A couple of months ago, I moved into my new house in Wichita, Kansas. I was eager and excited to explore this neighborhood. I was eager and excited to walk my dog throughout its streets. I was eager and excited to meet my neighbors. I was eager and excited to be a good neighbor… but… after I got settled first.
*two months later*
When I finally felt settled, when I finally felt like I had some time, I decided to go and connect with my neighbors. Once I made this choice, my mind instantly filled with little thoughts of hesitation and doubt like: “What if it has been too long for me to be considered a ‘new neighbor’?” or “What if I go and meet them and I go at a bad time?” or “What if it’s so awkward??”
Perhaps these thoughts are unique to me, but I’d like to think I am not alone in them. I realized that what I really needed was “an excuse” or “a reason” to go and meet my neighbors. So I found one! It was Labor Day!
I figured that I could write little notes to my neighbors introducing myself and wishing them a happy Labor day. It was simple, it was low-risk… I COULD DO THIS!
I only had five notes, so after writing a couple of sentences on each, I went to my five nearest neighbors. Much to my surprise, four out of five neighbors were home! Some conversations were brief, some were longer, but all were meaningful because I got to know my neighbors and my neighbors got to know me. Even in this short neighboring moment, I already felt more connected to my neighbors and my new neighborhood.
If you are like me and often think, “I wish I had an excuse or a reason to go and talk to my neighbor,” then go find one! Maybe it’s about an event happening in your neighborhood or your town, maybe it’s a public holiday like Labor Day, or maybe it’s even a goofy holiday like “national nacho day” or “national dog day,” there are loads of reasons and excuses to go connect with your neighbor!
And as I was reflecting on this neighboring experience, I realized the truth that we don’t really need an excuse or a reason to go neighbor. Getting to know our neighbors is reason enough. However, some of us might need a small reason or a little excuse to get up and go walk to our neighbor’s front door. With that being said, next week is national white chocolate day if you want to drop off a gift to your neighbors!