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The “Secret Sauce” to Building a Community

There is no doubt that it takes a village to raise children. Even with this deep seeded belief, I found it almost comical that I came to the epiphany that communities don’t “just happen.” YOU have to create YOUR village!

Spoiler Alert! It takes time and effort!

Well, duhhhhh.

Ack! Who has time!? Ugh! One more thing on my “TODO” list!

Realizing I had to dedicate time to build my village embarrasses me. Why has it taken me to long to figure out such a basic thing? Why wasn’t it so obvious?

Life “BK” (before kids) consisted of working and doing the activities I wanted to do. I failed to acknowledge these activities were forming my community. Time invested during these years was so effortless and pleasurable it seemed like these communities “just happened.” I took for granted how it built my community by participating in the things I liked to do. The difference was, I had plenty of time and energy to dedicate to my interests and nurture the relationships.

Then “The Lost Years” happened. This is the period of time after having a newborn until preschool. Sleep depravation can be so intense and the scheduling adjustments can be so dramatic, many of us are left exhausted and overwhelmed. Who can find the time to invest in building our village at that point? Much less remember if we showered that day?

Honestly, the easiest way to create the foundations for your village is to know your neighbors. By sheer proximity you will see these folks everywhere and the effort is minimal, just walk out your front door. If you don’t know the people nearby, take the time to know them! Luckily we live in one of the most amazing communities around! It doesn’t matter if you have kids or are single, young or old, new or original residents. We all make up the fabric that is “The Peaks.”

When I finally MADE the time to invest in my neighbors the most amazing thing happened! We shared our challenges, activities, and little tid-bits. Over time, conversations shifted from being “just” neighbors to true friendships.

I applaud my neighbors and friends who have invested the time and effort in creating our village. So many of them had the initiative to organize a holiday gathering, movie night, exercise class, or BBQ. They inspired me to DEDICATE time to building our community. I also want to thank “The Peaks” magazine for its efforts in connecting our neighborhood on a deeper level.

Whether you have already figured out how important it is to invest in our neighborhoods or it’s an “ah-ha” moment, let us not loose sight of the important of teaching our kids by example. Talk to them about the importance of investing in their village. That process of connecting is the “secret sauce” for building our communities.