I blew in really late to my small town chamber meeting. I was so late I knew it might be over by the time I arrived but I was excited to share something with the group. Let me back up a few steps. I reluctantly joined chamber over a year ago. Reluctantly because I’m not a meetings type of person (more on that in Part 2). It’s rare to find a meeting that accomplishes much and I don’t want to go to meetings just for the sake of attending a meeting. Another community member gently discussed Chamber with me. I think she sensed my fear of meetings. It took over a year of ever so slight comments for me to even consider it. My business isn’t a storefront so I wasn’t sure that I had a reason to be a member of Chamber yet here I was racing to get to the meeting so I could share something simple and lighthearted.
When I arrive the room feels somber. I’m not sure what I walked in on but I can tell it feels heavy. The discussion is about our only bank in town “temporarily closing” due to staffing issues at a nearby branch. There was little to no notice or communication so when people stopped by the bank they were greeted with a locked door and a sign describing the “temporary” closure. In my head as I write this I’m using air quotes over the word “temporary”. It reeks of writing on the wall. That it won’t be temporary at all.
The thing I was wanting to share with the group doesn’t feel so important now. It would be silly to raise my hand when asked about new discussion and tell them my plans to wave at everyone I see. Right…? Sounds crazy just writing this and now you can see why I just kept my hand down and didn’t talk about my new plan for myself and anyone who wanted to join me in being a bit more friendly.
I was driving with my son the other day through the small town of St. John, WA and every car we passed and every person walking on the street waved. I thought my son might know them but he said, “Nope, everyone does it”. His girlfriend concurred that everyone waves in St. John. A plan is forming in my head that I too shall wave at everyone. It sounds silly that one has to plan this but I wave at people I know well or recognize. I don’t willy-nilly wave at everyone. Although. Why. Not?
What if people think I’m weird? What if I wave at someone that doesn’t like me, or maybe someone I don’t like? The nerve! Or what if I just try it out and wave the month of May. What if I like it? What if the recipients of my wave like it? I’ll report back in part 2. The month of May is nearly complete and I’ve come to some conclusions about my “temporary waving” project. It’s feeling a bit permanent.