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WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME

I wonder as I wander...

My town’s 70,000 residents may not qualify us as the smallest. However, we hold the record as the densest town I’ve lived in. I’m not calling my neighbors names; close to 11,000 people live in each square mile. Why, then, am I surprised so many people here know my name?

Recently, after hardly seeing people besides where I met them, suddenly the degrees of separation between my acquaintances all but disappeared!  The number of overlapping circles of friends unsettled me at first. My usual habits formed a few life-long friendships, rather than large collections of great friends. I comfortably resided anonymously in any community.  After earning the honorable badge of “My Child’s Mom,” getting recognized by more people was unavoidable – even if they’re all kids.  I comforted myself upon realizing that my family established roots – something we missed.

I now appreciate seeing similar faces at various extra-curricular events around town.  I dig that while the kids enjoy their activities, sometimes the parents head to the local watering hole where everybody knows our names and how to serve one quick round and get us back in time for pick up. I’ve found the best networking happens spontaneously on the schoolyard or store parking lots.

Today, I experienced glowing examples of community support.  During coffee with a friend who shared her latest exciting business venture, she gifted me by offering her similar experiences and sentiments toward life experiences and as a bonus, when I told her about my latest passion she immediately introduced me to two more established women for guidance.  She also invited me to a support group for business moms for another strong network to back it up. Later, at another kids’ activity, I chatted with another parent and when mentioning my goals, he quickly told me of his friend who already exists at a level I am still researching.  He offered to ask my questions and gather information on upcoming conferences.

Reach out, reach out and help someone!

Bottom line, staying within the walls of our own lives happens so easily, especially when going through life transitions when you feel every moment should focus on “fixing” things. Make the effort to step outside your walls to see who calls your name.

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FUN FRIDAY: WORK FIELD TRIPS!

Field Trip Today!

Field Trips created the best school days – leaping outside the lines and learning by accident. At one job, we took a field trip to see their latest film at a public theatre – with popcorn!  I started another job when the taste of their outing to an exhibit, with lunch and an event Tshirt still lingered!

The Artist's Way speaks to creative souls!

I love Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” books, especially one heralding Artist’s Dates. She encourages weekly sightseeing trips into our towns. While hers implies a solitary effort, the goals remain the same:

1)    Top off your tank, tap into creativity – Exposing your self to surrounding energy opens you to great gifts and experience to draw on.

2)    Catch a new buzz –Even textbook business strategy involves creativity applying it to your product. Leave the stale boardroom and breathe the benefit of fresh air. Exist for a while in the heart of your target audience.

3)    People that play together, work well together – Employers take note, a small gesture of a few free “stolen” workday hours treats employees in a huge way! I don’t mean leaving early, as most people return home to more “work.”

Coffee Shop Conference Room

I took a field trip to step away from lists, hear different conversations, lose myself in a latte and melted brie, and not wash dishes afterwards. My perspective shifted within 10 feet from the door.

A woman talked to the barista – whom she knew.  When he stepped away, she said hello to me and offered me the messenger bag on her shoulder to carry my laptop.  I gratefully declined explaining my month-long home purge. She commiserated with me saying that in her van, things get crowded for her and her bed, which she shares with her dog.  I chuckled saying no matter the size of our containers, we fill them.  The man returned with her ice bucket, she bid me a good evening and left.  As I ordered, I bought a gift card for the man to save for her next visit.  Rather than assume whether she needs help or not, I hope she, too, may treat herself to a meal, frothy drink and someone else to clean up.

Share your favorite field trips!

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