At 57 I found myself on my own, trying to rebuild my shattered finances. I spent a lot of time envisioning a lonely old age, probably holed up in a shabby room somewhere. No one to play with. No one to notice if I didn’t open my door for a week.
You get the drift. Overactive imagination focusing on black holes instead of sun-drenched fields. Even during the darkest hours of that difficult transition, I had resources. Come to think of it, they were pretty considerable. Yes, the money situation was troubling, but I hadn’t lost the skills acquired over a lifetime. I hadn’t lost the scattered friends and family either.Still, I was starting over. I didn’t know anyone in the California city I moved to when I caught wind of a job that seemed tailor-made for me. When I returned to Canada fifteen months later, to a new job in a new city, I knew no one. I counted transitions. The Kelowna apartment I was heading for was my 33rd home in my 24th city since my birth in Los Angeles.
Once again I was starting over in an unfamiliar place and with no circle of friends. But when I looked back I saw a whole lot of shining orbs. Somehow I had ended up loving every place I lived, not always because of its exceptional beauty but because of the exceptional people who’d come into my life. After so many moves, I realized I’d become pretty adept at starting over. I knew I’d find friends.Those transitions are on my mind tonight, as I reflect on all the social events my partner and I are looking forward to over the holidays and in the months after. Robin has lived in Kelowna 42 years. I’ve been here five and a half. We’ve been together all but one year of that. His friends have embraced me. Mine have embraced him. We’ve made new friends. Now they are “our” friends instead of “his” and “hers”.
Some of us have been here all or most of our lives. Others are recent transplants. We come from countries around the world, but we all feel at home here. We invite each other for dinner and events, support each other through illnesses and sorrows. We check on anyone who doesn’t show up when we expect them.
We’re like pieces of a shifting human puzzle, creating beautiful patterns as we meet around our varying interests. We are fortunate to be connected. Our lives are enriched because of all we share.
Various life paths have brought us together. We have no crystal balls but know the only certainty in life is change. Right now we count our blessings and know how lucky we are.
We are not alone. We are chosen family.