“Develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” — Brian Tracy
By Lisa Ryan
On a very snowy day, I decided to drive to a meeting that I should have begged off due to the weather conditions. However, the sun was shining, and I figured that snowplows would have had plenty of time to do their magic. The fact that I had to back up out of the garage quickly to make sure I made it through the snow to get to the street was my first mistake. After all, I never considered having to get back INTO the garage.
Unfortunately, I live on a cul-de-sac, and we are never first priority when it comes to snow removal in our neighborhood. The snow was about a foot-and-a-half deep, and sure enough as I pulled up in front of my house, I got stuck in the street. I was cold, mad, and very frustrated. I made a feeble attempt to run the snow blower, but was unsuccessful. (My husband makes it look much easier than it actually is.)
The first good news is that my neighbor and her son came over to shovel me out of the street. Then, another neighbor who lived across the street brought over his deluxe, super-duper, high-powered snow blower and cleared my entire driveway. The thing is, I had never officially met this second neighbor. He did not know me, and yet he was there to help. It made me realize how grateful I am for the neighborhood that Scott and I call home.
In today’s fast-paced society, we work all day, come home at night, and work or veg in front of the TV, and then go to bed. We don’t spend a lot of time outside unless there is yard work to be done, leaving us few opportunities to get to know our neighbors. In many cases, unless you have dogs or children, or have lived in your neighborhood for a long time, there’s a good chance that you don’t know your neighbors very well, if at all.
Good neighbors are priceless. Not only are they the ones to have the spare key to give you when you lock yourself out of the house, they may be the ones that can provide you with the one egg that you need for the recipe you’re in the middle of making. More than that, neighbors that know each other watch out for each other, making the neighborhood a safer place to live.
What can you do to get to know your neighbors? When somebody new moves in, why not put together a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” basket? This can be as simple as homemade brownies or cookies along with some menus from your favorite take-out restaurants. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, it’s the gesture that counts. For neighbors that you wave to or those you know well, a game night might be a fun way to get to know each other. Another idea is to have a progressive dinner party. You’ll have appetizers at one house, dinner at the next, and dessert somewhere else. Rotate the courses to give everybody the opportunity to participate in another part of the meal. Your efforts will pay off in fun times and new friendships.
Take the time today to appreciate your neighborhood and see what you can do to make it an even better place to live. What are your three favorite things about where you live?
I’m grateful for:
Employee engagement expert and motivational speaker Lisa Ryan works with organizations to help them keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. For more information, she can be reached at (216) 225-8027 and her Grategy website.