Atlas Needed

Not long after I posted about spending part of Sunday hiding in the tub, I received a text from a dear friend: “Love you. I know the Sunday feeling that you talked about in your blog. Listening to “Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown while driving. She suggested in overwhelm ‘doing nothing’ is actually the best choice to reset.”

As I was about to get in the car to go the farm and take care of the horses. I did a quick podcast search on “Atlas of the Heart” and found a Super Soul Sunday two-part conversation between Rene and Oprah. As I drove each way and while I cleaned the stalls, I let the conversation flow through me.

Rene talk about how people have become untethered, adrift and lonely.  People are missing a sense of belonging through connection with the natural and spiritual world.  This portion of a larger conversation resonated within me like church bell ringing out on a cold morning. 

In early 2021, the second year of the pandemic, I realized how untethered I was.  My life of staying busy with cast of casual friends had provided a sense of connection that disappeared when the world went into quarantine. These “friendships” did not return.  It hurt. I thought a couple of them were real friends.  I tried dating apps before we knew the word COVID and ride out my contracts as they were an exercise in ghosting and frustration. 

I decided to move as very little was keeping my in the city. I wanted to be closer to family and the horses. My true friendships would endure the distance.  

Now I have been in my new town and job almost six months and old feelings and patterns are retuning. During a Friday night Facetime with my city friends, I told them that I feel discombobulated. I have family close by, but something is missing. I’m feeling unconnected. 

Rene says the port I seek is within me, but I don’t know. I’m looking for community and friendship. I am lonesome. I have been for awhile.

How does a woman just past her mid-50’s find her community of friends and casual friends? I’ve tried the usual suspects. I would love to hear how you found your community.

30 thoughts on “Atlas Needed

  1. Carrie Cannady says:

    Sarah, first, I honor your choice to move and create home for yourself when you did. It’s a courageous choice and maybe a first step toward coming home to yourself. That is my deepest hope for you. I encourage you to consider Brene Brown’s earlier book, “The Gift of Imperfection.” It is a powerful tool in so many ways. Over the years I have re-read and referred to it many times. I’ve even used it with clients. I hope you will give it some consideration. Brene’s website and podcasts are also filled with tools that you may also find useful…or not. The beauty of her work (and her research) is that you can take what resonated and leave the rest. Sending lots of love and best wishes as you navigate this important transition in your life. 🙏🏻💜

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sarah Davis says:

      Age doesn’t make it easier. I found more podcast, the current ones are on Spotify, and lots of writing in the web. I can borrow digital books and audio versions of her books from my library via the Libby app.

      I’ll keep writing on this. I’m seeing I am not the only one. Maybe we can support each other virtually.

      Peace friend

      Liked by 1 person

      • M. Lee Keena says:

        I have checked out the podcasts on Spotify. I will have to check out Libby.

        Yes, please keep writing about this. Sometimes I feel lost and alone but then I will read a post like yours and know that my feelings are not wrong. I would like that, we can definitely support each other virtually. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah Davis says:

        That is what I like about my snap circle if “friends” here. We seem to be of the same generation and have similar experiences. I’m her to share and learn from you.


  2. Wynne Leon says:

    I love that podcast between Brene and Oprah. Brene also has great podcasts on Spotify on her Unlocking Us title.

    And you ask such a great question, Sarah. The feeling of community is hard. I’ve felt that loneliness when I choose to become a single parent and it not only changed me but limited my opportunities to go out and do things.

    The thing that’s made the biggest difference to me is being intentional about the activities that restore me – like scheduling time with a friend with whom I can have meaningful conversation or even writing about the stories/topics that mean most to me on my blog and then feeling the community in the comments.

    As an outside observer, it seems like moving home was a big step towards where you need to be. Hope you find the next stone on the path soon, as I believe you will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarah Davis says:

      Thank you. I know that I am exactly where I need to be. Reading and listening to Brene helping me face the bigger picture. I think lots of their lonesome relates to my parents not being the people the used to be. Aging is a bitch.

      Thank you for sharing your story. I realize I need to intentionally in doing one thing each week to help me find/create community.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ZeroSpace says:

    There’s but it’s challenging. I owned and ran groups for a while, but it did not bear fruit because it takes a while to sift through strangers and find genuine connections. I met my partner and decided to shelve the effort to make friends for 6 months or a year into the future.
    I’m fairly introverted/asocial…. and what makes it challenging here in the pacific northwest is that many other people here are like that too. I think it can depend on where one lives.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. E.A. Wickham says:

    We moved during COVID too and it was hard at first. I’ve formed a few friendships including rekindling one from years past. I thought many of my friends would come to visit or stay in touch, but out of sight, out of mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Martha Kennedy says:

    I don’t know. I know that Covid changed our ways of relating to others. I experienced that today out at the Refuge with the dogs. A mom was there with her little boy and they didn’t want to come near because they were recovering from Covid. Bear and the little boy were disappointed. And then I thought, “Do we use Covid as an excuse to keep our distance from people we don’t know because we’re all weirdly paranoid at this point?” I decided NOT to dwell on that.

