|Plattie and Cuddles|
made by me for the craft shop
Now on to the subject at hand. Fitting in.We humans are a complicated lot. Pretty much all of us go looking for similar people, so we can feel part of the group. I think it is a survival thing, from way back in the mists of time, when if you were different, you could be cast out of the safety of the group. Survival outside the group was tough.
But we also want to be seen as different. I know that I want to be recognised as uniquely me. Whilst this seems like a contradiction, I think it is more like a delicate balancing act.When we moved to Bathurst, I was conscious of the fact that I wanted to fit in, but I also wanted to not fit in so well that I became invisible. And I wanted to fit in with a diverse group of people. I didn’t want to only connect with retired people over 50. I also wanted to connect with younger people, people who are different to me.
|how good are the apricots looking!|
One of the good things about working was that I was engaging with (those are words from my work life) lots of different people. It was challenging at times, but it was also enriching. It is more difficult to find this sort of thing when retired, and even more so by being in a new town.I’ve found a lovely group of people through playing tennis. They are all women, they are all over 60, and they are all not working, but they come from a wide range of backgrounds and have varied opinions on things. Conversation around the morning tea table is active and entertaining. In fact, conversation on the tennis court can be so active and entertaining that we forget what the score is. Lucky none of us are playing for sheep stations!
|cross-stitch Christmas decorations|
also made by me for the craft shop
Speaking of sheep stations, since starting with the tennis girls, I’ve learnt more about sheep farming than I did in all the years I spent in Parkes. And last week at tennis as I stepped over the lamb tails on the ground as I walked to the tennis court, I realised it was the first time I’d ever seen that.So back on the subject of fitting in, I’m fairly happy with my progress so far. As well as the tennis girls, I’ve also found a group of people with an interest in craft, so that area of my
|from the social pages|
my niece and me at THE local coffee shop
And I’ve made it to the social pages of the local paper! The tennis girls are so jealous – I’ve been here 5 minutes and am in the social pages, whilst some of them have been here for decades (or from birth, in one case) and still haven’t made it.Now I just have to find a way to expand the circle so it includes some more different people. That might not be so easy. My hairdresser told me the other day that one of her other clients, also new to town, has found Bathurst to be a difficult town to make good social friends in. I’ll have to put in a real effort, then. I’m not sure how, both from the point of view of finding the people and finding the time. But watch this space!