Friday, June 5, 2009



Birds of a feather flock together.

I'm a joiner.

One of the great pleasures in my life is to find like-minded folks to hang out with. Whatever I'm interested in, I like to find other people with whom to learn and share. Photography, writing, dog showing, quilting, homeschooling, and, most significantly, church, are all examples of groups I've had a kinship with. There are so many wonderful benefits from rubbing elbows with other individuals passionate about the same things you are.

In the last few months, it seems I've become 'unflocked.'

Like a pair of pants that are too loose or too tight, three specific groups I've been a part of for years no longer seem to fit me anymore. In some cases, I've changed. In others, the group has morphed.

The result is the same, however. I'm flying solo more often than not...and that's okay. I'm old enough (sigh) and experienced enough to realize God sometimes moves us from our cozy comfort spots into new areas. It's feeling a little like that for me. Each of these groups has been inspiring, encouraging, educational, motivating, uplifting, and just plain fun. This is simply a phase and a transition. This too shall pass. Some day soon I'll be volunteering to take on a roll that will consume me and be a benefit to others and I'll be right back in the middle of the flock. But, not today.

Kinda reminds me of root pruning. When a gardener decides to transplant a shrub, she often root prunes...that is, taking a shovel and cutting a circle around the plant along the line where she will eventually dig. The idea is to sever the plant from roots outside the circle and force the shrub to grow some new roots within the circle. A few months later, when the gardener actually digs up the plant, there will be more roots to make the move, insuring a better chance for survival.

While I don't feel lonely, exactly, I am intrigued by how other people are handling this. Some people that I thought were geninue friends, aren't. It seems I was a friend only while conveniently close or flying in formation. I gotta tell ya, I've bled a bit over this. The real, true friends have made themselves abundantly clear, too, and that's a comfort.

All this unflocking frees me up. Instead of pouring my efforts and energy into church programs (wonderful though they may be) or being an officer on the board of my writing group or evaluating curriculum with other homeschool moms, I'm going to spend time getting back to the basics. A direct relationship with God. A chance to write. An opportunity to work on my projects without committments to other people taking over my time.

It sounds selfish.

And it is to a certain extent.

So be it. I simply don't have the energy to change it at the moment. In fact, it may be that I'm supposed to be spending this time growing more roots inside the circle in preparation for something new on the horizon.

Kinda exciting, huh?

6 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Allie said...

Good post Deb [and perfect picture to go with it, btw]. I've never been a joiner, except online. Even when I was a member of a church, I wasn't comfortable in my groups. I can't seem to find any creative energy except in solitude.

I pray this is a time of refreshing and renewing for you, Deb!

Rhonda said...

The ebb and flow can be challenging. There is some stat that says we can only have about 6 relationships that are deeper than surface. Going with the prune theory you are getting ready for the next adventure. Praying that this time will be uplifting to your soul.

Sweet P said...

What a wonderful post. I'm in the same place right now. Only I'm finding it hard to unplug from a couple of groups. I've moved into a lurker position rather than being "out there".

I hope you will be happy wherever your current path takes you.

Joanne said...

excellent post and it made me contemplate changes I've experienced in the past few years. You are not alone in the "unflocking" (great title and pic). Wander a bit, learn a lot, and no doubt you'll find a new fit. Enjoy the journey

Your friend (yeah, I mean it)

Cozy in Texas said...

Good thoughts Deb. Sometimes it's difficult to put ourselves first. I find that as the years go by I'm more comfortable in my own company. I'm glad you are carving out a new space for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Deb, I found your blog through a post you left on GardenWeb. I loved your comments in this post and have felt somewhat like you did when you posted this. What a refreshing way to look at this, as God's way of helping you grow stronger and more abundant roots. There are a lot of things said throughout a person's life, words of wisdom filed away for use during some of "life's lessons". This is certainly one of those for me. Thank you.

You mentioned dog showing in this particular post. Do you show dogs and if so what breed? I raised and showed dogs for many years. Because of the demands of work and family, I no longer have my dogs. I miss them, especially those lovely puppies, but I DO NOT miss all the work that goes with caring for and showing dogs. I co-own the best of my younger dogs with good friends who still show, and the "old guys" stayed with me until their deaths.

Thanks again for the wonderful thought.....Judy