This is the conclusion of my “temporary waving project”. A 30-day challenge to wave at everyone I see in my small town. Did my attempt to wave at everyone I see in my small town move mountains? Nope, I noticed no mountains moved. Did it change something inside for me? Yes, I think it did and it goes back directly to the notion that you notice what you focus on. I do in fact think people are waving more. Does it have anything to do with me? It is rather unlikely but if it did that’s cool too.
Here are things I noticed about my challenge. There were days it seemed as if I waved and waved and nobody noticed. It felt awkward the first few days. There are so many different ways to wave and I feel like I tried them all! There were days I was on my wave game and everyone waved back. There were days I ran all my errands and forgot to wave. This was an experiment to be more aware and interject the friendliness I look forward to while living in a small town. Harrington may not be known for the town that waves (yet) but in my part of the world it does feel friendlier.
It is easy to live in these small towns as years pass by and have them be what they are with little change, the good and the bad. The good is definitely filled with kindness, donations that allow a small business to treat 100 people to “Free Hot Chocolates” in a pay it forward blessing. Gift tags from the tree of sharing that are plucked up by people eager to shop, wrap and deliver gifts to those in our community that could use a little help during the holidays. Christmas lights are hung by people that do more than their share of volunteer projects for the year. There are people in small towns that notice the weather is going to blow Baby Jesus right out of the manger so they sneak him home for a warm night and an evening of touch ups from their spouse who just happens to be artistic and can brighten up the babes face with a fresh coat of paint. The bad… well there can be a little of that too but I’m not going to focus on that. I don’t want to live in a naive world but my mental health requires me to focus on the good and for now I will continue to wave at everyone. It’s feeling like a permanent change.