From the Centre: Friends can become like family

Web Lead

Here’s hoping you had a safe and enjoyable holiday and got a chance to spend some time with family and friends whether it was in person or by electronic means. Maybe it was just our circle of acquaintances, but this year seemed a bit different as more people we spoke with were spending the season alone or in a fairly reserved manner. The saying, “You can pick your friends but not your family,” has a ring of truth to it, but as I get older, I see those distinctions have a tendency to blur a bit. Often, your circle of friends becomes your family, especially if you are far removed or in fact, have no family.

If you look up the definition of family and arbitrarily select a portion of the description — because, hey, it’s my column — it states, “Two or more people who share goals and values.”

Case in point, I have spoken to a few seniors whose high point of the week is to come upstairs to the walking track once a week and grind out a few laps. To them, this is their family time of sorts where they can socialize and exercise in a warm, non-threatening atmosphere. We also recently had the opportunity to attend the Lions Club Christmas dinner as guests and it was obvious that the group was another form of family as was the Christmas dinner at Crest View Village or the appy night at West Creston Hall (yes, I know the theme seems to be revolving around food — and it’s starting to show).

Whether you are part of a bowling team, musical group, quilting club or just a group that gathers at the local coffee shop and shares the highs and lows that define our lives, this is also family. The community complex too, represents not only a family of like-minded individuals but a gathering place for families to grow together.

It is interesting: Back in the day when we were a lot smaller, you actually knew most of the people that came here or recognized names and watched their children grow up over their “lifespans” in hockey, figure skating or lifeguarding. Now that we have added so much more with the pool, fitness centre and other amenities, it is like someone hit the invite button on Facebook because our family just got one heck of a lot bigger these past couple years.

This is a good thing — even though there were way more unfamiliar faces, we are getting to know you and it has been our pleasure.

So, if you feel you are lacking family, get out there anywhere in our community and its vast assortment of clubs, organizations, gathering spots or facilities and find something that reflects your goals and values. Make the effort to strike up a conversation with someone and see where, and to whom, it leads you.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.