Earlier this week, I wrote a little bit about the contents of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick. I did, in fact, finish the book, and the rest of it was just as good.
The main premise of the book is that connection to where we live helps us build happier lives. It is an upward spiral in which our connection to home makes us happier, which makes us feel more connected to our home, which makes us happier, and so on. Happy people, in general, are healthy people.
In addition to going outside and building our maps of our neighborhoods by walking as I mentioned in my other post, Warnick suggests buying local, meeting the neighbors, enjoying the things we would show visitors, getting politically involved, and volunteering as ways to enmesh ourselves in the web of our communities.
The book is full of references to other books and studies and the like, but what makes it work for me is that it also chronicles the writer’s actual experiment in loving the place where she happened to end up. She tried it all out on herself, which is my favorite method of experimentation. Some parts worked better than others; your results may vary.
In any case, Warnick provides a helpful recipe for plugging in rather than dropping out.