|Finding new friends!|
It struck a cord with me because it reminded me that it is not the big things that make a difference in our ability to figure out life at any age. She said funny things like "If you find a dress you like, buy it is 3 colors." or "Brownies go with everything".
Tucked in between these two tidbits were more important things like "be kind to everyone, especially those that struggle" and "when you meet someone ask questions" (everyone likes to talk about themselves). But it was number two in the list that caught my eye. I could only think that she was talking to someone my age:
2. . Unless it's something completely out of your comfort zone -- say, a wife-swapping party or a marathon viewing of Cameron Diaz films -- always accept an invitation. You never know who you'll meet or what will happen. This is especially true during the transition from college to young adulthood, when those built-in social networks may fall away.
Don't you think that if we were to substitute "transitioning from a job to retirement" for the "transitioning from college to young adulthood" the statement would ring true for you. Your built in social networks do fall away and I don't know any other way to find friendships than to just go out into the world and find them for yourself. And what better way to do that than to accept every invitation that is offered.
If you are one of those people that turn down invitations because they don't just quite fit what you really want to do or you may not like the food, you should rethink that notion. Especially if you are having trouble making friends. When you read Greenthal's post about doing things just because they are kind, you begin to think about how a no to an invitation might affect the person that invited you. The idea that you are not only denying yourself the opportunity to meet people or have a new experience is one thing but the idea that you may also be hurting someone's feeling is another. Know one wants to be hurtful.
Your invitations are the other part of the equation too. The common theme here is kindness...I think you will find your new social network are born out of acts of generosity. Cookies for the new neighbor or even just smiling and speaking to everyone in your neighborhood might work for you. Take time for everyone you meet. Don't forget that you could be the one that is helping a newbie find their way in retirement or any other kind of change. You could be the one having Carmeron Diaz marathon!
Accept the next invitation no matter what, take a hostess gift because Greenthal says we should never go to a dinner/party empty handed. I don't encourage wife-swapping so don't do that. But have fun and let me know what happens. You may just be surprised!
Thank you Sharon Greenthal. You made my day.
In addition to writing for Huffington Post, Sharon Greenthal writes a blog called Empty House, Full Mind.