Remember how I started a nest lab a couple of weeks ago where I decided to try to pay more attention to creating better hellos and goodbyes? As promised, today I'm here to report back on my experience--think of it as a lab report on the experiment, I guess.
As usual I started all gung ho about this idea, then lapsed a bit about a week in, then remembered and rallied to the finish line (note: this pattern pervades my life. Sigh.) I have to admit it initially made me feel like a cross between the family dog and Donna Reed sometimes, dashing to the door when anyone came home. But then I embraced it and found my own variation on it (a little less dash, a little more casual enthusiasm) and realized that it felt great to regularly connect in such a concrete way with the people I love.
I asked the home crew about their take on the last couple of weeks worth of hellos and byes. Maddy admits she read the first post so she knew what was going on but she says she noticed a difference and liked it. G gave the experiment two thumbs up, too. And, though I didn't explicitly recruit their participation in this lab, I noticed a bit more enthusiasm from them when I left the house, too.
What it did, really, was deliver a good reminder to stop what I'm doing, look each of my people in the eye, and really notice them several times a day. (So basically another instance where the advice stop, look and listen applies.) I do have a tendency to live in my head, thinking thinky and distracted thoughts while the house buzzes around me; these comings and goings were great nudges to get out of my head and on my feet. Maybe it's not as important when it happens but that it happens; hellos and goodbyes just add that element of regularity and routine. (And, as Jenny pointed out in the comments of the initial lab post, you never know which goodbye is your last one so it's good to leave on good terms and with happier hearts every time.)
Verdict: I'll plan to keep making hellos and goodbyes more meaningful. I can see how it can have a spillover effect into individual relationships and the overall climate at home. It's a really simple, doable thing, a small effort with bigger payoffs.
What about you? Did you try this experiment? I'd love to hear about it.