As I’ve mentioned many times before, we are relative newcomers to this area of the country. Having moved into a semi-urban community from a densely populated city center last summer, I’ve been challenged often to find my rhythm. It’s just such a huge change in just about aspect of life. Accessibility of services, diversity in population and culture; even the simple act of taking a walk through our surrounding neighbourhoods has forced me to rethink how I’ve been doing things.
Not long after we moved here, someone we met who had moved here years before noted that it took them about three years to assimilate to the lifestyle here. Others have said it takes more like five years. Personally, I wonder if that’s true adaptation or if just takes that long for memories to fade, attachments to wane and in their absence, true satisfaction with the new to take hold? Either way, we are clearly way early in the process.
Join the club
Which is why John and I have joined a newcomers’ club. It seems like a good idea; hang out with other newbies and discover our shared hometown together. We’ve been to a few functions already and have discovered a couple of key points.
Apparently, everyone who moves here is white and over 50. Curious. Obviously, I know that is not true but for whatever reason, those are the people who are choosing to join this organization. I’ll get into why I think this is happening in another post but suffice to say, my thoughts won’t fit here.
Also, the club likes to separate many of their activities into men’s and “ladies’” groups. This video with Cynthia Nixon is the best articulation I’ve seen of why I have a long-standing issue with the word lady. But aside from that, why does there have to be a separation? Why a woman’s book club? Why not just a book club? Don’t men read? I’m pretty sure they do. And what about golfing? Why do men golf and not women?
I have many questions.
Are you in?
But the question posed to me recently was, do I want to be on the board of this organization? My first reaction is no, of course not. First of all, I’ve been a member for a hot minute and feel not at all qualified to make decisions about its structure. And second of all, I’m not sure this organization is aligned with my values. That’s a big one.
In response to my first issue, it was pointed out to me that since the club is for people who have been here less than three years, everyone is too new to be qualified. That makes sense, actually.
But that second point… what to do about that? And then I got to thinking…
What if no one had ever raised any of these concerns before? What if they’ve just done things this way because they’ve always done things this way and because everyone is new, no one says anything? What if all it takes is one person to say something?
What if I’m that person?
Do I think this will make a monumental change in this community? No, I’ve not swayed myself with delusions of grandeur. But do I think the organization would benefit from some ‘updating’? Yes. And do I think that would in turn, benefit other newcomers, if only by making the group more inclusive and welcoming? Also, yes.
Am I in?