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Archive for the ‘The Friendship Project’ Category

This post will be a quickie for me:  I want to use social media to extend the reach of “The Friendship Project” and it’s now time to at least link this blog to Facebook. So I am hoping that some of you reading, have found your way here, from there. If you are curious about the catalyst for the Project, you can read my earlier post “It was literally all in my head”.

This is my updated Facebook photo on my profile:  it was taken at our wedding last October. Look at that smile!  Sadly, the hair is no more. Brain surgery can do that to a girl.

October 4 2014

October 4 2014

   I am requesting the participation of women, (40-75) in The Friendship Project.

My intent is to gather input over the next 4 months via a questionnaire, and then put the results into some kind of meaningful context and self publish or take it into social media. Or a combination of all of those.

The purpose is to find stories and anecdotes from women that can help other women deal with the challenges that face us making friends as we move through this stage of our lives.

All you have to do is fill in this questionnaire (copy the questions into an email, answer and send to me at lonsdale.19@hotmail.com) If some kind person who is also a social media genius can suggest a better way, I would happily entertain it. 

If you are comfortable, it would be appreciated if you could send out the questionnaire out to women in your own network who are in the target group (40 to 75).

All answers from you and them will be anonymous. So far, I have had very positive responses:  my  network of  friends have truly enjoyed the process of thinking about the nature of friendship and what it means to them.

The “Project” does not pretend to be a rigorous, scientific study. I would like the final product to be an interesting, easy read, and with some levity. So pour some wine!

Thanks again,
Cheryl Young @
The Friendship Project

                                                              Questions

1. How would your closest friends describe you as a friend?
2. What kind of friend do you want to have ?
3. What kind of friend are you?
4. Most people have friends for different reasons. Is that true for you?
5. How have you successfully made new friends in the past? Any unusual sources or approaches?
6. Will those approaches still work for you?
7. How long does it take or what needs to happen for you to move closer to friends?
8. What has surprised or delighted you about friendship?
9. How have your parents or siblings shaped your attitudes towards friends and friendship?
10. Any patterns that you can detect?
11. Have you let a friendship go? How and why? Are you happy with how you did that?
12. Or were you on the receiving end of being “unfriended?
13. What would the grown up _insert name____tell the teenage ___insert name___ about friendship?
14. What do you wish you could “do over” with respect to friendship? And why?

Demographics

Age: ______________ (a range if you prefer)
Number of Siblings and Gender:__________________________
Would you describe your environment growing up as rural, urban or suburban?__________
Nationality:___________

All responses are anonymous of course. Please answer within this document, and return to Lonsdale.19@hotmail.com. Please indicate by indicating Yes or No if you will allow me to email you for clarification of points, or if you wish to receive a copy or link to the final project. I hate junk email too!

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Finally, we have returned to our other, and possibly favourite home, in San Miguel de Allende. We were preparing ourselves, mentally (lots of wine in the garage) and physically (lots of de-icer also in the garage) for a winter in Ontario, but fortunately, the good doctor gave us dispensation to travel outside the country, as long as my husband Ben returned  every 21 day for his immune therapy treatments.  Hell yes!

So on our first Saturday afternoon in SMA,  after a late riotous Friday night with many of our friends at The Fat Mermaid, one of our favourite haunts :   the paintings speak for themselves …..

 

So on that Saturday afternoon, we were finally vertical and strolling, shopping bags in hand, heading to the weekly Organic Market, where asking for a plastic bag marks you out as a probable climate change denier.  As three young Mexican men walked past us, drinks from the night before in hand,  their leader said in well articulated and droll English:  “Good Morning, Old People”.  We laughed at the time, still smile when I think of it, and all of our friends that we have told this story to have had a good belly laugh as well. (It’s only a few weeks after Christmas, so there is lots of belly to go around.)

I think we laughed mostly because yes, we are significantly older than those lads, but also humour is best when it cuts closest to the truth.  And yet,  we don’t feel at all old.  Why would we, in this paradise for expats from the United States, Canada and Europe?  I have heard folks describe San Miguel is a Disneyland for adults and some don’t mean that as a compliment.

But in the past week since that Saturday, we have enjoyed 1 original play, an intimate live musical performance at a Canadian crooners home, (we were told that Brian Adams is staying a few doors down, but no sightings as yet),  had a lively book club meeting, graced 2 local bars for nightcaps, dined out 3 times with friends at good restaurants at a fraction of the cost of Toronto, enjoyed a fabulous Golden Globes party, went to colourful flea market (where I scored training shirts for just under $25 for 2), and worked out hard at a well equipped new gym 5 times.  That’s just in 7 days! This week, we will hold a pool party, attend a tapas evening, go to a lecture on Wild Flowers of San Miguel de Allende, dance to a live salsa band,  and oh yes, go to the gym faithfully Monday to Friday.

If you were of a different frame of mind, (less eating and drinking specifically)  you could attend any number of yoga classes, (to help access your major Archetypes don’t ya know), take life coaching & spiritual counselling, attend empowerment seminars to help yourself and/or the planet, and conspire with folks who believe that all of the wrongs of the world can be righted by simply ridding the world of capitalism and capitalists.    Mmmh I wonder what deserted island they would banish Ben and I to?

There are over 100 NGO’s here as well, and almost 100% of them are headed by retired Americans of good will, devoted to worthy causes that range from rescuing strays to feeding the hungry  to building homes in the campo for the poor.  That’s an awful lot of energy dedicated to the good people of San Miguel and they are appreciative of it. (Although they don’t really understand it:  if you don’t have to work, why can’t you just relax?)

Ben says that if you retire to SMA, you must have a business card that says either writer or artist.  Or you can challenge your competitive energy into games like bridge or golf or poker.  There is another group that monopolizes the bar stools at their nearest local and rarely sees the sun, tottering out only after happy hour is over.

Certainly there are issues here:  from petty crime and vandalism to  drug related drive by shootings, to the larger social, economic and environmental issues that are present throughout Mexico.  But for the most part, it is a safe, secure, and extremely beautiful place to be.   And did I mention warm?

My point is that here,  you can be what ever you choose, redefine yourself if you want to, and find happiness with friends that will accept you for what you bring to the table now, at this age, despite or in acceptance of your orientation, finances, politics or world view.

Walt had it right: ”Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.”

Post-Script:  I have taken on a writing venture, which most of you will already know about, but in the off chance you have not been engaged, I am requesting the participation of women, (40-75) in The Friendship Project.  My intent is to gather input over the next 4 months via a survey, sent by email, and then put the results into some kind of meaningful context and  self publish or take it into social media.Or a combination of all of those.

The purpose is to find stories and anecdotes from women that can help other women deal with the challenges that face us making friends as we move through this stage of our lives.  It sounds sort of sincere and serious, and some of it will be. But I also want us to have some fun with it too. If you want to play, please email me lonsdale.19@hotmail.com.  

 

 

 

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