Tag Archives: The Wish Factor

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindess Before 40 … No. 9

1 Apr

People dream of having something like this in their neck of the woods. Some people never even get a chance to see it, which is hard to believe. But it happens.

I do feel lucky having it within driving distance.

Nothing like the beach to set you right.

Peace always seems to find me here. It’s a place of refuge and I enjoy it whenever I can. Every weekend during the summer, and some weekends in The Spring you’ll find The Guat family spraying on the Coppertone 75 and putting on their board shorts, bucket hats, and flip-flops.

We’re beach people. Most definitely.

So it occurred to me that I could spread a little more sunshine down here on the coast. Yup, this was the next stop on my 40 Before 40 Tour and some unsuspecting dude or chick would love going to the beach even more because of me.

:)

🙂

Because no matter how amazing the sun, sand, and waves can be, fighting traffic to get there and then battling over a parking spot can totally burn you out. It makes you think twice about going there. Luckily for me The Guats leave at the break of dawn to avoid that disastrous Southern California traffic and we always find a spot within walking distance from the waves.

But there are those people who get a late start or for some reason just operate on a different clock where they sleep too long and end up sitting in traffic and going from parking lot to parking lot trying to find a space.

Regardless of the reason I thought I’d cut these people some slack, and brighten their day. So when they found spot #270, pulled on in, set her in park, and unloaded all the plastic buckets, shovels, blankets, and Tommy Bahama beach equipment purchased from Costco and walked on over to the parking kiosk … they found some Guat magic written with a Sharpie marker on the back of an envelope, at the foot of the machine.

FREEEEEE PARKING! YES! FREE!

Duuuuuuuude! Today is your lucky day. If you parked in space #270 parking is on me. All day parking.

Take the ticket and enjoy your day at the beach 🙂

🙂 40 Random Acts of Kindness Before 40

As we drove away I saw her approach the machine, pick up the note, look around confused, and then smile.

Yeah … that felt pretty good.

I Knew There Was A Reason She Won All Those Oscars …

23 Mar

 

Merryl Streep rocks.

Meryl Streep rocks.

 

Dude.

Me too!

I no longer.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

19 Mar
Little Italy

Little Italy

Art is an amazing thing, helps you find beauty everywhere… this piece was found by my friend in NYC.

Weekly Photo Challenge via Daily Post

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No. 7

16 Mar

It takes commitment.

Serious commitment to put something on your car. Stickers and decals are your car’s tattoos and they mark your interests and personality types. Proud Parent of So-And-So’s Student of The Month, the members of your family, your favorite radio station, or a wise-ass comment in bumper sticker format.

All of these are insights to the type of person you are, but the true sports fan goes beyond their team logo on the back window and delves into the intensive labor of dismantling the license plate frame and replacing it with that of your favorite team. Most license plate frames remain in their original condition … Wondries Honda, Penske Toyota, Mike’s Motors, etc. Nobody ever really takes the time to replace it unless it’s really worth it.

Nobody except the sports fan. He takes no half measures. So when you’re driving, you know one when you see one. Their commitment is evident on license plates and car windows.

So when I was in search for a person deserving of my next Random Act of Kindness, I knew exactly what to look for, I mean I had to be specific. I didn’t want to give it to someone who hated sports. So while driving out of the mall I found him parked between David’s Bridal and Sports Authority. His teal green Chevy Tahoe’s back window sported the traditional “LA” of proud Dodgers fans and the silver plated license plate frame professing his Dodger Blue spirit.

 

40 before 40

40 before 40

 

I took out the two ticket vouchers and placed them in an envelope.

However, just like the flower incident I felt the need for a disclaimer so that no significant others would spin into a jealous rage and break off the relationship because of a mysterious gift. Ugh … jealousy sucks. So once again I wrote a note.

 

I see that you’re a Dodgers fan. Hope you can enjoy these this season. Go Blue!

🙂 40 Random Acts of Kindness Before I Turn 40.

 

Just as I got out of the car to attach the note and tickets … I saw them walking to their car. A family of three … a dad and two sons piling into the SUV. I sighed in disappointment, because I didn’t want them to know who I was, and I kind of liked the fact that I wouldn’t know who they were and I could just envision them enjoying Dodger Dogs and a nice cold one. Smiling.

But then as they got into the car, I realized something … they didnt know me. Never seen me and probably never will again. I was just a stranger doing something nice. A good story for the drive home just for being fan. So I kept walking, tapped on the window, gave them the tickets, and smiled.

