The people you meet…

As a civilisation, we have been getting less and less good at meeting our deep underlying needs. Our ancestors evolved to need a tribe. Back on the savannahs of Africa, if you were separated from the tribe you were anxious and distressed for a reason – you were probably about to die. We are the first humans ever who have actively tried to disband our tribes and it’s a key factor in why we are so depressed and anxious. ~ Johann Hari

This morning I was out on my usual bike ride to the beach. Hubby and I ride along, chatting and laughing. It’s the (second) best way to start the day 😉 We are very aware that this puts us squarely in the top 1% of luckiest people in the world. I mean, we’ve worked to get to the point we’re at, but we’ve also been damn lucky.

We’ve lived in the same beachside suburb for pretty much the past 20 years. We know a lot of people here but the suburb is booming at the moment (there are 12 new towers going up.) It’s just a bit shit if you ask me and I fear the parking situation will be unsustainable in a few years. Gah, don’t get me on the subject of development! Our mayor is a property developer and while he’s not as evil as some politicians who are property developers…he does appear to have a certain amount of disdain for the existing residents of our fair city, in favour of the buttloads of developers who want to cash in on our great lifestyle. The kicker is there will be no lifestyle once they’ve finished…

Anyway, I didn’t intend to rabbit on about development. I sat down to write about the way we sometimes just run into people, over and over. The same people cross our paths time and again. I’ve even had chance meetings with people I know while overseas. Synchronicity or just a thing that happened? I don’t know. I’d prefer to think of it as synchronicity.

So, this morning, as we rode along, I said to hubby “isn’t it funny how we sometimes run into the same people over and over, but don’t set eyes on our next door neighbors, ever?”

He agreed and we kept riding, only to run into an artist friend that I see everywhere! I’m at the supermarket and spy him at the register, or at a restaurant and he walks by…so we chatted this morning. Normally we say hi, and keep going, but today I wanted to chat. He’s had a rough year, he said, art things are good, life things, not so much. He’s moving overseas. It was a good chat and we were able to wish him well.

It’s interesting to note that his Instagram all this time has been unflinchingly positive and upbeat. We simply cannot judge a life by its social media shiny veneer.

100 metres further along the path we ran into a girl I worked with once. Again. I see her alllllll the time!!! Back then, 10 years ago, I’ll be honest and say we didn’t really gel. I had come from a really bad work situation with horrible bullying and when I started the new job, I was a bit of a head-case. She left after a few months because the place was toxic but I stayed on because I needed a toxic workplace – it fit with the poor opinion I had of myself. sigh. We chatted for a bit, just about life and kids and empty-nests.

I try to listen deeply to these people that I have 2-minute chats with because I really feel that every person who crosses our paths, even if just for 2 minutes has a message for us. And if the Universe keeps having us cross paths, the least we can do is stop and listen.meeting-people-quotes-548859


  1. Janet Mary Cobb

    I was just thinking yesterday and today about how I rarely see certain neighbors and barely know them. Was considering possibly doing some holiday baking to share with them….

    1. Christine Betts

      How lovely. I’ve always been one to really keep to myself when it comes to neighbors. I’ve always loved my privacy too much. When my son was little our house was the neighborhood hub. This could be good and bad. Mostly good but frustrating when people too advantage of my open door policy. It’s s fine line isn’t it.

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