How to Make Your New Surroundings Feel Like Home


(Photo courtesy Rich Tortorigi)


At various times in our lives, we are called to find a new place to call “home”. Whether downsizing from a large to a smaller house; embarking on a cross-country move required for work purposes, or fulfilling your dream to explore another part of the world, there is no question that moving can be scary. The way to counter that fear of the unknown is to take action.
There was a time when the city of Rome was surrounded by enemies, and the only way it could survive was by taking the offensive. The Roman army grew from an unpaid citizen’s militia to the world’s most powerful professional institution. Rome was victorious because the Roman soldiers were relentless, tenacious and courageous in making the first move. They used innovative techniques as they expanded their territories and incorporated what they learned from other cultures.
You too need to be relentless, tenacious, and courageous about taking this new challenge into your own hands. Feeling “lost “after moving into a new home is quite normal. Your surroundings are unfamiliar and you don’t know your new neighbors—yet. Take the offensive. Don’t wait for someone to show up at your door and ask to be your new best friend. Fill up your time planner with the people, places, and events that can be found where you are now. Throw yourself a housewarming party. Learn what community events will be held in your new town will be doing this summer and incorporate some of the local flavor (restaurants, stores, activities) into your weekly time planner.
Of course even when you have followed these suggestions to a tee, there will still be moments of loneliness that seep in when you least expect it. That is called LIFE, which, like an ancient Roman mosaic, is not perfect when examined too closely, but still a breathtaking masterpiece when taken as a whole. You are evolving into what you are meant to become: a confident, self-sufficient woman, who is capable of both letting go and embracing new turf. You are being called to let go of the pain associated with the loss of having had your loved ones all under one roof, and embrace a new cast of characters who will eventually fill your heart with joy and happiness, even if they don’t share the same last name.
On a day to day basis, pick 2-3 of the following exercises and see them through for six weeks. Before you know it you will notice a more permanent change and a place to truly call your home!
• Join a local place of worship in your new neighborhood and get involved with their activities.
• Invite a few of your new condo neighbors for a pot luck house-warming party at your home
• Bake a batch of biscotti, put on the machinetta and invite your sons over to help you enjoy your new home and munch on a homemade goodie.
• Get a dog and walk through the streets of your condo complex. Fellow dog walkers love to stop and share conversations about their pups and yours.
• Have a 20 minute telephone conversation each day to stay in touch with family members who live farther away.
• Buy a great bottle of wine and invite some friends from your old neighborhood to help you pair it with just the right cheese when you invite them over for movie night in your new place.

These are just a few suggestions; you will no doubt come up with many more but you must resist the urge to let self-pity lead to inertia. We all battle loneliness and often it is a result of moving residences so you are not alone. The solution to feeling lost in new surroundings lies in summoning up the courage to take consistent action to bringing into your life all of the elements that will soon become familiar. Like the Roman soldiers, you too, can be victorious in conquering new territory.


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