By Rori Boyce
It has been almost a week since the first official day of spring, but I still spent my morning curled under a blanket near the woodstove hoping the latest storm would head out to sea rather than dump another foot of snow. Needless to say, I am more eager for the first spring day to arrive now that the season has officially begun. While I am tired of being cold, weary of woodstove monitoring duties, and honestly sick of snow, what I am really craving about that first spring day is the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts, and the potential to make some new friendships.
If you have never lived through a bitterly cold winter, you are missing out on something very special. You see, you cannot truly appreciate the promise and hope of spring until you have survived the stark desolation of a bitterly cold, snow-filled Northern winter. After months of huddling indoors and hibernating like bears, the first signs of spring, like the tiny buds on the trees and the crocuses poking up through the snow, are like an invitation to rejoin the world. It is as if nature herself is beckoning us to throw off our blankets, pull on our boots, and make something happen.
Spring is a time for renewal, for clearing out the old to make room for the new, for new starts and major growth, and it is the perfect time to make some new friends. Whether you spent the last few months hibernating or feel like your social life could use some sprucing, let the promise of fresh starts inspire you to see what kind of new relationships develop. This month, more than most any other month of the year, provides a wealth of opportunities to get out of the house and meet some new people.
Here are some ideas for how you can use the turning of the season to help you get off the couch and get to work on creating some new beginnings.
Follow Your Green Thumb
If there is one thing I look forward to about spring it is being able to get back into my garden and although gardening may seem like a solitary pursuit, it doesn’t have to be. If gardening is one of your hobbies, let your green thumb lead the way. To start, look around for a local gardening club or Meet-up that you can join. Attending a class, meeting, or event centered on gardening, permaculture, or even homesteading is a great way to meet new people with whom you already share a common interest. There are generally lots of “gardening” events happening this month because it is time for swapping seeds and planting seedlings in many parts of the country.
Slip into Your Sneakers
Another great way to meet new people is to join a group that runs or walks together. Start by checking to see if there are any groups where you work who walk or run at lunch. You can also check local community centers or YMCAs to find a group of others who are looking for running or walking buddies.
Hit the Trails
If gardening and running aren’t your things, how about looking for a group that plans hiking or biking trips together? This is another great way to celebrate spring and meet new people. You don’t have to be an expert hiker or a backwoods biker to join these kinds of groups and you may be surprised at how receptive people can be when you put yourself out there and try something new.
Make Your Own Group
If you can’t find a group in your area that gardens or runs or hikes or kayaks or coupons or reads together, spring is the perfect time to start a group of your own. It doesn’t matter what you like to do, odds are there is someone else who likes doing it too and there is a good chance that a friendship might develop if you try doing it together.
Not sure where to start? SocialJane.com is the perfect way to gauge interest and invite others to join you in your new adventure. Simply search for other women in your area and scan their profiles to find anyone who has indicated an interest in the hobby or activity you want to pursue. Send them a message to see if they are interested in getting together with other women who like to knit, run, cook, ride horses, or whatever common interest you share. Before you know it, you may have a great group of women sharing their passions, building new bonds, and becoming good friends.
Old Friends, New Beginnings
Spring is also a time to reconnect with old friends in new ways. If you are joining a group, you might invite someone you already know to join with you. If you are starting a group, asking an old friend to help can bring you closer. And if you just can’t remember the last time you spent some quality time with your inner circle, let the promise of spring inspire you to reach out, reconnect, and give your friendships a fresh start.