Dear diary…

8 March 2016

 

K.I.S.S.  I love this acronym.

 

I feel like it could have been created especially for me. Keep It Simple Susan. It’s a great rule to live by. And a rule that I will most definitely use for planning my Neighbours Day activity from here forward.

 

If you read my last diary entry you will know that I had stalled in my progress organising anything. Through one thing, or another, my confidence that I could help pull together an event had all but vanished.

 

I love people. I love the idea of community. I love the idea of supporting others. I love the idea of sharing of yourself to make another person’s burdens lessen, even for just a moment.

 

And yet I am extremely shy and when I feel stressed, withdraw into the four walls of my house.  Needless to say I have been feeling stressed recently, so into my woman cave I have gone to hide.

 

When I first thought of and initiated the process of organising a Neighbours Day activity, I was feeling confident and so very hopeful.

 

Yes! That job that I want is going to materialise quickly. Yes! I won’t be under financial pressure for very long. Yes! I can organise a gathering standing on my head.

 

Over the weeks of applying for jobs, fiendishly watching my budget and dealing with the job rejection phone calls, my resilience started to wane.

 

But it is for these very reasons that I realise I need to continue with the Neighbours Day Aotearoa gathering. This is when I need to reach out to others. This becomes a selfish act of the highest order.

 

After speaking with others in the last couple of weeks about my concerns and fears, I’ve been given so much inspiration.

 

One particular point was to see this event as only the very beginning of creating community.  A little spark that will, I hope, set in motion a number of meaningful (and some not so meaningful!) opportunities to simply get to know others a little better.

 

Yes, I want to encourage garden produce and loved-good swaps amongst our little street community.

 

But before that, for this Neighbours Day, an informal afternoon tea with no expectations other than coming together, is the very first step.

 

If it’s fine the Gardner Gathering will be held on my lawn, under the trees in the front of our house. We will share food. Maybe encourage a story or two of how we ended up in Gardner Ave. Swap phone numbers with those who wish to.

 

And simply (yes, that word again) have fun. This will, I hope, be the beginning of quality interactions which will lead to more events in the future which are initiated and led by others on my street.

 

I am looking forward to hand-delivering Neighbours Day invites to a small number of my closest neighbours in the next few days:  “The Gardner Gathering. You are invited to come for afternoon tea under the trees.”  What could be simpler than that?

 

I found this quote and think it sums up my approach to Neighbours Day Aotearoa this year:

 

When we establish human connections within the context of shared
experience we create community wherever we go. ― 
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

 

Two weeks to go!

– Susan

 

p.s.  Have you signed-up to take part on 19-20 March?  

Don’t forget, when you sign-up to take part, you’ll be putting your neighbourhood on the map for the Most Neighbourly City and Town awards.

 

Missed the previous diary entry?  Catch-up on Susan’s week 3 entry.