A few months ago I was a bit over living in this rural town. I desperately explored all avenues on how to escape it and there was only one option – HB to switch to FIFO and we buy a small property elsewhere.
That was never going to work out. Maggie and HB have this incredible bond and it would be soul destroying to all parties involved to put that relationship in jeopardy. And of course, I would be a little heartbroken if I didn’t get to see my husband at the end of each day.
I decided the only way I was going to survive was to focus on my own happiness.
Sound a bit selfish?
I am the main carer 6 days a week and 14 hours a day. If I am happy, everyone is happy.
My biggest challenge was to make some new friends. I am a classic introvert and making new friends is not easy and just the thought of meeting new people puts me into panic mode.
I have spent endless hours watching Maggie play at the park. Making new friends seems super easy when you’re 4 and she does it every single day. All she does is run up to the first kid she sees and asks ‘Do you want to play with me?’. On the off chance that she’s chosen an introvert who doesn’t want to play with her, she doesn’t see it as rejection but simply moves on to the next prime suspect.
If she can do it, so can I.
I had a few options:
- I could get a part time job, but then any money I make would go straight to daycare fees. Not very rewarding at all.
- I could become active in the community and meet new people with like-minded interests.
My running obsession that brings me so much joy and satisfaction could bring me further happiness.
We tried the local runners club last year and it was more HB’s thing than mine. So I searched high and low and was elated to discover there was now a local Darwin chapter of the Running Mums Australia group. I joined their local Facebook page and after a few weeks I tentatively introduced myself.
I’m not a confident runner and was very reluctant to turn up to one of their group runs.
What if I couldn’t keep up?
What if I was the slowest runner?
I don’t want to hold people back.
I saw them all at the Mother’s Day Classic in May and it took all my courage to go over and say hello. I was completely out of my comfort zone, but they were so welcoming and friendly.
I found my new posse.
Before I knew it I was buying an RMA running tank and psyching myself for my first group run. I now look forward to my weekly long runs with these awesome ladies and I have made new friends that I can catch up with outside of running.
How to make new friends
A few weeks back I started reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and when I read her chapter on making new friends and it all made perfect sense to me. The only point that didn’t sit right with me was ‘setting a target‘. Gretchen suggests making 3 new friends for each new situation that you enter eg a new play group, book club, mothers group etc ..
Nope. I’m all for quality over quantity.
So if you’re introvert like me you will know that putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is hard work and mentally draining, but the end result could be new friendships which from my personal experience has been incredibly rewarding and heartwarming.
I have never moved cities or interstate before and I underestimated the impact of losing your entire support network. I also didn’t realise how important and vital is was to make new friends from the get go. Being an introvert I am very comfortable with my own company and I did meet a couple of lovely ladies through my blog but somehow our schedules and timetables never seemed to align properly to forge strong friendships.
One day you might find yourself in a similar situation: either you’ve moved or your friends have moved away, had a new baby or you’ve outgrown your current friendships. Take the plunge, make that first step towards meeting some new people. It could be joining a mothers group, a gym, yoga classes, sewing group, photography or a cooking class. Anything that you enjoy doing so you have a fabulous chance at meeting like-minded people.
Find your posse.
And always remember the golden rule of friendship …
No-one gets left behind.
When we lost our gorgeous friend Leanne at the Lone Pine Fun Run on Sunday we just had to slow down and go back and find her amongst hundreds of US Marines and then run ever so slowly towards the finish line.
That’s what good friends do, right?