Tag Archives: be kind

40 At 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … No. 28

12 Dec

I don’t see it. I just can’t see it.

Where’s the funny?

That’s what I was thinking as I was having an emotional moment over someone passing judgment on me. It burned me out and I was feeling both angry and hurt at the same time. I couldn’t seem to find my way out of it. I couldn’t shake off the nasty taste it left.

And then an opportunity to do something for someone appeared … an accidentally on purpose random act of kindness crossed my path and I smiled.

The thought of doing something good for someone I didn’t even know changed my mood. I had forgotten the stupid words that were said about me, I had forgotten the lack of common sense and sensitivity in which they based their judgement. I had forgotten about them.

And all it took was a Blood Drive to make that happen.

I know, I know most people aren’t fans of needles, on account of the pain they inflict. But I’ve got a pretty high tolerance. Plus I’m more of a fear of roaches and rodents type of person, needles aren’t that bad.

So when I pulled into the parking lot of the Target and saw a lady dressed in blue scrubs standing in front of the blood mobile hesitantly asked me … Would you like to donate blood today?

I enthusiastically replied…YESSSSSSSS! YES I am!

She smiled as she looked for the clipboard.

They’d been out there ever since 10 a.m. so being that it was three o’clock I figured they’d had 50 or 100 people. But as it turns out I was number 12.

Number 12.

I felt both happy and sad. Happy that I was able to contribute something that would help a stranger who really needed something that only I could give, my awesome rare blood. But sad that I was only number 12.

But the nurses inside were so happy and grateful that I had taken the time to do this that they didn’t care that I just was number 12, they cared that I was a mother of two taking time out of her day to help someone, to save a life. They reminded me of gratitude. They reminded me of what was important. They reminded me of the person I was before I had a bad morning.

I was grateful for having remembered. I was grateful for random acts of kindness.

Being number 12 felt pretty good.

 

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40 Before 40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … It’s Now 40 At 40 … No. 27 Chocolate Helps

4 Sep

It happened again, but this time it was a different woman and it made me remember why it began.

I hadn’t forgotten about my quest, my mission, my kindness adventure. I hadn’t. I just missed the deadline, something that rarely happens to me. I didn’t make it. I came up short. I failed. It was kind of a bummer.

You see for those of you just joining us, I was on a kindness journey, ready to spread 40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40.

I turned 40 … weeks ago.

I survived it, but I had only written posts about 23 of them. I actually surprised 26 people with Guat kindness, but never got around to telling all of you about that. 26 out of 40.

:)

🙂

That’s not even a D+, just a solid D with room for improvement. I never got a D in my life so this little setback had me feeling pretty crappy. I had learned so much about gratitude, and the unexpected throughout this little adventure. I remembered a few life lessons about the little things. I enjoyed the way these felt, but I had turned 40 and the goal was 40 BEFORE 40.

As I was thinking about where to pick up, or how I should pick up after falling off the kindness wagon, I saw her. She was just like the first lady I had seen when I started this. She was having a moment, the kind of emotional moments I’ve had before. She sat there in her blue minivan, with the windows rolled up, and her black sunglasses trying to hide what was behind those eyes. But I could see her sadness through the window, I could see her head hanging low, and the tears falling from the corner of her eyes.

I don’t know why she was crying. I just know how sadness felt, and it reminded me of the lady that I was never able to help, the one that sped off after the stoplight turned green. The lady I looked for, but never found. The one that sparked my 40 Before 40 Random Acts of Kindness.

And then something clicked.

I saw my dark chocolate cupcake, topped vanilla buttercream frosting and coconut flakes. It was just sitting there. Probably a thousand and one calories, but the best thousand and one calories you could ever eat. It was the last one at the store, the one I had stood in line for, the chocolate lover’s dream.

I picked it up and walked over to the minivan. I tapped on the window, she lowered it. I reached out and handed her the container. She looked up, confused.

