Archives for November 2022

Hobbies that help us make friends

At different stages of my life I have made friendship through the different hobbies I have pursued. I have moved a lot in my life, both as a child and an adult. One of the first things I do when moving to a new community is join a group of some kind. The more I connect with the hobby/activity itself personally, the more it seems friendships are formed while doing them.

When my children’s father and I split up, I moved to be closer to extended family. But didn’t live in the same community as my family. I had taken up running and belonged to a very social online running forum. I had a ready-made running group to hook up with in-person up my arrival.

Since moving to the community we live in now, I’ve been involved with the local community theatre. We are just wrapping up a production, and last week before the show opened there was a conversation among cast & crew about how they came to be in this community, and what a fantastic second family the theatre had become.

I have joined just about every hobby/group/club pictured here at one point or another throughout my life and always make new friends along the way. I encourage you to try one yourself!

Hobbies are great for making new friends

Hobbies are great for making new friends

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Join us for a FREE five day challenge to make more authentic social connections! https://authentic-connections.mn.co/

For more information on how to develop more authentic connections: https://authentic-connections.mn.co/

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram @authenticconnections.community, or Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at trish at trishblogs dot com, or use my contact form.

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Love, loss and legacy

We don’t often think of our legacy until we’ve experienced profound loss. My first experience with loss was when my maternal grandmother died at 59. I was 11. We were a transient (federal police force) family. We had just moved from north west Canada back to south east Canada after 7 years away. We had a couple of months before Nanny became ill. She died 8 weeks later of what appeared to be cirrhosis of the liver (due to hepatitis that she’d contracted while working as a nurse years earlier). My mom stepped in to ensure Nanny’s legacy lived on.

Living with loss

25 years later, my mother became suddenly ill, with many of the same symptoms. Mom died within eight weeks as well – of pancreatic cancer that had presented as secondary liver cancer. My daughter, also the first grandchild, was almost 11. 

love, loss and legacy

Mom knew she was dieing and spent every moment she felt well enough taking care of things. We went to the funeral home as a family to make arrangements. We met with the minister who would conduct her service. We went through all her clothing, jewelry, and creations (she was an artist) together and she decided what she wanted to give to whom. Mom and I talked about how she coped after her own mother died while she had 11, 9 and 5 year old children to care for. Mom’s health deteriorated so rapidly that every time we started planning for the next eventuality it was immediately upon us. 

Distraction in busyness

I spent the last two weeks staying with mom & dad to help with her care as she’d decided to remain at home for her final days.

For months afterward, I helped dad take care of things, from funeral arrangements to closing up their winter property in Florida (and sorting and packing mom’s things so he wouldn’t have to do so alone). I realized months later that I’d not allowed myself the emotional space to really grieve. So, I took a rare opportunity when I found myself home alone one weekend, and I sat down with all of our photos, and I relived memories with mom and sobbed for hours. Those stories are some of the legacy that will not be a loss as we continue to share them.

love, loss and legacy

Relationships after loss

Since losing mom, our family dynamics were forever changed. I grieve the closeness of our family as much as I grieve my mom. And while it’s gotten easier to cope- it still hits me hard and often suddenly. 

Mom died the day after my 37th birthday. But to me my birthday really felt like the day we lost mom – it was the day she really wasn’t herself anymore. And for years when November rolled around, I found myself withdrawing and dreading both dates. Mom was the one who had always made our birthdays special. So not only did I no longer have her to do that for me, but I couldn’t separate my birthday from those memories of her death. 

Love, loss and legacy(ies)

We had not taken enough time to record the legacy of mom’s family’s legacy. And a few years later with the loss of my grandfather, many of the stories that told the legacy of our family were gone.

It’s 11 years this month, and it’s become less intense and less frequent, but it still comes upon me without warning at times. November is still a difficult month for me. But it comes in waves one day at a time and no longer everyday of the month. 

Losing mom taught me to make the most of my life. She said she had no regrets, and I want to be able to say the same. This means not letting the hard things stop me from living. It means living with intention.

Connecting with lost love and new

Mom had a knack for connecting with people. She didn’t let loss stop her. My parents were both air force kids. As a child they moved even more frequently than we did when I was growing up. And everywhere we lived, or visited, mom left her mark on people. She is remembered for her vibrance, warmth, and friendship. 

If my only legacy is that I too have made connections with people that will be remembered beyond our immediate interactions, then I will have a lived a great life. Just as she did. 

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Join us for a FREE five day challenge to make more authentic social connections! https://authentic-connections.mn.co/

For more information on how to develop more authentic connections: https://authentic-connections.mn.co/

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram @authenticconnections.community, or Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at trish at trishblogs dot com, or use my contact form.

I invite you to follow me using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my Facebook page, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it.

Connection in Autumn – a time of change

Autumn has always been one of my favourite times of the year. I love the change in colours in nature, love the sweater weather, and I used to be very fond of Hallowe’en, and the connection to change happening all around us.

I have always loved change, and Autumn feels like the symbol of change. Spring is when everything wakes up, summer is growing a season, autumn is harvest time, then a beautiful show of colour, with winter for rest.

connection with the change of autumn

Lately though I have been feeling like fall comes too soon, and then becomes a bit of a non-season. Thanks to climate change, in Nova Scotia the leaves change colour and fall rather quickly, and then we’re left with this in-between, not-quite-winter-blahness until about January…

Interestingly, it feels very much like a representation of the current stage of pandemic-times. We are in the midst of some kind of change, yet the next thing, or return to our cyclical seasons of life, seem to be never really on the horizon. We’re not getting the winter rest. Fall feels like it’s never-ending.

connection with the change of autumn
connection with the change of autumn

Social connection in the autumns of life

It’s no wonder we are feeling such an impact on our well-being. Social connections that once were so important, became almost non-existent. Even the most extraverted of people became quite insular or have been especially restless and lonely while spending much less time connecting with people “in real life”.  Some have found it to be a time to strengthen family connections or have leaned into the superficial connections of social media.

Rebooting life

I found that I enjoyed the reboot of our initial limited access outside of the cocoon of our homes. Then I became quite a homebody and was not reaching out to anyone outside of my cocoon, apart from work. And now, I find myself struggling to re-establish the social connection that I most enjoy – partially fluttering from a few close friends and family members to wanting to expand the perimeter of my circle to other friends and acquaintances.

I feel resistant to the sorts of social activities that I used to be drawn to, while at once yearning for them.

And we keep waiting for that rest that just doesn’t seem to come.

As an introvert, I enjoy the solitude that often comes with winter. But after a very long autumn of solitude and uncertainty at once, I’ve been ready for spring. I want everything around me to wake up and to see growth in everyone and everything…

connection with the change of autumn

Connection with the change of autumn

Many people that I know of have been reconsidering and re-evaluating, and re-engaging in the things that matter to them. It’s the willingness to be open and vulnerable, to accept others where they are at, and to initiate and engage in the things that matter that will change the pervasive feelings of loneliness and belonging all around us, through authentic social connection. If autumn is a time of change, then we’ve been changing long enough that some significant connection should be yet to come. And if we’re in a crisis of human connection, then with intention and by seeking to help others, we can make that change. We must.

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Join us for a FREE five day challenge to make more authentic social connections! https://authentic-connections.mn.co/

For more information on how to develop more authentic connections: https://authentic-connections.mn.co/

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram @authenticconnections.community, or Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at trish at trishblogs dot com, or use my contact form.

I invite you to follow me using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my Facebook page, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it.