Do you live where you live?Jan 05, 2022
Do you actually live where you live?
Do you consider yourself someone just passing through this phase of your life or your town, or do you think you are too old, too busy, never home, too shy to actually connect in your community?
I get it. And let's add in the last 18 months as a hall pass to connection.
Covid has given us permission to hide. When masked it's even hard to share a smile with a stranger.
Or, you may be thinking it's embarrassing to ask the mail carrier her name when you've known her for five years. Or, does the grocery clerk even want me to engage him? The bus driver is always changing I'll never keep up with who is who.
Could all be true, but would you be game to challenge these thoughts?
I think living where you live is about awareness, paying attention, moving a tad slower, seeking out opportunities, making eye contact, noticing, connecting, and gratitude.
Start with baby steps if this feels uncomfortable.
I have brainstormed some ideas for you to connect,
even if you have lived in your town for 20 years.
I'd love to grow the list.
Share more ideas with me please!
- Go to the same person's line at the grocery and slowly get to know a little bit more about them. (Lynchburgers... Remember Mr. Gil Woo at Walmart... RIP)
- Introduce yourself to the postal clerk, barista, receptionist, bartender, sanitary worker, janitor in your building, new or old neighbor, the person in the pew behind you, a parent in the carpool line, the lady at the dry cleaner. Invite a neighbor to sit around your fire pit.
- Start a "new to town" supper club.
- Start a "mom's of teens" book club.
- Slow down long enough to make eye contact and wave at the person you are allowing in front of you at the exit ramp.
- Know the names of your town council, representatives, school board members, etc...
- Let the person behind you at the grocery go ahead of you. (This always wows folks!)
- Compliment a person's smile, child's behavior, nice parking job, friendly manner.
- Thank your local shop owners for adding to the fabric of your town.
- Invite a new colleague to the local high school play.
- Instead of looking away, drop some change in the Salvation Army's bucket or fireman's boot.
- Contribute to local organizations - fire stations, libraries, schools, community organizations and include a note of thanks.
- Take care of your yard, add flowers to your front porch, put a wreath on your apartment's door.
- Vote in local elections.
- Live where you live.
Happy belonging wherever you choose to belong.