1.27.2007

New in Town? Join the Y

by Jenny

We move to where the jobs are. We sometimes have to move away from family, and those who support us through times of trouble in our lives. Sometimes we don't speak the language of those around us. We are not always appreciated by our co-workers, bosses, or the clerk at the store. Sometimes we don't feel very safe in the neighborhoods we live in, or the weather is just too cold; both of which may keep us from wanting to go for a walk at night. This can lead to a sense of isolation. Isolation, and loneliness.....these feelings can lead us toward anxiety and depression, and a feeling of having little or no control of our lives.

Might I suggest joining your local YMCA?
Young man, there's no need to feel down. I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground. I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town There's no need to be unhappy. YMCA by The Village People
The first time you walk through the door at the Y, you may be embarrassed to ask for a financial aid form to fill out. Yet there is actually money out there so that nobody is turned away due to a lack of financial means. You may feel shy when you start a step aerobics class, and don't know any of the moves. Your child may feel scared starting the summer program while you work all day. What you find out after participating day after day, and year after year, is that there are many members who feel, and have felt just like you.

You come home after a rough day at work, and the first feeling you have is one of despair...of being lost in the world, and not knowing what to do with the kids. Did you know how much exercise, and just feeling like a part of the community can change that though? Family nights of swimming are free with a membership. Halloween parties are a good way for kids to meet others their age, and depending on where you live, may be safer than trick or treating.

We were not meant to walk through this world alone. We were meant to be very important parts of the community at large. After you have been a member for a while, you may notice that your Y has needs just like you do. They rely on volunteers who want to work with children's sports teams, teach classes, etc. Why not volunteer? In the end, the person who benefits most is you.