Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reconnecting with the 'burg

So, lately I've been tired. The whole 10 days with the General being in Omaha and Waikiki, I was running up and back to Northern Virginia. Granted, when he's home, I feel bad if I leave him and spend time elsewhere, so I was trying to catch up with a bunch of people I have badly neglected, but still! I put 1000 miles on my car in one week, went through 5 tanks of gas, it was that bad. Book signings, seeing friends, picking people up, dropping people off, sight seeing, working, hauling furniture, you name it, I was doing it.

By the end of those 10 days, I'm not on speaking terms with someone, I haven't seen my sister since October 1 (highly unusual), and I've put less than 100 miles on my car in the ensuing 10 days.

So, I was sitting at work and got to thinking. I didn't move to Fredericksburg to live here and do everything elsewhere. It's probably time I started investing myself in this town instead of sleeping here and treating it like my tourist destination.

I need to find a balance. And I need to find some way of making my life here work. Because, honestly, apart from my house, I'm not happy here. I have no friends here (because I haven't worked at it), I don't do anything except come home, eat dinner, exercise, read, go to bed, start all over again.

I tried participating in a few group activities, but I'm not a crowds person. I tend to get very quiet, and it's hard when everyone already knows each other. Everyone is warm and inviting, but then they get busy with each other and you're still sort of sitting alone, your quiet self, not saying or doing much.

So, I started thinking about what made the most sense. What did I enjoy doing. And what does the General enjoy doing. And what could I do myself and what could we do together. Because, honestly, he doesn't know anyone here either. And we're both kind of sad about that 2 years later. I know people get kind of funny about the disability issue, but surely there's someone out there who wouldn't care if they just tried. Which is why I love Mike Williams, and damn him for moving to Atlanta anyway!

So, I signed up to join Friends of the Library and to volunteer at the library. I used to do that in Centreville and made one friend there with whom I am still in touch today. We've also committed ourselves to attending the ham radio club meetings and breakfasts. And that's paid off, we met two people last week, and we're going to volunteer with the Boy Scouts in a couple of weeks. The library called last night, and doesn't it figure, they wanted me to start volunteering the day of the Boy Scout thing, which I can't do, but they said they'd definitely be in touch anyway. I've made plans to meet up with the NaNoWriMo people here in town, who I enjoy and are cerebral types like me, while still being fun.

So I'm hopeful that things will turn around. I'd really like to have some friends here in town and have some things to do. We'll see what happens. But I'm going to try.

5 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Mike W said...

What disability? His HAM radio addiction? Yeah, it's hard to get by that. It's even dorkier than my flight sim addiction. ;)

Open up a brothel or something. That would be fun.

Looking forward to November!

v/r

Talmadge G. said...

We've been out here in Effingham County for nearly four (4) years, and don't know that many local folks, either. It's a bedroom town, plain and simple, but I do like it.

Seraphim and I aren't really 'crowd' people, either. But I do understand the whole "everybody else knows one another .... busy with each other ... quiet self, not saying or doing much." I understand it well.

As I see it, I consider most of my co-workers as friends. My wife knows some people in Savannah, too.
Funny thing, though -- while we don't have people we "hang out" with in Rincon, I for one don't feel like I'm starving. I have friends. You are one of them, although we have yet to meet you (y'all still coming through early on TG week?).

The 'net has been a godsend for building friendships. Keyword = BUILDING. Everyone I've met online (except, at the moment, you and The General® - see above) I've eventually met in real life.

My wife just came in here to kiss me goodnight. And I'm reminded of how I have my best friend right under my roof. I feel, sometimes, like I can do anything, with her loving arms and honey-sweet voice around me.

I'm gonna quit now before I get more gooey than dried liquid "Tylenol."

--Tal

Melissa said...

Try meetup.com - they are a wee bit like MyPC but it's looser...they have all kinds of meetups - I am loosely involved in the cross stitch meetup and it's a real balance of ages and situations...the only prob is that they meet in Reston! But they are all really nice people...

Lesley said...

Hey Susan, I completely know where you're coming from! I think actually this is pretty common, as adults the social networks are not in place to make developing new friendships easily, plus we are (hopefully) more discerning about the people we want to call our friends. Mike and I were in the same boat in Charlotte and again here in GA. If we could just have one couple friend here in our area that we both got along with, I'd be happy.

You could always move to good ol' GA, ya know! ;)

Sorry to hear about the friendship issue - I hope it's something that can be healed, if you want it.

Cindy said...

When I first moved to the burg, I had no time to meet anyone - I worked in Alexandria, and basically slept the rest of the time. Haha. I didn't join FredTalk to meet people, but it was a nice way to get introduced to some people in the neighborhood. I've become close friends with some of the people I've met there.

Maybe we should start getting together again - start up book club again? A smaller supper club? I feel like I never leave the house unless I'm going to the grocery store.