Bored or Lonely? Come Join the In Crowd
By Norman Araiza, M. A.
For a lot of people, retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be. When we’re chained to the job, free time, sleeping as late as we want, and doing exactly what we want to do seem like the answer to our problems. In the best situations retirement is like that. For many others, retirement means boredom or loneliness.
When we first arrive we are enamored with the uniqueness and challenges of this new culture. But after a while, when the challenges of assimilation are less of a distraction, boredom may begin to set in. In San Miguel boredom is a position of choice. There are so many activities, classes, and projects to get involved in that we always have options. But sometimes we may be busy doing our projects and taking our classes, and we still are aware of an empty feeling as though something is missing.
Most of us are in denial about our social satisfaction. Rarely will people admit to being lonely. In fact, the idea of loneliness itself sometimes conjures up judgments of personal failure, that no matter how successful a person is in all other areas of life, if one struggles with loneliness, inherent in that condition is the judgment that they have somehow failed in their ability to draw adequate relationships into their life. But it isn’t that simple.
Few of us living here have family close by. When we leave the States, we normally leave social support systems behind. For some, loneliness is a vague feeling that something is not right, a kind of minor void inside your being. As a result this symptom is often misinterpreted as physical hunger, so the person may attempt to fill the void with food. Loneliness is in fact a hunger, but filling your body with food will only distract you temporarily from the real hunger for meaningful interactions.
It may not be loneliness per se that motivates us to make contact with others, maybe it’s just boredom. Whatever it is, I have just the solution. While the name and venue of this friendly group has changed over the last 10 years of its existence, the spirit and intent of the “In Crowd” remain constant. We seek joy and partake in complimentary tasty botanas each Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30pm. A friendly smile is your ticket for membership and bragging rights as a bonafide member of the In Crowd at our new venue at Cervezcal on San Francisco 18, just up the hill from San Francisco church. Come celebrate 10 years of good-natured conversation. Bring a favorite CD, and management will be happy to play it. The space is reserved on Wednesdays exclusively for In Crowd members.
Norman Araiza is an American trained psychotherapist enjoying a limited practice in San Miguel. He can be reached at 121 6983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.