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I Laced Up My Shoes and I Kept Walking … I Hung in There

14 Feb

Having someone point out your flaws and make you feel pretty crappy on a day where love is supposed to be everywhere kind of sucked.

Mornings like that should be reserved for times when you have strength overflowing and your feel good-song constantly replays in your mind.

All this love was going around, everyone exchanging flowers, and balloons and chocolate and someone was pointing out that I yelled at my kids four times to listen and follow directions … It was pointed out to me that it wasn’t a good thing to be that kind of parent, or person.

You know, I know that sometimes my patience runs out and if my life would have turned out the way I imagined maybe there’d be less frustration when things went haywire. But it’s something I’m fully aware of … I’m mindful not to yell at my kids for no reason. I grew up with unecessary yelling and scolding, so I make it a point to not do that. I’m very aware of what that does to a kid. So I know I’m not angry all the time and I didn’t appreciate someone painting me that way.

People see you in a moment of frustration and they know you’re having a bad moment and they use it against you. They lay things out there and judge you when you’re drowning. And the thing is … They know you. They knoooooow you and yet they say something like that, something that just feels like a punch in the stomach.

It was pretty sucky, having that feeling all day.

But then I went to get my kids Valentine’s Day cards and I found something that made me smile.  A valentine I could have gotten for myself, or just an everyday card. Something that my dad might have gotten for me, and I found the grace I needed to move on.

 

 

I laced up my shoes and I kept walking. One foot in front of the other.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

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Discover Challenge: Apology

23 May

Two words.

That’s all it takes.

Some people are not strong enough, big enough, human enough to say it. They don’t know the power behind it, don’t know why.

It helps glue the pieces back together. It works like a Band-Aid. It doesn’t necessarily stop the hurt, but it stops the bleeding.

It’s not that hard. It really shouldn’t be, because it’s a part of love. When you break someone’s heart, when you fail to be there, when cross the line, when you let someone down, when you make them ache, when you make them cry, when you make them feel less, when you’re unkind, when you make a mistake, when you forget, when they look for a friend and you’re no where to be found.

They restore.

It’s a step closer to forgiveness, but it makes it harder to forgive when the words are not there or when they’re empty. Sometimes they never will be there. It happens to a lot of people. They’re left there waiting for it. They deserve to hear it, but sometimes it never comes and what’s left is a hole that keeps getting bigger, and a struggle to keep going and push through.

But eventually, you come out the other side even if you didn’t hear it. You pushed through with the hole in your heart and know you were worthy of those words. You were worthy of them, and you move on.

You let go.

But it would have been so much easier had they said those words …

I’m sorry.

Yup, like a Band-Aid.

I’m sorry, works better than chocolate and wine.

 

Discover Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

40 at 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … No. 29 Small Things

19 Dec

Everyone needs a moment of recovery …  everyone, especially the mother of a teenager. A teenage girl that is.

Yeah.

They’re a special bunch, and you see I wasn’t even looking for an opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer, but when a teenager and her diva sass make an appearance the opportunity sort of presents itself.

There I was at the 99 Cent Store buying some festive glitter action for the holiday season. When I began placing my items on the conveyor belt, I saw her walking across the store and stand next to the lady behind me.

Ugh.

The exasperated sigh.

I turned to smile at the lady who had just given me a compliment on one of Christmas centerpieces I was purchasing. She stood there with a giant sky blue CareBear and fuzzy socks.

Sigh. Again.

“Hello? What are you doing! What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you see me over there?” the teenager said waving her arms. “I was next! I was next! Why don’t you ever answer when I call you? I was calling you. Why don’t you ever answer? I was next and here you are standing in line doing nothing. What’s a matter with you?”

The mom didn’t even blink. She held her tongue as the rant continued.

“Ugh! Whatever.” The teenager finally said “Forget this. I’m gonna go wait in the car!”

I stood there while everyone looked on wide-eyed and surprised. I smiled at her and nodded. She looked back at me and grinned. I felt for her, I knew what it was like to be on that end of the teenager wrath as I had met a few of them during my teaching tenure in middle schools and high schools.

I was aware of this emotional and dramatic mood swing beast. I didn’t stand there in judgement. I had a 4-year-old daughter that would eventually be a teenager as well. I knew the beast may be in my future.

So as she stood there having her moment, trying to breathe and just survive the holiday season at a busy store the clerk rang up her purchases.

