TTC: How often do you really pay attention to the people around you? I’m not just talking about friends and family but people that serve you at check outs, behind counters or on reception desks and people that you walk past on the street?  I was thinking this week that in my local area I see the same faces all the time but I don’t really pay attention or make an effort to really connect with them. And I don’t think I’m alone here. One of the real challenges about ttc is that so often you feel isolated and disconnected from people around you. Is it possible to start to make a shift to reconnect? I decided to see if I could, and set myself a quest: what would happen if I stared to pay better attention to those around me? Would it make any difference to my life and ultimately my happiness? The results were surprising!

Day 1. There are two lovely baristas at the coffee shop where I get my coffee. I go in there all the time. Today I ordered as usual and instead of checking my phone or looking at the newspapers, I had a chat with them. I asked where they were from and one of them said ‘Korea but I used to work in London’. Cut a long story short he used to work behind the bar at the local pub where I used to live in Ladbrook Grove – small world!

Day 2. The girl at the local grocer I always smile at, but this time when I came up to the checkout I said hello and we made small talk as usual, but this time I asked her name. She looked surprised and really smiled at me. She told me her name was Leena. We laughed because I’ve been going to this grocer for 12 years and had never thought to say hello properly and exchange names. It was a lovely moment of connection.

Day 3. My final test was with our newsagent. I’ve lived in the area for 6 years and honestly, I’ve never seen the guy smile. I thought I’m going to go in there, look at him in the eye, smile and see if I get anything back. I’d love to tell you I got the result that I wanted, but sadly no. He scowled back and looked at me as if I was some loony deliberately coming in to spoil his day. Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad…

Trying to conceive is hard. I’m not suggesting for one minute that these interactions replace deep relationships with friends that might be missing in your life at the moment. But when our friendships are challenged it can feel isolating and its difficult to know how to shift the feeling of being different or feeling like an outsider. This is a great first step to start that process of reconnecting. What I found was that not only do the people that you connect with feel good, but your mood lifts too. There is something rather lovely about showing up for life, being present and making connections with those around you. What I discovered is that people respond really well when you do.  In the spirit of sharing this christmas start that connection with your own community; you might be amazed by the results.