When I first moved to Andover, I knew 1 person. Frankly it was as much use as a chocolate teapot and I felt very alone. The kids were not at any school yet and it was a huge learning curve. I had never lived anywhere where you had to drive everywhere to get anything done. I never forget the first time I met my neighbour who persuaded me to go to the gym by which stage I had already been living here for about 4 months and for that I am always grateful to her.
In all honesty, and to those who know me now may laugh, but it was the last bloody place I wanted to go but as much I didn’t really enjoy it my daughter got to attend the creche, which in turn meant that I got a break, and I in turn got to meet other people.
I remember chatting to someone about where I could buy some kids bedding and they gave me a superbly long account of Basingstoke.. I was astounded as the internet back then was not what it is today, and had it not have been for some local knowledge and tips I would have really struggled. Who knew there were no shops locally who sold kids bedding…
When I finally made the decision several years later to get into fitness from a professional point of view it was more about the social element than anything else because I knew what it did for me. When I used to manage the fitness classes in my previous job, I vividly recall a lady with MS who never got to out unless it was to attend her weekly class and it was the highlight of her week and it got me thinking…
Only recently it was ‘blue Monday’ where the Samaritans called it “brew Monday 2020’ and you can click on the words below and it will take you directly to their site.
On this particular day they were handing out tea bags in a strategy to get people to have a brew and a chat… sadly it was only rolled out at some train stations in the UK but it was done due to the high suicide and depression rates on that particular Monday.
I personally think that it is superbly important to talk, and my husband can vouch for that (if he reads this I am sure that he will chuckle to himself) and I talk to everyone, literally everyone! Even when I was in a managerial position, I use to tell my staff that there was no such thing as a stupid question. Sure, you may feel silly, but it is always best to talk and ask. Equally you never know what is going on in someone’s life. That chat or passing the time of day may lift their spirits but imagine knowing no-one and having no kids at school to enable you to chat at the school gates. Imagine having to move somewhere you were not overly keen on due to your partners work and this is where the idea for today’s blog came from.
My cousin has lived in various places but last September she moved to Washington DC… not long after a good friend of mine also moved to the same place. Having spoken to the latter I remember how hard things were for me and albeit I was not in another country with other bureaucracies to deal with I still remember the feeling of being alone. So I decided to grab the bull by the horns and do some ground work to get these ladies to meet. These 2 ladies who have some things in common, me included yes, will be meeting today for lunch on the other side of the world! Their husbands literally work in buildings opposite each other and they live 15 minutes apart. Both expats who cannot work due to their visas. So again are in the same boat. What is not to love about this entire situation?!
Talking together can help with so much but especially mental health. To know that you are not alone. Looking back the only reason I ever knew something was wrong with my dad is because he started talking about how he felt…
So keep talking, brew or no brew, wine or gin too! And always remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question.