You know how I sometimes refer to myself as a reformed perfectionist? This is one of those times.
Because the perfectionist in me can’t believe that I “caught up” on my 31 Days posts just to let two days lapse. Especially when I have the projects already planned out. But the reformed part of me says, Hey, it’s life. It’s messy and imperfect and spontaneous and fun and you just have to go with it and not stress yourself out by self-imposed deadlines.
Saturday, I just forgot. I completely forgot. We had soccer and shopping and prepping for a party (see below) and running errands with BB and hanging out with my little family after the craziness of last weekend, and it just slipped my mind.
Then today, we hosted the party, so my project time was spent hanging streamers and balloons and making food and moving tables and chairs out into the front yard. (And I didn’t even take pictures, but just imagine white tablecloths with lots of yellow and orange and pumpkins and burlap and fall-colored mums – it was cute.)
See, our little town hosts a Neighbors’ Night Out in October. One of the goals, in addition to just getting to know your neighbors, is to help college students connect with residents that live near them. This is a college town, and our street is probably 50 percent rentals to college students, so it’s great to be able to get to know them a little. I think back to my college days, and some of my favorite memories were connecting with people who lived in that little college town in Middle Tennessee, to those who invited us over for a home-cooked meal and good conversation around the table.
So tonight, we hosted. Most of the people who came weren’t students but were families like ours. We shared appetizers and stories and a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to get to know one another a little bit more.
But there were a few students who came. Three guys from the university’s baseball team ventured out to connect with us (and brought cookies). One of the pre-med guys next door stopped by. Three students went by on bikes, stopped, biked back, stopped at the “Neighbors’ Night Out” sign, talked a bit, and then asked if they could join us. Of course! I was impressed with their willingness to step out and for the willingness of our group to embrace them.
And just to add to the fun of the night, we had visits from two sets of police officers and the mayor, AND our party was one of the winners of a visit from the Double Decker Bus (we love the “double bus”)! The kids were thrilled. We got to ride around the block with the top deck to ourselves. It was a blast!
And honestly, I can’t think of a better way to add color to your life than opening your home (or yard) to connect with new people. Life is made richer by relationships, and just knowing the names of the people who do life near you makes me feel a little richer, too.