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Monday, March 9, 2015

Ya Gotta Have Friends

One of the things I miss about working in Corporate America is seeing people on a daily basis. I miss my friends and social acquaintances.

It doesn't help that we live out in the boonies, further restricting our chances of getting together.

I worry about this, more for Greg than myself. He moved 300 miles from all his friends, so he has to start from scratch. At least I still have a few of the friends I had when I was working.

I've resolved to become more sociable. That will be easier when the other house sells because we seem to travel down there every other week and that's one huge time suck.

Greg tells me I'm not the sociable type but that's not true. I'm just selective about the people I befriend. Social acquaintances I have aplenty, but real friends are few and far between.

To me, a friend is someone who's willing to go to my house and check on my animals when I'm away...or bail me out of jail. :grin:

As we get older, friends become more important than ever. A week doesn't go by that I don't hear of someone dying alone, and not being found until weeks later, usually by a stranger. 

An actual friend of ours died in his car, in his driveway, and no one noticed him for two days. We usually invited him to spend the holidays with us, but that one year we were away from home.

I've suggested to Greg that we get more involved with the community. Maybe we could attend county meetings. 

I'd also like to take some classes. I'd be interested in ethnic cuisine cooking classes. Or maybe another master gardening class for this climate. I took one many years ago and enjoyed it immensely.

Greg's mentioned he'd be interested in learning blacksmithing or expanding his expertise with a master woodworking class.

Taking a part time job could help too--but let's not get crazy! Mostly I'd like to interact when it's convenient for us. A regular job requires too long a commitment.

I've often thought about volunteering at the nearest animal shelter, but I think seeing all those homeless animals would kill my spirit, knowing I couldn't save them all. If I did volunteer work it would have to be something that didn't make me too attached to the recipients.

Physically being around other human beings is important. It doesn't help that being online with friends is so much easier. But I can't call my friends flung out in all corners of the globe to bail me out of jail. That distance thing gets me every time!

Do you have a lot of friends that you see daily? Any suggestions on how to meet new people?

And if you're in north Texas (north of Dallas), look me up. I'm quirky, but totally harmless.


Stacy McKitrick said...

Hey! I'll be in Dallas for RT this year. And I'm arriving a day early. How far away from Dallas are you? I'd love to meet up!

As for friends... well, I don't have that many local ones. Even when I worked, I didn't make many friends, but I still keep in touch with the ones I liked (even if it's only meeting for dinner twice a year!).

Angela Brown said...

Maria, I can say, from my personal experience, that you are a rare gem of a doll. You somehow manage to take stubborness, persistence, a golden heart, and a genuine (genuine being key here) concern for others and make it look easy. There have been times when you would e-mail me and the timing couldn't be more perfect to help me with something draining my energy or zapping home from my dreams.

Although I don't have the ability to pop over to your place to look after your animals due to distance, I would if I could :-)

As for that bail, hubster can get my share of it via Western Union lol!

I don't have very many people I call friend. My circle is small, selected to go beyond acquaintance over time and interactions. Sadly, I'm quite happy with my tiny handful of friends so I'm not a good source for how to meet new people lol!

DRC said...

I used to work from home and so never saw anybody (having a long-distance lorry driver as a hubby), and in two weeks time I'll be in that position again. I'm a true introvert and love my own company - and that of my cat - but I also know it can get unhealthy not seeing anybody. That's why I make a point of meeting with my writers' group once a week. Yes it's only one evening, but it's better than nothing...

LD Masterson said...

I agree, you need to get out and visit your friends. I'll get our guest bedroom ready. :-) As for meeting people, volunteering is always a good bet. If an animal shelter would be too hard (and it probably would), how about a food panty, domestic violence center, Habitat for Humanity? Your local United Way probably has a listing for all the charitable service organizations in your area and most charities run on volunteer power. And for the record, I'd come down and bail you out but you'd better have one great story to tell me.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I'd love to see you! Let me know when you get here and I'll go down to Dallas. It's about an hour away from where I live. Not too bad as long as you don't catch rush hour.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Aw, thanks. Sometimes I wonder how people perceive me. I'm not the most normal person around. :)

Re: bail
I'm good for the money. I just need a good alibi. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

DRC: This is me exactly. I like my company, but it's not healthy for the long term.

And I don't want to be one of those statistics where I die (perhaps needlessly) because no one ever sees me.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: If I'm in jail, I can GUARANTEE you it'll be a good story.

You know me. I don't do anything halfway.

Mike Keyton said...

I'm quirky, but totally harmless.

A great epitaph, Maria. I'm a natural loner, but it's good to have friends. Enjoy the classes, but I'd avoid part time jobs and similar 'time-sucks. You've done all that and have the T shirt :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: You're putting me in the ground already. LOL.

Outside work doesn't appeal to me too much unless I can find something that gives me personal satisfaction. Those jobs are few and far between.

Sandra Almazan said...

Those all sound like great ideas, Maria. A lot of my social life right now revolves around my son--his friend's moms are my friends. But maybe when he gets older and I have more time to myself, I can find other ways to meet people.

Anna Soliveres said...

