Make a Friend, Be a Friend
I cannot think of anything that has brought me greater joy than parenting. I also don’t think anything has challenged me more. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you can relate. Every child is different and unfortunately, they don’t come with instructions on how to raise them. One thing I learned about my children as they struggled in the transition of starting a new school year. This was most pronounced when the new year was in a different school. “Make a friend, be a friend.” This was the encouragement and council we would send them off to school with. As I write, I’m reacquainted with the anxiety I felt in the first few days of school hoping my children were adapting, connecting, and forming new and healthy relationships.
I realize there are always transitions in life and we never outgrow the anxiety of new environments and seasons. Every Tuesday morning in our Nobody Asked Me (NAM) group we have a very robust discussion about the realities of aging. Even though each week’s discussion looks through a different lens, without fail there is discussion about connecting and isolation. Almost immediately upon my arrival at Beacon Hill, I gained profound appreciation for the complexity of a move to Beacon Hill. Yes, it is a residential and geographical move, but that’s only on the surface. Many of you come to Beacon Hill after having lived in your homes of several hundred, if not thousands, of square feet in neighborhoods where you had friends, routines, and significance. Though a new beginning, the move to Beacon Hill is indeed a doozy of a transition. Along with all of the peculiarities of a move, there is this sobering reality; this is probably the last move.
Simply put, change is hard. I don’t know the circumstances that brought you to Beacon Hill, but it’s a significant transition. There are hundreds of residents here from all walks of life. You left friends behind and have lost loved ones along the way. At times Beacon Hill can feel like the first day in a new school. It looks as if everyone has their own life and routine that has no room for you. Let my words to my children encourage you and bring you comfort; “Make a friend, be a friend.” Each week I marvel at our group and how they have created such an inclusive and affirming community. By being friendly to each other, we’ve become great friends and we want you to be our friend too! Join us Tuesday at 9:30 am in the chapel and let’s do what friends do, enjoy each other’s company. Also, plan to join us for the Nobody Asked Me Open House on Monday, August 7th at 2:00 pm out on the Vistas Patio. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks. I’ll see you Tuesday, friend!