I usually suggest doing new or unexpected things here on my Wild Wednesdays, but today it's a different kind of wild. And it's not something you can do overnight - it takes time and regularity.
It all came to me when I picked up my Vietnamese takeaway, which has become a kind of routine for me once a week after an intense swim squad and gym session. I almost always order the same food - although it does vary from time to time, and when I call to order they usually pick up that it's me and I can hear them smile as they take my order. They now know my name when I go in, and are friendly and engaging - much more than they were when I had first started in this routine. There are other places I go to quite routinely, gym, bank, bakery etc, and over time I have come to know the people in these places and it becomes kind of like family wherever I go. I know it's not quite the same, but it's great to have people who are warm and engaging and with whom you have some kind of history (even if it isn't always the most complex). And as I sit at diggies and order the breakfast they don't have on the menu anymore, but make it for me because they can, I guess I feel a part of something, a connection with the world around me; and it's nice, and I like it, and it warms me.
So as I walked out the door holding my rice paper rolls and combination vermicelli I felt kind of warm despite the chilled night air. And I thought maybe rather than encourage doing different things this week, I'd encourage some degree of regularity that helps connect you to your world. To find and develop people and places that you encounter regularly and create some kind of bond, however close you want it to be. Because life is about people, and there are all kinds of ways to connect with them, but mostly it takes time, and a little bit of effort, oh and a smile of course.