Chameleons are a specialized species of lizards. Many have the ability to change colors, giving them protection by blending in with their surroundings. Some folks are blessed with a similar skill, not changing colors, but assimilating, blending into their surroundings.
Wikipedia defines cultural assimilation as the process whereby a minority group gradually adapts to the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture and customs. That’s what I’m talking about. Think of immigrants, or missionaries, or in my case a southern, ultra Christian conservative, senior lady coming to California.
I’m not changing my spots. My principles remain intact. The changes are in the form of meeting lovely people with whom I have a great deal in common. It’s fun making new friends. As the ladies and I enjoyed coffee at Java we learned that some of us are retired teachers and some of us are passionate writers.
I’m enjoying the beach with my dog Nick. A benefit of beach time is a nice change in my color from a pasty white with brown spots to a lovely tan with brown spots. Nick is delighted that we walk 4-5 times a day. His nose is constantly discovering new smells. You can read about his new friends at https://meredithlbl.com/2012/07/31/the-characters-nick-meets/.
A happy change has been my diet. I eat much less meat, more fresh whole foods and smaller amounts. The results is a change in my size. This isn’t so easy on the budget because I shrunk 2 sizes and required all new clothes, even shoes! The health benefits are priceless. My blood sugar has stablized to a normal figure and I require less medication for my diabetes.
All in all I assimilate well.