Connections With People, Purpose and Wellness
Do you live alone? Do you have a community of support to lean on when the chips are down? Do you have an "ICE" or "in case of emergency" person? More than 1 in 4 Americans live alone now and many of us are baby boomers. My vision is to help individuals living alone create meaningful connections to age well and independently.
Here's my story...
Nearing my mid-life crisis, buying a sports car was just too easy. So, I packed my bags and my two cats and moved from Washington, DC to Little Canada, Minnesota. Two more different places, I can't imagine! Though Little Canada sounds exotic, it was just another Twin Cities suburb, complete with a water tower, an A&W Drive-In and a few trailer parks.
Pictured to the right is one of the reasons I moved to Minnesota. After my move, I spent four years living on one of its 10,000 lakes. Our lakes are frozen six months of the year which makes for amazing winter sunrises. However, because I didn't have a social network, I felt like Thoreau on Walden Pond!
Though I was born in Minnesota, I didn't have a home team advantage in building a social life here. Building social connections from the ground up as a single person took a lot of time and patience. It could be my age, 6 months of winter's hibernation, or that Minnesotans are very fortunate to have vast circles of friends dating back to pre-school. I think it's a three-way tie.
So I started reading about social connections and attended a talk by Dr. Jacqueline Olds, author of a book called The Lonely American. Dr. Olds proposes that due to television and cultural changes, social isolation is on the rise in our society, with a dire potential impact on our physical and mental health.
I committed to Minnesota through buying a home in fall 2010. I've intentionally worked to build community with my neighbors. One neighborly connection enabled me to help someone living alone, who had fallen in her home, get safely to the hospital. That's when it really hit me! We all need Plan B Connections! We all need someone watching out for us - someone who has us on their radar.
I made some nice connections in Minnesota. After a decade, which I nicknamed the "tundra ten," I am moving to Florida in spring 2017 to start a new Plan B Connections chapter! I am excited for less winter's hibernation and new connections and adventures! Best of all, I will be living next door to my close friend Chris of 25 years. We have made a pact to support each other as we age. While I met some very nice people in Minnesota, I found through trial and error that I was really looking for a close, long-term friend to live near - someone to pal around with regularly, whom I know well enough for meaningful conversations.
After I move to Florida, I will continue to link individuals living alone with meaningful connections to strengthen their social wellness. I hope this website offers ideas for locating your people, purpose and wellness to lead a long and fulfilling life!
May your life be filled with meaningful connections!
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Updated March 2017