Relationships and community

I met with my new therapist this past Tuesday. Nothing new, really, except that she and I are new together. I talked about loneliness, and told her the steps I’m taking to reach out to others to ease the alone-ness. She didn’t offer much, other than that I was doing the right things. She did remind me that I can quit the things that aren’t working.

So I’m giving myself permission to take the pressure off of Bible study. I’ll keep going, for the discipline of study, and sharing with other women. But I’ll not expect to make great friends there – that hasn’t worked so far, so I’ll lower my expectations. I won’t feel guilty about missing a week and going out with a new friend to visit and share lunch. I’ll keep it all in balance.

I have plans with another friend for breakfast together. I’ll go to work and meet with my individual students. I’ll enjoy my free time with my husband on the weekends and we’ll adventure out in our Mini-convertible.  We’ll occasionally meet his coworkers and spouses after work, for a drink or dinner/campfire. I’ll keep trying.

I had an epiphany while writing this post. I’m not just longing for relationships. I’m hungry for community.

When I had school-aged children, it was easier to have groups of friends, based on different activities our kids enjoyed. And I had my friends at work – we were a close bunch! But as an empty-nester, I’m needing to find new ways to meet people. I long to belong to a community.

I’d really like to get to know people at church, and the best way to do that is to join a small discipleship/fellowship group. But my job goes into evening hours, so that makes those meetings impossible. Maybe my work schedule will be different after the holidays, and I can try it then.

It’s taking so much longer this time.  Usually, by the time a year has passed, I can start to see roots growing, start to feel at home. For whatever reason, I’m finding it harder to do here. Harder to break into relationships. To feel settled and part of a community.

I hunger for that bigger connection. For deeper friendships. For people I can share my day-to-day with. Right now, I can thank God for the one person with whom that relationship is growing. We share about our kids, our churches. We talk about work. Our friendship is slowly growing deeper. So thank You, Lord, for her.

Maybe once my evening schedule is freed up, I can join a book club or knitting group. Or a connection group through church.

It’s just going to take more time. Lord, I need more patience!

5 thoughts on “Relationships and community

  1. Kellie Nolan September 30, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    What a great post! Thank you for sharing! It is difficult to give up and let go of things we do thinking and wanting them to work (I’ve been trying to do this with things at work … not easy at all). It’s good to see you give take the pressure off yourself and focus on nurturing a new friendship. You are such a wonderful friend! How fortunate for the new friend who finds you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • peggyricewi October 1, 2017 / 9:04 am

      Thanks, Kellie. I treasure the friendship we shared in FL. Glad we still stay in touch!


  2. andih94 September 30, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    The key bit in there was your decision not to put pressure on yourself. It’s a trick I am learning to use and enjoy. Something in my upbringing or theology or maybe just my personality has me striving constantly to get somewhere else, away from what is to what I think should be. But that just makes me miserable and I think creates tension in others. So I have started to release the pressure on myself and discover that I don’t have to try harder than other people and I can just enjoy what is. I’m with you, Peggy! Enjoy taking the pressure off!

    Liked by 1 person

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