“I don’t know if you’re diabetic, or on the Herbalife diet, or hate chocolate, but I figured you need this more than I do. I don’t know you, or what you’re going through, but I hope this helps you out. Chocolate always makes things better. I hope you feel better.”

I smiled the best I could, and then walked away.

I couldn’t help but think about this lady and hoped that my small gesture brought her a little comfort. Kindness counts, even when you don’t know the person. I think a little bit goes a long way, and I’m going to keep going my way until I hit 40 acts. But it’s not 40 Before 40 anymore, it’s 40 at 40.

Yup … that’s me 40 at 40.

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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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40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No.15, No.16, No.17 …

1 Jul

Father’s Day Weekend seemed to kick off a series of Guat flashbacks where I owned every color of Levi jeans possible and Boy George was on the radio. I was reminded of the time when I had no kids and I was actually I kid myself, with a curfew and chores to accomplish.

During these flashbacks I was reminded of bits and pieces of what my Dad seemed to enjoy. A good cup of coffee. A good movie on TV or the Big Screen. I remembered how both of these things stirred up some good conversation, how we’d both laugh and argue, and be blown away by something that we saw in the movie, or something that we said about our lives.

During these coffee and movie flashbacks, I also remembered all the ball caps he wore. SuperBowl. Baseball. Football. Golf. Souvenir touristy caps. He had them all. For some reason he’d always take off his hat when drinking coffee. I don’t know if it made him hot, but he seemed to relax more without it. He’d put it on the table or couch, or hang it off the chair and take a deep breath, trying to exhale all the bad vibes of the day. Or just exhale all the weariness.

I remember those three favorites specifically. Coffee. Movies. Ball caps. They’re not really the sum of his life, just the simple things I see everyday that remind me of him.

:)

🙂

So in honor of some of my dad’s favorites things, I decided to give a few lucky people some unexpected kindness. The first on my list was something he always enjoyed in the morning and after dinner. Apparently some people just can’t live without it. They can’t function. Me, I just have it once a year, on his birthday. Have a cup of coffee and talk about life. But it seems that for others it’s an everyday occurrence. Yup. Coffee. A cup of coffee.

It’s simple but it seems to make people happy, although the lady with the Lady of Guadalupe picture on her dashboard could have used the Starbucks card I gave her for some tea. I’d understand that. Tea I can do. In any case I know that something small like that would have made someone’s day, especially in the morning.

Now the afternoon, well that’s another story. Seeing how the summer has kicked in full blast in my neck of the woods and the heat has been bringing it on a daily basis, I figured someone would have enjoyed a little shade. So I got someone a nice home team ball cap. Don’t know if they were die-hard Dodgers fans, but I figured the little decal on the back windshield was a good clue. Personal shade is extremely important in 90+ degree heat. I’m sure my Dad would have agreed.

Now once things cooled down at night I thought someone would have enjoyed a pair of tickets to see an action or drama flick. A lot films coming out this summer that take you away from your life for just a couple of hours. My Dad always enjoyed an escape especially if Robert DeNiro was involved, or if there was a car chase or dramatic A-Ha! moment that made you think duuuuude I didn’t even see that coming. Those were my dad favorites, so I thought I would give someone that movie magic experience too.

I was able to remain anonymous this time, which helped me imagine the recipients better. I always picture  them smiling, never sassy, and always with this confused happy look when they read my notes. Always hoping that I’ve made their day better. I think my Dad would have enjoyed these bits and pieces of kindness, hope they did too.

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40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindess Before 40 … No. 12, No. 13, No. 14 Inflating The Happiness Bubble

17 Jun

I realized that the little things add up. I mean throughout the course of the day if you get a couple of nice surprises your way it just fills your happiness bubble and it makes you smile. It’s nice when someone adds to your happiness bubble instead of trying to burst it. Especially when it’s unexpected.

I get a kick out of that. But I realized this week that not everybody enjoys an unexpected surprise.

