In my efforts to do my very best to be outside as much as possible, I've tried to arrange for any "hang out meetings" with friends my age or the younger ladies that I want to stay in touch with to happen in the form of walking together.
This has a ton of benefits-
1.) A walk is a natural way and posture to communicate, especially when you are first getting to know someone. You aren't staring awkwardly at one another across the table while drinking coffee, or trying to keep your intimate conversation discreet from other patrons.
2.) It has a tangible start and stop point. This river walk where these pictures are taken takes about 75 minutes to complete the loop (give or take based on pace). That's just about perfect for a first time visit with someone. I've made the mistake before of inviting girls that I have yet to establish a real relationship with to come over to my house. Nothing wrong with that, I wanted them to feel welcome and hopefully cozy in our home. However, there's no good end point - and there's been some awkward moments when you are wondering if they feel like they are trapped as they make no move to leave on their accord....(It cracks me up, actually. When I was their age, invited to the home of some "older woman" - I'd have had an exit strategy firmly in place with some place "I had to be" at a certain time ready to pull out as soon as needed!).
3.) Usually, I take Sydney - and she's a good distraction and conversation starter right from the start. She desperately needs the exercise and loves any and all walks (especially if a squirrel or cat makes and appearance)...
4.) Speaking of exercise - uh, yeah!!! Done in tandem with visits to the gym, it can only help in the efforts to drop weight (which IS happening...slowly but surely - 10 pounds down as of this morning....about that same amount still to go!).
5.) It's outside - currently in the sunshine - and glorious. The leaves are turning, geese overhead. I'm hopeful to keep the walks going as much as possible, as just being outside is one of the best remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder which will be kicking in within the next couple of months.
Here's a couple of pics taken with Alysha....I think by the end of September, I'll have had about ten different walks/hikes under my belt with people that I really admire, appreciate, and have missed. Keep 'em coming!