I can definitely relate. I was part of a really social company (before the company I'm at now) and boy, do I miss those days. In my new job, there's a lot more time to focus on the work, but I definitely miss the close relations I once had.

I think you have some great ideas that will offer you more opportunity to network and meet new friends. I've learned that it takes time to build that trust, to get a point where those friends become more than just acquaintances.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

And they ask me why I sign my blogs "the Hermit Writer"

Lynn Viehl said...

I live in a rural area so I have only a couple of friends here, and we all have busy lives so we don't see each other very often. We're all just a phone call away, though, and try to get together for lunch or coffee when life permits (I need to do more of that, actually.)

Long distance friendships can work, too. I meet up once a year with some quilter pals whom I've known since before the internet existed. We keep in touch by e-mail throughout the year, and then meet at the same quilt show and spend two days together. Blieve it or not, this year was our thirtieth get together. :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Omigosh I could have written this post, Maria. That was one thing I really liked about working too, being around people regularly. Now we're even away from our family, so I've got to regularly plan Skype time, email chats, etc or I start to feel crazy. Just recently, I asked a woman I met at church who is very friendly and intelligent if she'd like to be my Spanish tutor. She knows a little bit of English and I enjoy her company so I thought it would be a good fit. I'll be paying her to come over once a week. Does that mean I'm paying her to be my friend? Uh,,, sort of. But to teach me Spanish too so it makes sense.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

We're far enough out in the country that I seldom see people but we have some neighbors I talk to when the weather's nice and people start going for walks.
I have friends that I go out to lunch with about once per month but I'm not real social either. And I don't mind.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: That's normal for most moms. I was friends with a woman who became a mom late in life. We stopped seeing each other not because we didn't have anything in common (far from it). It was just that at that moment her world revolved around her twins. It was perfectly natural for her to gravitate to people with similar circumstances.

Had we continued living in the same area I know we would've been back in each other's lives when the boys were big enough to have lives of their own.

Maria Zannini said...

Anna: I used to work for a company that encouraged a lot of social interaction but I didn't care for it.

The 'gene' pool was too small and I didn't like being forced into activities with people who were okay as work mates but not particularly friend material.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: I appreciate the hermit lifestyle. I craved it when I was surrounded by people all the time.

But now I see how important it is to have people around me as I get older--if only to have somewhere to go when I want to get away from all this wilderness. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn: 30 years! That's amazing.

I'll bet the time flies much too fast.

That might me be a neat thing to arrange with my online friends. Once a year we can meet in a different part of the country or world.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: You have it tougher than most because you literally uprooted yourself not just to another country, but another culture.

I'm glad you found someone with whom you had chemistry. It'll make learning so much easier and pleasant.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: That's me too. Once a month I might see a good friend for lunch.

Even in good weather, it's rare to see our neighbors. We can't see each other from the road, but at least one neighbor throws a big music bash every summer.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm right there with you, especially now that i work from home. But i make an effort to see my different groups of writing friends a couple times a month and that helps.
I think classes are an awesome idea!

B.E. Sanderson said...

LOL, currently my best in-real-life friend is the manager of my local bank branch. We talk loads when I'm there, but we've never met outside of the bank. I chat with anyone wherever I'm at, but that's about it. I was asked to volunteer at my local thrift shop - their money goes to a local ranch for troubled teens - so maybe that's something you could look into. Unless you're like me and would end up bringing home more stuff than you have space for.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: The nice thing about classes is that usually you're hanging with people with your same interests.

Maria Zannini said...

BE: You want to leave ME alone in a thrift shop? LOL.

That's like leaving the kid in a candy store.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I love the part about being "selective" and the difference between social acquaintances and real friends.

I mentioned over at Susan G/K's blog that I really should get out more but that I love being home. Taking classes and/or volunteering is a great idea though.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Madeline, and welcome!

Much as I like my privacy (something I can only get at home) I remember how much more interesting and colorful my life was when I used to work 9-5.

Studies indicate time again that people are healthier when they have a strong social circle too.

Thanks for stopping by! If you're ever in north Texas, let's meet up too!

Rebekah Loper said...

I am not a good source of how to meet new people either, lol. My one major socialization of the year happens for NaNoWriMo - and I usually come away with just a few new people that I want to get to know better.

So... maybe just find something that you love to do that other people share a passion for as well?

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: Good advice.

As a matter of fact I just made a new friend yesterday at yoga class. I found out she has a little farm too and not too far from me. I hope we can visit away from the studio in the future.

Raelyn Barclay said...

I'll bail you out any day...just give a day or two to get there :D (And I'd watch your babies any time if I lived closer.)

I don't have anyone I'd consider a friend locally either. Co-workers, most of which are the stuff of awesome, and acquaintances aplenty. I've met some great people through MeetUp groups, though I'm not real active in that anymore. I've thought about taking a class at the rec center but time is at a premium these days.

My BFF is the one who's seen me puking my guts out and still loves me, LOL. Of course, I can say the same about her.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I've never tried Meet Up groups. That might be something to try.

BFFs and puking: :) That's what makes them BFFs.