Not everybody.

:)

🙂

Last week I was on a mission to perk up your cars. If you live in California they’re a very big part of getting you anywhere and it’s always nice to find something that helps make that cruise more pleasant. They’re a necessity out here and I thought people always need help with that. So as I came across a couple of opportunities to make someone’s day easier, I thought why not lets add to the 40 Before 40 List.

Now there were a couple of items that I decided to pass along to a few innocent bystanders. On one occasion it was about 90 something degrees where I live, and as I opened my door to my truck, the heat just smacked the smile off my face and I winced. It was so hot in there and the steering wheel burned. I mean I could see the heatwaves rising from it. So I had to give it a couple of minutes to cool off, and as I stood there fanning the inside of my truck, I thought man if I had window shades, opening the car door would probably suck less.

So I went off and bought a window shade for myself and one for someone else. As I drove through various parts of the city getting my kids to different summer events, I stopped at one of the parking lots and spotted the sandal-brown Nissan Xterra that seemed to be melting in the sun. I took out the jumbo car shade, placed it on the windshield, left one of my 40 Before 40 notes, and went on my way feeling good.

But that feeling didn’t last the whole week as I decided to buy someone a car wash. I thought it would be something nice to do. I mean with the drought and everything, people are waiting for their cars to be pretty dirty before washing them. So I thought, why not help out at one of those drive-thru car washing operations by taping one of my notes and the car wash code I’d purchased on the keypad that people use before entering the car wash.

But apparently the chic wearing sunglasses in the brown Prius objected as she rolled down the window and asked me what I was doing, and why I was doing that, and saying how she didn’t want anything. I couldn’t believe it. I was trying to be undercover and go unnoticed but she pulled up just in the middle of my good deed. After her hostile mood passed I explained that I was trying to give someone a free car wash, she was more than welcome to take it, but if she didn’t want it, she didn’t have to.

I walked away from that one not feeling the great feeling I usually get when I do these things. She was poking at my bubble.

But I didn’t let that discourage me from helping someone else. I thought I had to end on a good note. I had to believe that there were others out there that would smile, and feel good about random acts of kindness landing on them. I wanted to believe that. So earlier this week, I purchased a gift card from Costco and made my way toward their gas station area. I put in a few gallons for myself, then I  taped the gift card onto my note and stuck it on the pump. I quickly got into the truck and drove off before the cars behind could notice.

Pulling away made me hopeful. Made me think that the dude or chic would get out of the car and see this opportunity for free gas and smile. They’d look around for my truck, trying to figure out where I had gone, or what had just happened. And then smile because it would finally hit them … ‘Something nice just happened to me,’ and their happiness bubble would inflate just a little bit more.

I want to believe that.

I want to hope that happened, because that’s what this is all about, spreading kindness and having it touch somebody.

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40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No. 10 and No. 11 Doing What I Do Best Overseas

27 May

I was on a kindness drought.

I wasn’t being a jackass or anything, but I was actually being nice to the people closest to me. I realized with all the random acts of kindness that I was spreading to complete strangers I thought I could spread some of that at home to family, friends and acquaintances. I began doing little niceties for some of my peeps. But I guess you wouldn’t necessarily count them on the 40 Before 40 List, as the point of the list is to spread a little kindness to people you don’t know.

So I got back on the saddle and decided it was time to continue to the countdown to the Big 4-0. I realized as Memorial Day Weekend was coming up it would be nice to do what I do best for some of our troops overseas. I took out my Mead Notebook and Bic Pen and began writing a letter of gratitude for one of the troops overseas.

I remember writing letters to my friends when they graduated high school. One decided to join the Navy, the other the Army. They mentioned how great it was to get one of my letters when the mail would arrive. It was exciting to be able to hear from someone. Back then there was no email or Internet, or Facetime. It was phone calls and letters. They seemed to enjoy my take on life and the description of how I was surviving college life and my dysfunctional family.

