It’s mid-November in Maryland. It’s chilly.
Would you swim outside in the cold? I think, metaphorically, some of us feel like that’s exactly what we’re doing— and it’s not comfortable.
We live across the street from a neighborhood pool that is traditionally open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. When the pool closes every Labor Day, I immediately long for the upcoming spring when families and kids liven up our street and community. I recall the days my daughters spent from morning to closing time at the pool just being kids.
Of course, this year, there’s a twist. A local elite swim club team needed a new place to practice in the early morning and late afternoon. The indoor swimming pool was obviously no longer an option. They chose our neighborhood pool and have been practicing every day since early spring. They will be there throughout the winter and into mid-2021 at least. Whether it’s a beautiful day or pounding rain, they are there.
So for most of this year, I wake up every morning at 5:30 a.m. to the sounds of cars driving down the street, doors opening, and swimmers saying hello to one another ahead of their swim practice.
I am convinced they will see me through this winter and into 2021. They encouraged me. I am so grateful for this community of swimmers. I don’t even know them, and yet I feel like I do.
I realize how they cue my day, morning, and afternoon. Right now, I need some cues to remind me what to do, when to show up, and when to turn off. Do you?
My neighborhood community is richer and more vibrant because they are here. Their sounds fill the neighborhood with laughter. Are you tuned into the sounds of your neighborhood or environment? Even the lawnmowers and leaf blowers sound good.
They are committed regardless of the weather and how they feel. Their parents fill their time on the grass playing with their other children, or they pull out their tailgating chairs and read a book, or talk in a socially-distanced circle. Have you taken the time to go outside even in chilly weather and read or walk or simply be?
They remind us that fortitude and grit are important, and practice makes perfect. It can feel like groundhog day as we progress through 2020. Can you find goodness in each day?
Our communities matter. We need people and people need us.
I may never know any of the children or parents who drive by my house each morning and afternoon. I do know this though:
They show up.
They dive in.
They cheer one another on.
They show up again and again and again.
They keep laughing.
They are a community of athletes, swimmers, friends, students, and families working their way through the day.
Back to community. Their community has enriched our neighborhood community and reminds us that consistency is good.
It’s been said, I can pretty much link anything back to LinkedIn. So, I thought I would share 7 activities so that you can encourage and inspire your LinkedIn community.
- Send 10 messages to people you know well and just say hello. Ask how they are, and mean it. No agenda.
- Recommend a colleague, a former colleague, a business friend/associate, someone’s kid (especially if they are looking for a job).
- Connect people who will find value in knowing one another.
- Create and share a post on tools or tips you’ve found valuable in 2020.
- If you hear about a job opening, share that with people that might be looking for a new position, or your entire network.
- Call someone or write them a note/card just to encourage them.
- Build and nurture a community you can serve.
There is no magic way to develop business and close business, especially this year. However, there is magic to be found within the communities we already know.
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