Wednesday Morning’s Circle of Friends

My Y Story: Paula Badders


Paula Badders Circle of FriendsPAULA BADDERS:

Stop by, Everyone is Welcome!

At the Y, we love hearing about our friendship groups that connect here. Today, we introduce the Merrimack Y’s Circle of Friends!

Y member and devoted member of this group Paula Badders loves her water aerobics classes on Wednesday mornings, and REALLY loves her time with friends after the class. “All of the Circle of Friends go for coffee unless they have an errand or something to attend to and a few other members of the aerobics class attend on a semi regular basis,” Because Lisa (Lisa Melanson, welcome center representative) listened to us, we now have coffee while we enjoy our meeting time. You can find the group at a table near the strength training area of the Wellness Center, on the lower level of the Merrimack YMCA. “

We’ve been a group for about 20 years. Originally we were part of the Red Hat Society, but we didn’t like wearing hats! We changed the name of our group to “Circle of Friends.”

Paula has been a Y member for about 15 years. “When Gold’s Gym in Merrimack filled in their swimming pool, we discovered the Y. A number came over as a group,” she shared. “Everyone is welcome to join us for coffee!  If someone walks by us we smile and wave. We pull them into the group.

“We talk about anything or everything. We support each other. One woman in the group has a husband going thru chemo. Because of our age (mostly women in their 70s and 70s)) we have things that we are dealing with that are age related. A lot of times if you see us laughing – which we usually are – we are laughing at our limitations of our age. The humor is a real tonic for all of us. We’re all in the same generation and we know what the other one speaks of, especially when we talk about the past. All of us are from New England and are New England born and bred. Five are retired teachers and we talk about our experience with kids. We share movies, books, and television shows. Sometimes I say: ‘would you listen to us? We sound like old ladies.’ We chuckle over that. It’s good for the soul!”

Paula added, “Y staff are wonderful. Lisa is wonderful. She knows our first names, we joke with her. Dick is wonderful, too. I imagine that this goes on with everyone who enters the Y. They are all wonderful.”

Janna (Johanna Vartanian, kids stop supervisor) visits with the group regularly. They meet just outside of the Kids Stop Room on the lower level. “Janna just added a bookshelf with adult and children’s books for everyone. We can bring a book, take a book.”

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