I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree. This time of year always has me a little nostalgic. This year with my move to the left coast approaching what feels like rather rapidly, I have been especially reflective. During the holidays I am always so thankful of the family I have which includes my actual blood related family, parents, grandfather, sibling, nephew, aunts and uncles as well as those who aren’t flesh and blood but they are family by choice. Close friendships that I have forged over the years. I think back to the past and think about my family members who are no longer with us and it just helps me understand even more how much I need to enjoy every moment that I spend with anyone because you never know when you will see them again, if ever again. Now, some of us may not be that close with our immediate family and that is fine. However, community is a very important part of life, especially if you want to be healthy through the years, find love, and make strong friendships. I have been lucky in my life to have belonged to many awesome communities. Growing up in a small town with a fairly strong community helped me create friendships that will last a lifetime. Attending two universities has allowed my worlds to be so intertwined it is always amazing to think back to how oddly coincidental life is. Finding the StrongFirst community has been such a driving force to my current mindset of always trying to get better and to see people for who they are. Point is communities have changed my life for the better.
Having a community outside of work can really benefit your life as a whole. It is great to build relationships with coworkers, however, you want to hang out with them outside of your work environment or else life can seem monotonous. Going to work everyday, seeing the same people everyday, then going home and having no other social interactions can drive a sane person crazy.
Having a community that you do different activities with outside of work can be a perfect way of meeting new people and building new relationships. I often hear people say how hard it is to make friends or find someone to be in a relationship with. Usually this person works too much and doesn't play at all. When we were kids we played, we were involved in many activities outside of school and we had a lot of friends. As adults, we often forget to “play”. We forget that life is meant to be enjoyed and that we only have one chance at life. We work all day then go home, then go back to work again.
On weekends we go to bars then wonder why we can’t find new friends or someone to build a meaningful relationship with. The bar or club is seldom a place to meet new people that you actually want in your life. This is why I think being involved in different communities can really help change your life for the better.
As my friend Beth Kowaleski once said, “obviously the answer to building friendships is having common interest.” Joining or creating a community based around something you enjoy doing is an easy way to meet people with common interest. Activities such as a book club, volunteering, non-profit work, networking events, group exercise classes like spin, crossfit, metabolic training classes, or intramural sports are all great communities that can be full of people with common interest. These are healthy activities that can really change your everyday life. From the exercise benefits or knowledge you gain to the people you meet.
I love communities of all kinds and I am looking forward to finding and starting new communities as I close my east coast chapter and start my next out west. I find the value of a good community to be endless and I can't harp on it enough for you to get involved in however many communities you can find that interest you.