 

40-copy

🙂

 

I dug inside my pocket.

“I got that for you,” I said as she was still a little zoned out.

I paid the clerk for her items and finished bagging mine. After a minute she seemed to realize what had just happened.

“No,no, no. You can’t do that. I got it, I got it.” She said.

“No,” I said. “Looks like you had a tough moment waiting in line, you need a little good. You need a good story today. Merry Christmas.”

As I walked away, she tried catching up in order to give me some money, but I assured her that everything was good. She smiled and thanked me after I turned down her money for the fourth time.

She was a having a moment, a mom moment, and I knew what those were like and how they felt. I knew the look of defeat, it’s hit me plenty of times in private and in public. And I also knew she needed a little kindness and a little grace. I knew that something small could help turn things around. So I decided to be that something small.

It felt good to surprise her, to see my small act of kindness touch her heart. I might not have changed her life, but I hoped I had changed her story that day. Sometimes all it takes is something small.

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40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No. 18, No. 19, No. 20.

11 Jul

For the most part I’ve learned that people welcome unexpected kindness. Most people that is. Don’t know if it’s because it’s random and unexpected and that’s what makes them happy, that’s what makes them realize that small blessings happen. Or maybe it’s because of the kindness itself and it’s such a relief because they’re having such a crappy week and they haven’t seen kindness in months. I don’t know I haven’t figured it out yet. But I’m kind of leaning toward the randomness factor, and the fact that the kindness came out of no where.

Then I realized people like it when it happens to them, but love it when it happens to their kids. So last week I decided to spread kindness to the minions roaming my neck of the woods and hopefully make the day in the life of their parents a little easier.

:)

🙂

One of my first stops happen to be the pool and as all parents know you definitely need some Little Swimmer Pull-Ups when your kid decides to be Michael Phelps, but sometimes buying regular diapers and nighttime diapers can be expensive. So you tend to think twice about using those, you’re on a budget so sometimes you might save those if your kid didn’t pee in them. Or some of you out there just let them chance it. I mean you warn them to tell you if they’re going to pee to go ahead and tell you, until you realize that it’s been three hours and they haven’t peed yet and you remain suspicious of there will power, because it hasn’t happened before and you figured that they probably peed in the pool, and you hurry away before someone discovers you. Yeah…I’ve seen you. I stay away from your end of the pool.

So in an effort to make everyone’s life a little easier, I thought I’d leave a pack of Little Swimmers in the dressing room with one of my 40 Before 40 special notes, asking them to take one, some, or the whole pack. Hoping that some mom, who forgot her Little Swimmers, was relieved to see the free pack waiting for her at the diaper changing station.

Now I figured after swimming all day, you would build up an appetite, I know my kids do. And sometimes the pool is not always close enough to your house, or sometimes you’re just starving and can’t wait. We always seem to make it home, but I noticed that not everybody made it.

A few people had pulled up to the Del Taco near the aquatic facility. Now I’m not a big Del Taco/Taco Bell person, I usually just make those at home, but apparently nachos are nachos, and kids love cheese, and they love chips. Plus kids meals have prizes. Those always seem to rock, no mater what. So I got a kid’s meal voucher and then walked up to a mom and her daughter, handed them the kid’s meal coupon and smiled.

But aside from the necessities of parenthood, I thought some fun little extras would be a good surprise for parents and their kids. Hanging out at the zoo has always been a treat for my kids. It’s always been an awesome adventure and we tend to love hanging out in the tropical rainforest with the jaguars, or looking for the meerkat exhibit and watching them, or rushing up the hill to make it in time for the elephant show. We’re big on Wild Kratts over here, so going to the zoo is a monthly occurrence.

So when I saw a couple rushing to stand in line to purchase tickets for their family I thought it would be cool just to walk up to them, give them free passes, and say, “Hope you enjoy the zoo, have an awesome day.”

So I did. And I walked away before they could thank me, in fact probably before they could figure out what I had given them. But I’m sure they read the note I attached. By the time they had, I was long gone, checking out the seals.

I didn’t see the family inside, but I imagine they probably enjoyed the jaguars, meerkats, amd elephants too. I imagined they bought some kettle popcorn and lemonade and made their way through the park. I imagined they had a good story to tell their friends about how they got to the zoo late, how they were the last ones in line and how some random chick in a L.A. Kings hat just handed them some free tickets to go in … that would have made my day for sure. Hope it made theirs.

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