None of us is content to have “the passive neighbour”, as we are all affected by the things that go on in the neighborhood and among those with whom we live. Let’s explore the tendency to pay casual attention only during the holidays, while going about one’s business unconcerned and unaffected the rest of the year. As a licensed and certified massage therapist who also works from home, I am affected on both sides of the scenarios. Neighborly relationships should matter all year, not just on holidays. One neighbor just might be called upon in a life-and-death scenario and if we have all been paying attention, we will answer this call 송파스웨디시.
Holiday seasons are some of the loneliest, most depressing times across the world. This has been my experience and observation of those I have lived among. As the season changes to the fall, it’s almost as if the Universe and our bodies prepare for a long, expensive, debt-ridden, dismal, boring and aggravating portion of the year; which brings with it the grey gloom and early darkness and the feeling that as soon as possible after work you should be wearing your pajamas and hugging a pillow and the remote. “Strangers” start wishing you all kinds of things and giving “friendly” invitations to their parties (but never to network); whereas other times of year, they don’t even answer when you say hello. They look the other way and pretend not to hear. Business is slow and so I have more time on my hands. So I observe people more closely… LOL
In the Spring and Summer months, you can walk about, go to the parks, the malls, bookstores, coffee shops, etc., and smile at people genuinely… or ignore people genuinely (with no one taking offense), or simply sit amongst them and listen to the buzz and not feel obligated to speak, while still feeling “part of” the aesthetics of that area. Not so the rest of the year. Everyone and their grandmother are out and about spending money they don’t have (our culture is known for spending a dime while earning a nickel… ) and wishing everyone all kinds of holiday greetings. They don’t care whether you celebrate holidays or not. Most people will be offended and think one’s rude for not wishing the greetings back, and it doesn’t matter whether you mean it or not, just as long as you “play along”.
There are many who have received, and will yet receive invitations from “people they don’t know”… people who don’t, and probably won’t, speak the rest of the year… They are buying you presents, expecting presents, and/or are acting especially friendly “in the spirit of the holidays”, but have ignored you as you come and go all year… until now. If you live in a small town, then some of this might not make sense to you. Everyone usually knows everyone else and is somehow connected, so it’s not strange to get or give invitations to things. However, when you live in the cities with their large apartment and condo complexes, and where most people mind their daily businesses practically oblivious to the person next door or across the hall, you understand how strange the “spirit” can be. Even networking opportunities are difficult to find within these communities and it’s weird because everyone needs a “sample” back or shoulder rub as soon as you say you are a massage therapist… i.e. until they learn that you work from home, then things get really weird.
I have a neighbor who has this little dog… well in my community there are probably more pets than people but that’s not the point… This woman walks the dog a few times a day as she appears to be retired. I just always seem to be heading out my door or coming in just as she’s coming in or going out with the dog or we pass each other at the park. I say hello, but never get a response. Sometimes I chuckle to myself as I come upon her and see her try to busy herself with the dog or turn to look at the sky or anything, just so she doesn’t look at me… the last time she looked at me I smiled and said how are you today and that was “uncomfortable” as she swooped down and pet her dog and said nice things to it… It’s people like this that offer you a pie at holiday time! The woman whose door is immediately in front of mine seems to watch me through the peephole. If she’s walking her dog in and sees me coming, she either hurries in or stops a ways away to “watch the sky,” waiting for me to get in ahead of her. If we happen to open our doors to leave at the same time, she goes back in and waits for me to go down the stairs. At first it was weird, but now I ignore her or occasionally it’s funny in my mind. The woman who walks this neighbor’s dog for her during the days does the same thing… well, she’ll respond when I say hello, but if I follow-up with a “how are you doing today?”, then she turns and begins addressing the dog instead of responding to that… no further conversation is necessary, I guess.
I have greeted a few in the community who knew me by name and that I am a massage therapist (yes your neighbours do talk about you); which is even weirder than the prior experiences because they have never stopped to introduce themselves. I’m so surprised that they call me by name and stuff that the moment passes before I can shake hands and ask their names… A lot of people have lived here for years and some even have keys to other people’s apartments. Actually, I had the locks changed when I moved in because I kept coming home and wondering whether someone had been here snooping. These are the people who will probably be having the home parties during the holidays and will want to invite me… to play along. All of this is o.k., as long as it’s o.k. for me to simply smile and say thanks (good manners) and make mental note to approach after “the spirit of the holidays” has passed. I do realize people take strong offense and might not be cordial after I have politely declined a holiday invitation. Neighbours don’t have to be friends, but casual and cordial conversations should be the norm, not just for a season. Since I work from home from time to time, it would be nice to get to know my neighbors, because of the need for security in the kind of work that I do. I look out for them and they look out for me… and we both benefit professionally and socially…