Make New Friends, Keep The Old—Those Are Silver and Gold
When we lived in Western Springs, Illinois, we were on top of the world. We lived in a really cute Maybery-like community and our 1892, yellow farmhouse—complete with a front porch swing—was beautiful (Pete and I kept it alive like it was our baby), the kids loved their friends and their schools, and Pete and I had solid friendships that we still revere as our close friends today. It was a place where we created cherished memories for us and the kids. Life was really good, and we had no intention of changing.
Ha! Good one!
We are not ultimately in control of our lives, are we? Allah, Buddha, God, the universe— whatever your belief—that is where the control resides. Because of that, our lives took a turn down a path that wasn’t part of our proverbial “game plan”. And that’s OK, because I can usually make anything work. I like change and think I handle it pretty well.
Here’s Why I Handle Change Well
Edna, my mom, moved me all over when I was young. Change was what I knew and it became my standard. For that, I am thankful. To look at my life from the outside, one may think it wasn’t the right thing to do by moving so much, making a young child change schools every year (sometimes twice in a year). What Edna did was risky for a kid. The outcome could have been disastrous had I not been able to find my way and find my groove in life. But as it was, I think I turned out OK. I guess that is up to anyone’s opinion—ha!
Here’s a Great Example of How I Make Change Work
In January of 2007, the executive producer of CNBC’s show, Fast Money, invited Pete to be part of their team as a contributor five days a week. I had no idea how serious the producer was and what was really being offered to Pete, until later. As I later learned, it meant he either had to fly to New York on Monday and come home on Friday, or we had to move there. It really could’ve gone either way because Pete never made a big deal out of this opportunity.
Here’s Why He Didn’t Make it a Big Deal
Pete is an incredibly humble human being. He absolutely never takes credit for any of the greatness that he creates. He is very talented in many areas, but he would never tell anyone nor admit to it. So, I am here to tell you for him: He is amazing!
Back to the Example
So Pete got this call from Mary, the then-producer. I found out a few days later, when he nonchalantly said, “Oh hey, I’ve been asked to join a show on CNBC. Not sure if I want to take it or not.” My eyes sorta bugged-out and I replied with, “Huh? What are you talking about? This is the first I’ve heard of anything like this.”
I am a take-over kind of girl so I needed all details, very specific ones. This was a big deal. I immediately saw the potential and said, “Let’s do it.” Pete is far more conservative (not referring to politics here) than I am. I like to think that I can jump off a cliff and I’ll grow wings to fly. Conversely, he thinks he has cement feet. So we’re a good balance for one another.
Remember? We Were Never Leaving Western Springs?
Yep, we moved to New Canaan, Connecticut. Moving was not my first rodeo: packing boxes, loading up a U-Haul®, unpacking, and setting up an entire new home was so familiar to me.
According to local newspapers, magazines statistics, and observations, New Canaan is arguably the first or second most affluent town in Connecticut. I saw it as a complete joke, but there were/are many who will flaunt this measurement as if it is what makes them worthy. This is where our daughter, Lex, had an issue; she hates that kind of stuff. She would deliberately go to Walmart® to pick out her jeans, bathing suits, and snow boots just so they wouldn’t have a brand name like many of the other girls her age. She was, and is still, adamant about not defining herself by that kind of stuff, and we are proud that she has chosen a less flashy way to represent herself.
The proximity to New York City was awesome. We were about an hour drive to the outer edge of the heart of where Pete filmed Fast Money—at the NASDAQ in Times Square—so the kids and I would make it a point to go watch the show live and then have dinner with Pete in Manhattan as often as we could.
We lived in New Canaan for seven years and I loved it. It’s a beautiful town nestled in a beautiful part of the world. I’ve never seen such vibrant fall colors as I did in that quaint town. The tree-lined streets and parkways are gorgeous starting in mid-September. I would drive just to experience the beauty. The glowing gold, amber, ruby red, and bright orange colors made me feel like I was in a dream. If they could speak, they would have sounded like a Kardashian, “Look at me! Look at me!”
I Loved it...and I Don’t Miss It
You may think my not missing New Canaan is girlfriend related, but honestly it’s many other things. A big reason is because of those trees that I once loved. Remember how I told you how beautiful they are in the fall? I wasn’t kidding. They are gorgeous. But the downside is that I’m claustrophobic. With my Lyme disease, the claustrophobia has increased. Who would have known?
I didn’t realize this until I went back to visit a couple of times. Those trees are everywhere and they hang down in enough places that it becomes too closed-in for me. As I think back to the seven years that we lived there, I realize that I never once saw a sunrise or a sunset on the horizon; that’s important to me. I also rarely saw the moon for any length of time. Is it the California girl in me who grew up with big, open skies? Is it the Minnesota girl who now lives in a place where I see both a sunrise and sunset every day? Or is it the (new) Florida beach girl who plans her day around watching the sunset from the sand, wakes up in the middle of the night to watch the Gulf devour the moon, and who can’t wait to fly out of bed to watch the sun rays hit the water and reflect back onto her face. I think it’s all of that.
How These Moves Parallel My Girlfriendships®
Our life in Illinois and then Connecticut is kinda how I’ve always chosen my friends: not one group in particular, but individuals from many groups who make up my own big group. That’s typically how I roll. I’m not much for cliques. I’m just not a person who is part of one group of friends.
For two years, we kept our home in Western Springs after we moved to New Canaan. I would go back every three or four months to pack up that old yellow farmhouse, knowing we would sell it at some point. When I would come back into town, I would let my friends know and they would come over to help me pack. Some would come at the same time. Most of them were not friends with each other, but when I came into town, they all knew each other because of me. I was the glue that bonded them. Once I was gone, they didn’t see one another.
New Canaan was different. Once I moved away, so did my girlfriendships®. I only talk with a couple of those friends to this day.
The Lesson. There’s always a Lesson.
Friends come and go, just like the sun and moon rises and sets...just like beloved neighborhoods and new surroundings. Some look the same all the time and some change every day. I like to find friends in many different places. Moving from place to place has afforded me the opportunity to meet many girlfriends in my life. I like being that glue that bonds many of them together. Yes, I like making new friends, but I very much love my old ones too.
Staying in one place or gravitating to change. Do what works for you. But whatever you choose, find the silver and the gold.
I love that you were with me today. See you next week!
Loopie A.K.A Lisa