My maternal grandmother was a very social woman; and a woman who made things happen. Sometimes she would suggest I was like her; I don’t necessarily see that.
If one were to go by the color code of personalities she was a “red” with the possibility of a splash of “yellow” added in; both of which I am definitely not.
A brief description of a “red” personality is one who needs to look good technically (definitely her), be right (absolutely her) and be respected (yup, that was my grandma). “Reds” are also strong leaders and they love challenges. My grandmother was most definitely a “red”. I think the “yellow” showed up in her when it came to social connections. Grandma was a social person; however, when it came to social things, she was typically the one in charge; she was generally the one who initiated events to begin with.
I, on the other hand, based upon a legitimate test administered and assessed by a professional in the field, test out to be a mix of “white” and “blue”. A very brief description of the “white” personality is one who needs to be accepted and treated with kindness. “Whites” are logical, objective and tolerant of others. They are well balanced, sensible, cautious, and think carefully before acting. “White” personalities desire simplicity. They tend to be self-sufficient and a loner; the latter being something that can cause times of loneliness. The” blue” aspect of my personality is described as one who needs to have integrity and to be appreciated. “Blues” focus on quality, and create and value strong relationships. “Blues” relate to one on one communication. They tend to have a strong devotion to a cause or concept they believe in. As I read up on these personality types, I find I feel a real sense of validation as I see myself described therein.
This morning, in contemplating the sense of loneliness I feel, I found my thoughts leading back to my grandmother. (Grandma is now deceased having lived a little over 90 years). In her lifetime she was very involved in numerous organizations, many of them being church related. However, I was thinking specifically about a group she organized and named “The Tuesday Girls”. This was a club, of sorts, where a group of women she knew met weekly, on a Tuesday (hence the name), typically at her home. At these weekly meetings the women would participate in luncheons, craft activities, verbal book reviews, or simply good conversation.
At the time my grandmother was actively involved with this group, I lived in Tooele, Utah where I was actively involved in my local church, my home life, community events, and with awesome friends who were also my neighbors. I loved the town I lived in; I was happy with the community, and I liked the region in which I lived. At that time in my life I didn’t have a need to create a formal social group to me my social needs.
Now I find I’m a decade and a half older, living in a vastly different social environment, in a different part of the country. I find I am at a place where many of the things my grandmother did now make sense. I see much value in her organizing social groups, such as her “Tuesday Girls”.
I find I now contemplate attempting such a venture. And yet, in the next moment I realize I have very little faith such a venture would launch for me. I wonder if my grandma ever concerned herself with the possibility of failure. Somehow I find that hard to imagine—if she ever did it was never evident, at least not to me. Based on her nature, I’m more inclined to think failure was simply not a part of her vocabulary or thought process. If she decided something was going to happen, then “by golly” it was going to happen. Herein lies one clear example of how I am different from my grandmother.
According to Grandma, she started the group for the benefit of the other women. She saw a select number of women who were not included into the inner circles of the church organization. She determined there was a social need amongst them, so she started this group as a means to get these women together to meet their social needs. If Grandma saw me now she’d likely start up a group similar, so as to meet my social need.
Come to think of it, perhaps Grandma saw some of these things in me all along. In reality I have always tended to be less social. I’ve been comfortable with having only a few select friends, and I’m often comfortable with simply my own company. Despite this, over the years Grandma would advise me to get involved, to go on dates with my spouse, to have friends, to do this, to do that, etc. etc. I don’t know that I needed the advice so much then, but I find it interesting to hear her advice coming back to me now. It’s rather like she planted seeds that remained dormant for some time but now are beginning to spring forth about the time when, rather paradoxically, I seem to need them.
The challenge now is to figure out where to find the will and the drive to make something happen. I’d so much prefer to have my life and my circumstances conveniently laid out to fit my need rather than to have them so opposing to my need that to change circumstances requires me to be proactive.
I guess I’ll have to weigh out what I need most and determine how much of my personal comfort I’m willing to sacrifice. Sometimes, it would seem we are more comfortable in our misery than we are comfortable in making changes that go against our grain.
In the meantime I think I’ll heed my daughter’s suggestion to take a salsa dance class next term, offered through the community education program.
If there is one passion I do share with my grandmother, it’s a love for dancing. Thus, I think that’s a good place to start.