Finally, it’s starting to feel like spring here as I write my publisher letter on this first sunny, 70-degree day this season!! The weather this year has had me, my friends and my family counting the days/years until we can one day retire and live out our days somewhere warm. Becoming a snowbird sounds ideal, right? But the truth is there is so much more to a community than the amount of sun. Sure, sun is important for vitamin D, and of course, we know sunshine can lift our mood. But, there are many factors involved in finding the perfect community.
Personally, I have been incredibly blessed to have moved from NYC to Long Beach when my husband and I got married. It has been the perfect fit—not just the marriage ☺ but the community! And not just for me, but for my family as well (although Gambino, my rescue dog, is a little sad that he’s not allowed on the beach, even though he is very friendly, and his parents ALWAYS clean up after him!). But, other than Gambino’s limited beach access, this town has fit many of our needs. Good schools, check; good people, check; health-oriented, check—check out that boardwalk with all those fitness seekers! All in all, the town we chose to live in when we were in our 20s (originally because of its surfing community) has become an amazing community of good people striving for the best life has to offer, both personally and professionally.
My family and I have been very fortunate because communities are not always an instant fit. In some cases, we may, as with most relationships, have to put some energy into our community before it is ideal. What do I mean by energy? I mean if you aren’t in love with your community, then try to create one you do love. There are a million ways to do this. Join a community Facebook group to find people you connect with; go to city hall and ask if you can turn some ugly, unwanted land into a community garden; or how about starting a business that you think the community needs? Lately, this is where my heart has been leading me. I find myself wondering what I can offer the people of this incredible community—just what is it that’s needed? (Stay tuned over the next few months to learn what I have decided to do.) Let’s face it, the thought of joining a group or speaking to someone at city hall is daunting, and it’s definitely scary to start a business; but with a good plan in place, you can do anything you set your mind to, especially if the goal is an altruistic one, like the betterment of your community.
Another idea to create the community you desire is as simple as leading by example. Want your community to be more family based? It’s as simple as going to a park (or dog park) with your family; you will be surprised that small communities within your own community exist and are always looking for more “members.” Wishing your community had a focus on healthy families? Then how about taking the advice offered in our Fit Body section (see page XX) and begin taking family runs. Others will look out their windows and see you and your family running and you may inspire them to do the same.
Take advantage of these beautiful, sunshiny days to discover what it is you love about the community you live in—is it the neighbors, the shops, the schools? Perhaps you feel no love toward your community? In that case, instead of planting yourself in front of the boob tube and bingeing on Netflix and ice cream, it might be a good idea to get out there and create a community you WILL love.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!
Kelly Martinsen, Publisher