Highfields

Happily single – Friendships boost life’s experiences

Happily single - Friendships boost life’s experiences

THERE IS A LOT TO BE SAID FOR BEING HAPPILY SINGLE IN RETIREMENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE NOT AFRAID TO STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND REACH OUT TO OTHERS, ACCORDING TO GEMLIFE HIGHFIELDS’ DIANE KERINS.

“Friendship is important, especially if you are on your own. Friends can make our experiences so special. I know some people like to be alone, but there are others who could really benefit from having a few friends to socialise with from time to time,” said the retired hotel resort manager and mother of two.

Having a more than 30-year history working in hospitality as manager of a large lakeside Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels complex, with 51 rooms, two dining outlets and three event venues in Taupo, New Zealand, Toowoomba-born Diane finds striking up a conversation with others a relatively easy task.

This came in handy because Diane, who had lived most of her adult life in NZ, left all her close friends and work colleagues behind when she returned to Australia in 2020.

“I had to start building friendships all over again and found GemLife Highfields the ideal place to do it,” said Diane.

Diane’s daughter, who lives in Toowoomba, encouraged her to join the line dancing group at GemLife Highfields and, as an added friendship bonus, the now single grandmother got herself a little black and white shih tzu pup, Molly.

“Getting Molly, now three years old, was the best thing I ever did, not only because she is great company but also taking her on walks has helped me make so many wonderful friends.

There is now a group of about ten of us, all small dog owners, and we often get together for lunch as well as meeting at the dog park each day.”

Diane said GemLife Highfields actively welcomes single homeowners. Each fortnight a community dinner is held at which attendees without partners can sit together to help them make new friends.

“It’s often easier to befriend another single person than it is a couple, but that’s not to say we don’t all have some wonderful married friends. I know I do!”

Today, Diane enjoys a busy social calendar including many outings and activities with fellow singles like herself.

“There is a big group of single ladies here now and we get together for everything from card games, mahjong and Rummikub to social outings, trivia nights, walks and celebrations.”

Last month, the youthful-looking Diane reached a special milestone and wanted to enjoy the occasion in the company of friends and acquaintances at GemLife Highfields.

Diane put a notice on the resort’s Facebook page inviting everyone to join her for drinks and nibbles in the Country Club to celebrate her 80th birthday.

“It was a fabulous occasion and made me feel especially lucky to have so many wonderful friends. Friendship is truly special,” said Diane.

I had to start building friendships all over again and found GemLife Highfields the ideal place to do it.