Melody Warnick wrote a book called, This Is Where You Belong. She has a great newsletter you should sign up for too!
The book is about loving the place you live in and action steps to help you if you don’t. I currently am struggling with feeling disconnected and not in the right place. I read Melody’s book awhile ago and recently recommended it to someone who was feeling displaced herself which then became a self reflection that I needed my own advice.
I asked some fellow writers how they feel about where they live since I am not really loving where I am currently.
“I have roots in this place…it is part of me.”
“I love where I live…where I live now is where I feel I am meant to be.”
Another said her family farm makes it feel like it is part of her DNA.
I do not feel this way about where I live even though my town is next the town I grew up in. That might be because I have moved too many times over the past 5 years. Or that I have only been in my house since last September. Or that I still cannot walk around in my house in the dark. Or that there are some memories of the area that torment me. I am glad my friends are rooted in their homes.
I am a woman of action, so I have pulled out Melody’s list to work through this issue and see if I can make a change.
To Become Rooted:
- Walk more – this I try to do as much as possible. The kids and I go for walks, we have walked downtown, and I walk and run on the local bike trail. The town does not lend itself to walking anywhere as a destination, at least from the house.
- Buy local – this we do. We shop at the stores that are near us. The grocery store closest to us does not have the freshest product so we had to do more of the shopping across town. The local farm markets are opening soon and we will buy veggies from them instead of planting our own garden this year. This is a future endeavor.
- Get to Know Neighbors – my husband is better than I am at this. We do know them, and they have helped us out.
- Do Fun Stuff – We have gone to the library, the local cafe and the used bookstore. We do need to explore some of the restaurants downtown.
- Explore nature – the bike trail..I need to research if there are more parks that I am not aware of.
- Volunteer – I have not done this.
- Eat local – we like our local pizza place but we have some more exploring to do. Once festivals start we can explore that way too.
- Become more political – this one I have more issue with. I am not sure how I feel about it honestly right now.
- Create something new – I am always writing but will have to reflect about what this means connected to my town.
- Stay local through hard times – it is hard to abandon the town now even though I will admit my husband and I talk about this often. I will have to stop myself.
So I was thinking, does this same list of 10 apply to schools? Can using this same list meant for living in a town provided the same feeling of rooted-ness in a school atmosphere.
- I can walk more and interact with teachers in the building especially ones I do not talk to as often.
- I can buy from fundraisers and the 8th grade t shirt and spirit wear. It shows a person plans to stay if they buy the clothing with the school name.
- I can get to know the people in the classrooms next to my space.
- DO FUN STUFF – this we do not do nearly as often as we should. I need to plan some FUN at school.
- Explore nature is pretty easy at my school – we have a 100 acre wood and trails!
- Volunteer – I need to volunteer more for sporting events next year.
- Eat school lunch? Hmmmm, maybe not. Break bread with co workers – much more doable. Maybe I should organize a carry in and then we hit #7 and #4.
- Become more political – same as above. I do believe this causes more problems than solves…
- I created Workshop Wednesday, Short Story Club, and Genius Hour.
- Stay when times get tough. No explanation needed here – it applies.