, or something more embarrassing. They meet on regular nights at each other's homes to play cards, they do things for each other and for other ladies in the community. They fix food when someone has passed away, they install window air conditioners (that's another story, lol), they check on elderly folks that are confined to their homes due to health, and they do many, many other wonderful things. They have found their "tribe".
It doesn't matter if you only know one other lady or if you know a dozen, you can find your tribe. You can build those relationships with others who need them as much as you do. Every one is lonely at some point in life, reach out and see who reaches back. Then make it a point to connect regularly, even if only by phone, Skype, Facetime or some other way. Connect!
Some places to find your tribe:
⦁ a hobby club (quilting quilds, bowling leagues, knitting clubs, dancing clubs, book clubs at the library, etc.)
⦁ church or other religious gatherings
⦁ classes (cooking classes, continuing education at a local college, quilting/sewing/knitting classes, dance classes, etc.)
⦁ volunteer organizations (volunteer at the local food bank, soup kitchen, elder center, hospital, library, political organizations, etc.)
⦁ invite a lady or ladies to your home to: play cards, discuss a book, have dinner, play a game of dominoes or a board game, have lunch, have a tea party, anything you want.
⦁ invite another lady to go to a movie with you, go window shopping, go for a walk in a park, go out for lunch or dinner, anything you like to do.
⦁ Any place where other women may go or gather.
It may take a little effort at first, but once it gets rolling, it'll snowball and you'll be glad you did it.
A five minute phone conversation can lift a person's spirits if they are lonely. Make the call, make the visit, plan the night out to play cards or games, plan a window shopping trip, or have a round robin lunch club. (A round robin lunch club is where once a month, week, or what ever you decide on, you rotate having lunch at each other's house. The person hosting prepares the meal. It could be sandwiches, it could be quiche, it could be chicken, it could be anything...just rotate so that everyone gets a chance and no one has it all the time.) Just try to make the connection!
Build your tribe! Choose people who support you and that you can support. Choose people you can encourage and be encouraged by. What have you got to lose? Nothing! If they decline, then at least you gave it a shot. Make the connection!
Do you have a tribe? Are you looking to start your own tribe? What ideas can you share with the rest of us for activities or ways to get together? If you are part of a tribe, what is your tribe like?