• Karen Heckman Stork

New Friendships

“The older I get, the more selective I am of who is in my tribe. I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies.” Unknown

Here I am all settled near Carolina Beach in Wilmington, NC. I’m getting used to what it means to live near the beach. I am loving my life in this beach town, and am enjoying walking along the various beaches almost every morning. However, I still have many new things to learn.

At my advanced age, one of the most difficult tasks when moving to a new location is making new friends. Back in Nebraska, most of my friends were those I had known for many years. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had to figure out how to cultivate new friendships again. Being retired, I no longer have any work place relationships to fall back on.

I am searching for a new church home but have not settled on one as yet. In my town home community, the management tries to encourage interaction between residents by hosting monthly get-togethers such as dinners, wine tastings, etc. As a result, I’ve made some acquaintances from my neighborhood community, and only time will tell if they blossom into continuing friendships.

Another resource I recently discovered is the local Senior Center which offers many opportunities to meet like-minded people with activities such as exercise classes, card games, lunches, craft groups, volunteer opportunities and many other recreational pastimes. I’ve even discovered a seniors writing group which meets once per month. It’s too early to tell whether this venture may prove useful in fostering friendships, but I’m sure it will be helpful in keeping my body in shape.

A new possible avenue for friendship is something called a “meet-up”. I don’t know who decides to start one of these groups and I don’t remember what I had searched for on-line when these “meet-up” groups popped up. I learned that “Meet-up” operates as a website providing membership software, allowing its users to schedule events using a common platform. I stumbled upon a group that looked interesting to me (single women over 50+); however I haven’t yet worked up the courage to attend one of the listed get-togethers as an outsider, all by myself.

New friendships are important in successfully adjusting to a new living environment. I look forward to meeting new people and making new friends as I go about the business of learning to live in a beach town.

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