    I have two good acquaintances here in my little town. Almost but not quite friends, but it’s fine. We live near each other and rely on each other. During Covid we would sometimes meet in the alley for a chat or have a Covid tea party in one of our yards. It’s close enough to friendship. We’re also older than you, and that makes a difference, I think.

    I’m absurdly self-reliant. People like me — kind of and for a while. That has been the story of my life. I don’t know why, but it’s not B O. 😉 Still, I have some close friends and some lifetime friends, none of whom are nearby. I sometimes feel something is missing, but then I don’t. When I was your age, thanks to a dating app, the Evil X entered my life, a very expensive price to pay for momentary loneliness.

    My basic philosophy about life and others is that learning to be at home with one’s own self and interests is worth a lot because no matter what, no one lasts forever. It sounds cynical, but it’s still true. I have learned that the greatest gift life offers us is the chance to love someone and something. My best friend here is the San Luis Valley itself and the dogs with whom I wander in it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarah Davis says:

      In so many ways I feel like we are kindred spirits. I am very independent, and I have good friends and family, but sometimes I feel something is missing. I miss my yoga community and other acquaintances that I had. It will take time here. The other thing that is happening is the people that I most easily connect with live in the area around the farm and not near where I am during the work week.

      FYI- some people think dogs carry COVID or they use it as an excuse to avoid dogs

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alanna says:

    My close friendships have also changed as a result of Covid. New patterns have become the norm and I miss the old days. I also think part of the “somethings missing“ is from the state of the world crumbling in the background. It seems like we’re walking on unstable ground. That being said, I find solace from keeping busy with projects, and getting out and exercising. I recently rejoined my women’s choir and I enjoy my monthly writing group. Podcasts like the ones you’re listening to, the Moth and audiobooks also help. Be kind to yourself. It takes years to build community up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarah Davis says:

      Thank you Alanna. What is the Moth?

      I like that you are in a choir and a writing group. I working on finding my yoga community her. I have also found a Native Plants group that has meetings and events.


      • Alanna says:

        The Moth Radio Hour has true stories told by regular people live on stage. Many public radio stations carry the show but you can also find it in an App Store. The stories are always quite touching. Another podcast I highly recommend is Poetry Unbound ,a production of OnBeing, also worth a listen. This is hosted by Pádraig O’Tuama who reads poem and then unpacks it before your ears into something magical. Maybe 10 to 12 minutes long. I was going to ask, have you considered about teaching your own yoga classes in your own neighborhood?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ali Grimshaw says:

    I would love to set up a time to write with you on Zoom. I read a poem and we see what arrives in response. We do a quick 5 minute write then share with each other. It is all about authentic sharing, listening, reflecting and being in the moment. It is not about trying to write well. Just a free offer. If this speaks to you and you want to try something new let me know. Ask Carrie, I am not here to sell you anything.
    Loneliness sucks and there are many people in the world looking for connection. I have met some amazing souls through my writing circles all across the world.
    Take good care of your heart,

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Writer McWriterson says:

    I actually lost friends as a result of my awakening, as well as sifting through the dirt of who I was and what I’d been through. I was no longer able to connect with so many people in my life. I also left Facebook, which is a great method to meet people, so I don’t recommend it if you’re looking for your community. I only have four good female friends. Three of them live close. And two of them are experiencing difficult situations, and the primary way we can support each other is through texts and sending incredibly inappropriate TikToks. My blogging community has been a significant factor in getting me through the last two years. Online friendships are vastly underappreciated. Let me give you my personal phone number and we can text on a regular basis. Sure, I can’t meet you for coffee, but I can walk with you through a rocky patch and, of course, send you a highly inappropriate meme.

    I’m here, and it’s not just lip service.
    The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity. Leo Tolstoy.


    Liked by 2 people

  9. Eilene Lyon says:

    I can relate to the difficulty of finding a tribe of friends as we age (I’m 60). Some move away, others die, we drift apart due to differences. When my husband retired he joined the 50+ Seniors Outdoors group. Hikers, bikers, skiers, etc. Very fit people, in general. I’m developing friends from that, but have not found any that really “click”. I have also joined a writer’s organization and feel like a growing closeness is developing with some people, though we’ve mostly only met via Zoom. I did get to meet some in person recently and will be going to a conference in a couple weeks. Keeping fingers crossed. I wish you the best in finding what you need from a circle of friends.

    Liked by 2 people

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