Donna Ryan / Lifestyle & Retirement

How Do You Like It

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donnaryan_porchAs I sit on my balcony on this quiet morning I cannot believe it has been over a month since we packed up the car and left our life in Queens New York to begin this new chapter  in Suwanee Georgia.    I suddenly see the door leading onto the patio of my neighbor swing open and out comes their toddler dancing around and waving at me.  I smile thinking how just a year ago at 8AM I was welcoming the children of Ms. Cathy’s nursery class to school and here I am now home watching my little friend sing.

It is nice to have a little noise for sometimes too much quiet time makes me feel homesick.  I am thankful for telephones, facetime, texts, emails, cards, notes and social media for I am able to contact all my friends back home and I hear from so many of them  which makes me smile.  The problem is every time I speak with them the question, “So how do you like it?” always comes up.

I am in a new State, new town, trying to meet new people, finding  a new church, new stores, new vet, just to name of few of the many things buzzing through my head as I type.

I somehow feel I will be judged if I don’t say I LIKE it all of the time!

I try to post positive photo’s on social media and one of my favorites was the day  I found the patio furniture I dreamt of and how happy I was to decorate this beautiful space with flowers and flags you can change for seasons and holidays.   Between us, do you think it would be OK if told everyone that the very patio I love got me my first complaint to the community office?    As I was watering the plants of my dreams last week I was in such cloud nine bliss I did not realize the balcony below was receiving showers that were running through the holes of the bottom of my pots.  OUCH!  Not a good welcome to the neighborhood start!    I never met the people downstairs, have no idea what they look like or know anything about their life.   So much for making a good first impression!

So tell me, is it OK to put the not so good thoughts on social media or just make them think I like it everyday?

As I stop to gather my thoughts I left the tapping keys for a moment to wave to my new friend.  He is so outgoing and as I watch him joyfully dancing around I feel jealous.  There are days I feel like a homesick alien in a strange place so, heck the people downstairs are mad anyway, why not start dancing over their heads?  It works for the kid and nobody is mad at him.

I am wondering if I can take a break from the thumbs up seeking posts on all my decorating and admit once in a while I feel scared.  Is it OK for me to post to my church family that I miss them and that I am having a real hard time getting used to mass here?  Can I, the non-driver, admit that I miss being able to walk four blocks to the Avenue and get whatever I needed all by myself.  During my walks here I noticed unless you have a dog or are wearing workout clothes you look strange!  Is it OK to admit that life sure is different here?

Well, Donna!  The reality is you are not in Queens anymore!  I guess there would not have been any point in making this change to arrive at a place exactly the same.  The problem is I need to begin the hard task of reprogramming my life.   I will never replace all the wonderful people I left and I should not try!  Those bonds will never be replaced and knowing this will make our visits even more special and something to look forward to.

I said to Kevin yesterday that I sometimes feel like I am living in a beautiful glass box and from the panes I watch the world outside and I know I have so much to offer but I just cant figure out how to leave without getting cut.  This thought brings back memories of the little girl of long ago who felt the same exact way.   The past few years I had so many who lifted up my confidence back home so will I disappoint them if I admit this is hard?

Lessons come when we need them and I see a quote in a magazine by Oprah Winfrey that says new challenges have the power to knock us to our knees if we let it.  What’s worse than the challenge is the fear we won’t withstand it.  I must adjust my stance.

Oh I like that…..Yes!   I must adjust my stance indeed!!

I now must give myself the same advice I would give another.  Donna, of course you are homesick girl.  We never outgrow our need for friends and you still have them.  The same sky, clouds and sun you see they do too.  Of course you miss your son and inlaws!  They are your family!   But you must remember the beautiful adventure God put you on this  year which  sure had emotional, frightening, stressful, scary and joyful moments.  You also received hugs you never thought you would feel again!   Don’t you start losing your faith now!!!

Yes, as I sit on this beautiful balcony that got me into trouble I see it also did the same for my little friend as his Mother just came out to scold him   Ok, I guess dancing on the balcony may not be the greatest idea however it is refreshing to see he does not understand what was wrong.      Why is she so mad is what he is thinking?   The same thoughts I felt about the neighbor  downstairs.    I was just trying to have fun!   Do  I have to be in trouble, can’t we just talk about this?

Oh, the lessons in life are all around us if we just open our eyes.  I need to stop being cranky that I got tattled on and let go of the stress that put me ten feet backwards by receiving the complaint.  For goodness sake, I’m still tippy-toeing around up here and she probably is not even thinking about it.  Some days are just going to be hard but I have to keep learning the lessons and use this knowledge to keep planting and watering more seeds.

This is going to take a lot of grit and determination!

The little boy is now very strongly telling the truth that it is so not OK he had to go inside.   Oh, if we adults could just answer questions honestly like that, too.   When people ask us how we are the standard answer is, “fine thank you and yourself?”  So often I have answered in a happy cheery voice how great I was  when deep down I felt lousy.  A child would tell you, today stinks!!!   Maybe people respect honesty?

Ahhhhh what a great feeling!   WE DONT HAVE TO LIKE EVERYTHING EVERY DAY AND IT IS FINE TO ADMIT IT!   I can answer the question honestly and my world did not shatter around me.

I am now ready to go inside.  Oh how I hope I receive a call, text, email or facebook message.  Some days are good and some days stink and it is OK!

Those who really love me will not judge me for being honest!

In closing while I am being honest I thank you dear friends for taking the time to read this much longer post than I intended.   Like anything in life things take time and patience and while writing this seems like it took me forever I am thrilled to now know it is perfectly fine to honestly answer the question, “How Do You Like it?”
Editor’s Note:  Visit AFL member Donna Ryan at her website:  She says, “I have always thrived on inspiration. I love reading it everywhere I can find it. I am 56 and it has been a journey with many twists and turns. I invite all 50+ women to join me in discussions on this second chapter. Our road ahead is fun and exciting because these truly are the best days of our lives.”

I thrive on inspiration; I read it every day and I try to live and share it through my actions. Stepping out of our comfort zone can be very frightening. I have learned that I will never grow if I don’t face fear! I encourage all women to join me on this sometimes weird and scary adventure. Let’s discuss all sorts of things from makeup colors, to recipes, books, funny jokes and everything in between. We are on this journey together so let’s gather around and share our stories, dreams, and goals as well as happy and sad times too. You name it; we can do it! We are fifty something and these are the best days of our lives. No matter what the circumstances you are living you are only a keystroke away from friends that care! So join the circle of the 50plusstickingtogether friendship chain. Let’s keep learning, growing and inspiring each other together. It’s Never Too Late!!! Visit AFL member Donna Ryan at her website:

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