Years later when I ran into them, once they’d finished their tours they told me that they still had my letters in a shoebox some where. Both of them. They mentioned how much it meant to hear my voice, because apparently they could hear it through my written words. I have that gift, I guess.

So I thought I would spread my kindness overseas and see if I could make someone laugh, and give someone a little peace.

.

:)

🙂

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I wrote about what I was doing that morning and what I was looking forward to that afternoon. I talked about being a parent and realizing that as my kids grow up, I’ve learned to practice more gratitude. I told a brief story of my little family and how we love to watch underdog movies, and I thanked them for their service.

I had sent the letter and felt really good about what I had done. I smiled at my anecdotes and at my son’s drawing, which he insisted accompany the letter. That in itself is an awesome prize. And then I thought I was finished.

I thought.

Until I went out for my morning run the next day, you know trying to start my Hour of Power and pump myself up for the day. I was running down the street and then there it was … stomped and missed by the street cleaning machine. I found some money laying on the street. I looked around, but apparently no one was there. Cars were on the other side and the money was just hanging out destined to be found by The Guat that morning.

Finding money is always awesome, especially when it’s not even the money that you’ve misplaced in a jacket or pair of pants that got washed. It was just money that fell out from some galaxy far, far away.

But instead of buying myself some amazing dinner, or lunch, or boxes and boxes of Hawaiian chocolate, I decided to continue my 40 before 40 quest. I decided to keep spreading some kindness.

I bought a care package for some troops.

Hoping that the treats, goodies, and books brings some smiles to a well-deserved man or woman overseas.

Hoping they feel the appreciation of The Guat, because everybody needs to feel appreciated at least once in their life. And I felt pretty good knowing that I’d be giving that to somebody, even if they didn’t know who I was, it felt good.

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40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No. 4

13 Feb

I hate it when it happens.

Just sucks all the air out of my balloon, because nothing good comes out of it.

No.

Nothing.

You’re lying in bed all comfy cozy with your Martha Stewart quilt wrapped around you. Your pajamas are your best friends, and the cool side of the pillow feels like the best place to be at that very moment.

And then you realize what day it is and open your eyes.

You jolt out of bed only to stub your toe on a sharp corner of the dresser and your heart is beating even faster, because now it’s a race. You run out of the bedroom, put on some flip-flops, and grab the first hat in the closet to hide your morning hair.

You make a mad dash for it.

But once you make it to the street, you see it, and it’s too late.

The white envelope with red letters is hanging out underneath your windshield wipers.

Sigh.

You’ve just got a parking ticket.

An $85 dollar parking ticket courtesy of the city. Apparently, keeping the streets cleaned is pretty important. $85 dollars kind of important. That kind of importance really burns me out though. It’s money down the drain, money you never enjoyed spending. Money lost.

And it happens to people at least once a week. I mean there are signs up, but sometimes life it too hectic and crazy, so you forget about the street-sweeper and have a costly surprise waiting for you on the windshield.

This has happened to me and it sucks. So when I went out for my morning run yesterday, I noticed the black Mazda with its own windshield surprise. It made me sad for the owner. So in an effort to spread a little kindness their way, to alleviate the emotional blow caused by this unexpected financial deduction, I thought I’d leave my own little surprise, my own accidentally on purpose random act of kindness.

 

40 before 40

40 before 40

 

I put two lottery tickets, scratchers with the potential of giving you 1000 dollars a week for the rest of your life, in a blue envelope. And on the front I wrote: Sorry you got a ticket, hope this helps. I placed it under the windshield next to the ticket and went back home. I wanted to hide around the corner and wait to see the expression of the car owner, to see if it indeed helped at all. But I never saw them.

And even though I didn’t get a chance to see if the lottery tickets made them smile, I still smiled knowing that the bitterness of the ticket might have been sweetened a little by gesture.

The road to 40 is looking a little better, and I have this 40 Before 40 project to thank for it.