My poor neighbor lady. I doubt if she sits and thinks,” I’ll sit here because I love talking to her!” I live alone and I talk to one person mainly if I talk to anyone at all as far as in person conversations. It’s a pretty quiet life here in my four walls.
Earlier in the year, I had met my next door neighbor, a sweet lady, not far from my age and single, and as time has passed, we have had our social distancing chats from our front porches. She has invited me in a few times and so for me; I chat away.
Lately, I have had a lot on my mind with my upcoming lease. The management has raised my rent thirty dollars after my first month here and my life insurance also went up to thirty dollars per month.
It scares the hell out of me because I barely made it this past year, but I did make it and most likely I will just eat less to make it this year. The problem lays then with the fact that apart from speaking to God about my worries, I have been talking about my worries to my neighbor.
When our conversations are over, I come back inside and kick myself because no one wants the burden of having to listen to other’s problems. We are all suffering in some form, especially this year.
I yell at myself, “Stop talking young lady. Just keep quiet and talk about the surface chat!” I have pondered on the idea of just being polite when I see her and go about my business and not be too friendly. It will save me and her sanity.
I realize it is out of no one to talk to that I so easily chat my head off. Why can’t I just be quiet and keep life to myself like most people do………………..
When I am the one who feels like I’m sharing too much (not saying something wrong, just being the only one talking), I find something to ask the person present that would be polite to ask. Perhaps asking her if she’s ever been faced a similar challenge and then really listening to her response and adding a few follow up questions will help. Also, ask her how she’s doing and then listen.
I offer this, because when I first moved into my apartment, I was in a very wounded state. So I basically stayed to myself all of the time. When I wasn’t working, I was sleeping or just doing household chores to my best ability. I wasn’t very healthy since I didn’t have health care at the time, either.
At work, I didn’t speak to many people at all, since I wasn’t allowed to sit with my team as their contractor. Where they sat, only employees were allowed to sit. So – we did most of our communications via instant messages or emails. For complicated things we’d talk on the phone or schedule and attend meetings.
Weeks and months would go by and I wouldn’t have said more than a few polite words to anyone in all of that time. All of my most complex communications were mental – or keyboarded.
After three years of this, I began to stutter. In my mind as much as my mouth. I could keyboard a word faster than I could say it. It got embarrassing when I would meet with old friends or even family for social reasons. I finally figured out that it was my lack of speaking causing the problem, but had no idea on how to remedy it.
One of my neighbors moved into an apartment near me during the summer, and he mentioned his mother would be moving into an apartment between us in Jan when it was vacant. I greeted her and introduced myself as her neighbor and we were nice and congenial with the moment. As time went by, she’d have different questions that her son couldn’t answer since he was still new-ish himself, and didn’t know (best stores to shop, fast foods, etc). We got to know each other a bit. Then, her younger son moved in above me, and we got a bit friendlier (all of us). Finally, her daughter moved in when the apartment on the other side of me opened up. I began calling them the tribe, and it was summer. The guys would grill foods, and we women would make salads and sides. I was providing some adult drinks from time to time, too.
I began to stop in at Mom’s apartment after work, and we’d talk for hours. One of us would do all the talking sometimes. We began to have dinners together, and coffee visits. We needed safe places to admit we felt neglected, or to vent when age was smiting us. She was retired after helping her husband through his cancer journey, and then losing him. She was living with her daughter before she moved next to me, and needed a place to grieve without feeling like she had to stop.
We both admitted – many times – that we were so glad to have each other to learn how to talk again. To share our hearts openly with someone who understood most of what we were saying. We shared chuckles as we’d help each other grope for a word we just had for a second – and patience for the search of that word.
I thank God for her each day, and I mean it when I tell her I love her. Even so, I’m pretty sure when either of us moves, the friendship might wane and just be detached but warm. It’s how life flows. We’re that different in our world views that it’s good that we give each other space, too. I really miss her with this self isolation these days.
I say all of that to point out that sometimes, just having someone come and unload is a blessing. If your neighbor isn’t avoiding you, accept her gift of just letting you talk. Thank her for being a good listener, and work on returning the favor of being a good listener for her as well. I’m sure she’s God’s answer to many of us who are praying for you. Enjoy the ideas of ways you can return the blessing when you think of the next visit.
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You really touched my heart. My neighbor drew me to her because of her being a stroke patient. At first I was all about how can I be of help or I am just beside you next door. Now we are at the point that I have purchased a stamp from her and I have copied a paper from her. We do talk about our budgets and how people don’t seem to care about us older folks but I know as of late, I have just been too much of a chatter. I will try to be quiet and ask her more about what you suggested. I used to be like that more until now I feel trapped because of too tight of budget. Hopefully, God will make a way for me. Thank you for your help. Hugs
It does help to talk things out, it helps make decisions, it helps to deal with things. If your neighbour is a good listener, it is fine. During this pandemic I had many phone calls where people just needed to talk, I listened and afterwards they thanked me for a good conversation and that they feel much better. I call it my listening therapy. I am happy to make people feel better and I just have to do something nice at home to pick myself up again. Listening to too many problems is tough for the listener too.
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She is a good listener but I need to listen also. It’s not all about me. You are a good person and I can believe that you would be a great person to call and have listen to. Hugs
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I wish I had someone other than Facebook to voice my concerns sometimes it helps especially if the other person might give some wise advise I’m chatty too just on Facebook so we are no different lonely for friendship one on one conversations with someone you can’t do like me and hide away in your house because you truely feel no one cares. I got Bob to take care of and myself . it’s very hard for us hopefully by the end of the month there will be another round of stimulus cks going out. I’m keeping you as always in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe the stimulus ck will help. I have extra meat etc in my freezer and I have a few other things too please don’t hesitate to get hold of me just pm me or I think my phone is available if it isn’t on messenger let me know. if ya don’t want me bringing things to your apt. we could make plans to meet somewhere , I don’t want you to go without ever that’s not good. Anytime I can help I will if it’s within my power. or will find someone that might help. what’s that place that you can go to the in Warsaw and the help with food and the trustee might help with utilities. our trustee is wonderful here when we need help yeah it’s a hassle filling out paperwork but he helped get our NIPSCO bill lowered plus helped us pay our water plus the NIPSCO bill that same month and told us to go to the neighborhood center in Plymouth to get help with food. they gave us 100.00 gift card for aldi as i couldnt have alot of what they were able to give yeah i had to fill out forms and give all my drs names etc so they could ck on things i said but that was fine with me, now its on record all they need to do is look up my name if we ever need help again.. please please if you ever need anything get hold of me i will try to do my best to help especially with food. God bless you my friend and keep you safe from harm
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Life is tough for both of us. It doesn’t seem fair after we did so much for others in our younger years. There is a place here to get food but they give out foods I can’t eat, such as donuts, high carb breads etc. It doesn’t do me any good to go if I can’t eat it. I will keep you in my mind as a last resort. As I said, we both suffer. Big hugs