MAKING FRIENDS ONE STEP AT A TIME
RHONDA MIHALY COUNTS HERSELF FORTUNATE THAT SHE’S ABLE TO MAKE FRIENDS QUICKLY.
Moving to GemLife Palmwoods from Budgewoi north of Sydney to be closer to family has been a joy but it’s the friends Rhonda has made at the resort that makes the move to Queensland extra special.
“It all started by talking to one of my neighbours,” she said. “I suggested that we should form a walking group. It would be a casual affair – anyone who wants to can join us at the front gates in the morning.”
The group does an impressive five to six kilometres over a one-hour walk, but to Rhonda the best part is making friends.
“I like to walk but I’m not a full-on gym person,” Rhonda admits. “To me it’s good to keep fit but socialising is just as important.”
Whether moving from interstate like Rhonda, or just changing localities, it can be difficult to form new friendships – especially if you’re not naturally outgoing.
“It’s easy for me, I love to have a chat, but not everyone is like that – for instance, my husband isn’t,” she said. “Because at GemLife everyone is in their own home it would be easy to spend all your time indoors and not get to know people, but it is important to know your neighbours, and fortunately there are lots of opportunities to do that.”
In addition to the walking group, Rhonda has made friends doing aqua aerobics.
“There’s about nine of us ladies from GemLife who go to the pool in Palmwoods,” she said. “We can’t wait for the Country Club to be complete so we can enjoy the pool there.”
“Now the weather is cooling, we’re also having get togethers around the barbecue by the Summer House.”
While Rhonda anticipates the completion of the GemLife Palmwoods Country Club, she is trying out a new gym in Palmwoods which focuses on teaching stretching and strengthening exercises to more mature audiences and already there is a regular group from GemLife attending.
While exercise and the great outdoors is a top way to make new friends, it’s not obligatory, she says.
“One of my neighbours has bad knees so she doesn’t get to go out that much,” said Rhonda.
“She mentioned that she felt lonely sometimes. I invited her for coffee and then someone else said they knew of another person who was struggling to make friends.
“At first, my idea was to have coffee at our homes, but once you start getting more than eight regulars, it becomes difficult, so I thought about the local coffee shop. Last week five people joined us. Tomorrow, we have 25!”