“I see your big fans,” I said pointing to their windshield.

And then I walked back to my car and drove away.

Their smiles and disbelief was priceless. I’m starting to really enjoy these Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness. They’re making me mindful of other little kindnesses I can do for people. Things that can make their day better, and even if I don’t get a thank you, it doesn’t matter. I’ve made their day better and it makes me feel good doing it. I’ve given them a story that begins with “Remember the time when some lady …”

And that’s a good a thing.

 

 

Bedtime Routines …

13 Mar

 

How Things Work

From Becky Mansfield @ ModernFamily.com

 

 

 

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No. 6

7 Mar

Nobody knew why, or who, it was just something nice that happened to them. Something that made them smile. Something that made their day better. Something that helped turn it around.

And most of the time it was an anonymous blessing.

They had no idea. And I enjoyed the fact that they had no idea who I was, just that some stranger decided to change the course of their day with a small gesture.

But this time I felt the need to leave a note explaining why …

 

40 before 40

40 before 40

 

I don’t remember the exact age but I knew it was in middle school. It was graduation day when I got them. And it wasn’t those fake plastic ones you got in those Valentine’s Grams. They were real roses wrapped in cellophane and when he gave them to me it felt like one of those Sixteen Candles moments. And it felt good that someone liked me. It was a nice gesture and it made my day.

I placed them in a glass of water because we didn’t have a vase. But it didn’t matter, they looked awesome and I enjoyed them the whole week.

So when I saw the flowers hanging out in the last aisle at Costco and my daughter told me she wanted some because they made her happy, I thought why not.

I like to keep her happy.

And then I thought I could make someone else happy too. I wanted someone to have that Sixteen Candles moment, but I worried what if a guy got the flowers and his lady was with him, or what if a girl got the flowers from an anonymous somebody and her husband was with her and he freaked out. I don’t know the dynamics of people’s relationships, but I sure didn’t want my 40 Before 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Act of Kindness to cause drama. I wanted it to cause happy.

So I had to leave a note this time.

I walked back to the car and put away my month’s supply of Arm & Hammer Detergent Soap, OxyClean, and other household items. Then I looked for a car that gave me a feeling. Nothing to fancy, just something for a regular person. I spotted the white Scion parked in the other lane. And it was the right vibe.

I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote my note. I wrapped it around the flowers then walked over and placed them snugly between the side mirror and driver’s side door.

 

Flowers always seem to brighten someone’s day.

They’re here because you’re awesome.

Hope you have a terrific Thursday.

🙂

40 Random Acts of Kindness Before I turn 40

 

 

Felt good knowing that as soon as they walked back to their car, from the long lines, from the packed aisles, from the trays that ran out of samples, that something nice was waiting for them. And no drama would follow.

 

 

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.

 

 

Awesome Comes In All Sizes

17 Jan
My Saturday Shirt

My Saturday Shirt

 

 

Lowering Standards For Love … And Laughter

15 Jan

During this NightQuil-DayQuil-Theraflu-Homeopathic battle warring over by body, I’ve had random five minute breaks from the clutches of parenthood. And during these hazy, and yet lucid moments, I’ve come to the realization that there’s been an ongoing breach of my standards.

Standards that were ironclad pre-family, but now for some reason after two kids, these standards have loosened a bit and fallen into the “suggestions” category of life.

Whether I’m suffering flu-like symptoms or not certain things have come to pass in the Guat household, things that I would have never allowed in any other relationships. And being the die-hard Seinfeld fan that I am, I get all my life and relationship advice from Jerry and his gang. And during this cloudy period I realized that I’ve let these standards crumble simply because I love my kids.

I just do.

There’s no other rational response as to why I’ve accepted these socially blacklisted behaviors.

None.

Just love.

And humor.

So if you find that you’ve tolerated more than one of the following behaviors, I’m afraid to tell you that there’s no coming back.

It’s part of parenthood.

The Close Talker. This is someone that has forgotten the definition of personal space and breaks all kinds of boundaries during a regular conversation. My son constantly has conversations with me about Legos, trains, books, Star Wars, or sandwiches … centimeters away from my face.

index

Close Talker

 

The Anti-Dentite. Normally I discourage the hatred or fear of any profession, but it appears both of my kids fall under the Anti-Dentite category. They don’t like dentists. They don’t want to see dentists. They don’t want to hear what dentists have to say. And a lollipop is not a big enough bribe.

Re-Gifter. My son is constantly re-gifting toys and books to give to his sister. Once he’s done playing with something he feels the need to turn around and give her the stuff as a gift. A poorly wrapped one, but nevertheless a gift. I’m amused by this one.

 

Tim Watlet re-gifts Elaine's present

Tim Watlet re-gifts Elaine’s present

 

The Pop-In. This is the person that visits someone unannounced and without warning. I find that my kids are always popping-in on me in the bathroom. This is not cool, but no matter how many times I tell them the rules, some sort of Nickelodeon Junior emergency transpires at this time.

The Double-Dipper. This is the person that re-dips their chip into the communal bowl multiple times … the whole re-dipping then feels like they’ve put their entire mouth in the dip. My kids tend to do this, their kids. They enjoy dip. But even when I serve them a plate with their own dip, they find the larger bowl more appealing than the dollop on their plate.

 

George double-dips and gets caught

George double-dips and gets caught

The Jimmy Legs. I like having my own bed. Space where I can sink into a deep sleep. However kids find their way to the Serta mattress and their legs begin to kick and smack me, like they’re having some sort of spasm, but in reality they’re probably dreaming of playing soccer or being ninjas.

Some of these infractions combined with a bad day usually elicit a Serenity Now moment and massive amounts of chocolate, but for the most part it’s laughter. That’s what love does.

 

 

40 Before 40

10 Jan

Maybe she was doing just fine after the heartache and then she heard that song on the radio … the one that was theirs and she just couldn’t take it, and she broke down.

Maybe her brother died.

Maybe she got a call from the doctor and the results were positive.

Maybe she got fired.

Maybe it was her birthday and that someone special actually forgot.

Maybe she didn’t pass the BAR exam and it was her second attempt.

I don’t know what it was, I really don’t but there she was, in her silver 1990s Honda Civic, clutching the wheel with one hand and holding her forehead with the other. I turned because for some reason that’s what I do when I’m at a stoplight and there she was right next to me having a quiet moment of desperation among all the traffic.

Crying, really crying.

And I felt bad.

I sat there looking at her thinking what I could do to help her out, because I knew … I knew exactly how she felt, hiding behind those sunglasses. I’ve had moments like these when I’m driving and then all of a sudden it hits me, which his probably why I don’t like answering the phone while I’m on the road. I saw her and I knew that she was heartbroken and I felt bad.

I looked for my emergency stash of chocolate in the car, maybe I could just roll down my window and make some kind of gesture in hopes that she could find a moment of peace, but I had nothing in my stash. I didn’t want to roll the window down and ask ‘are you all right?’ because she obviously was not, and even if I did ask she probably would have waved me off and said she was O.K.

I felt like I had to at least ask, though. But as I rolled down my window someone honked their horn. She vroomed it out of there, I tried to follow but she turned down the street and I had no idea where she had gone.

I don’t know where she is now, but I’m hoping she’s better.

But me?

I was left feeling impotent. Wishing I could have done something nice for someone who was in so much pain, so I came up with an idea. Maybe I could help someone else.

40 before 40.

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts Of Kindness Before I Turn 40.

 

40 before 40

40 before 40

 

Yeah.

Definitely.

That would be good thing.

Maybe I’ll make someone’s day less miserable. Maybe they’re having a moment and that little something nice will give them a break from the craziness of their life. Maybe it’ll be the something that’ll turn their day around. Maybe they’ll find a little peace in the small gesture that was meant to make them smile.

Don’t know, but maybe.

40 before 40. That would be a good present. Doing something for someone else.

So I did it.

I started the adventure.

I went to the first place I could think of to do something nice for someone else. I went to the drive-thru, something I rarely do, and ordered something for my kids. As I paid for my order I looked at the guy and said …

“I got theirs too,” pointing to the minivan behind me.

“You know them?” he asked.

“No. I don’t. But I got it. But can you do me a favor though? Tell them I said ‘Happy New Year.'”

I grabbed my receipt and drove away.

I know it wasn’t something big, but it was something I thought would make someone smile. Even if it wasn’t the lady that I had originally seen, I was still able to do something nice for someone.

And now I’m hoping. Just hoping I can run into her again, and hoping that she’s in a better state, and if she isn’t, hoping that this time I’ll be able to do something to help.

I’m replenishing my emergency car stash, just in case.