Heroes are those who go above and beyond. They put their lives on the line for others, sacrifice much for the good of all, show courage when most of us would run from danger. I am no hero. I’m not sure I would run into a burning building or charge down an airplane aisle to tackle a bad guy. I never served our country by joining the military (although I have family members who did and I am extraordinarily proud of them). But I can try to go above and beyond.
I heard about the 21-day kindness challenge on another blog that I follow. The blogger, Jane, says this about doing random acts of kindness:
Admit it. When you give someone a gift, big or small, and it makes them smile, you feel pretty good about yourself. Am I right? In a way, this seems a bit selfish. Doing nice things for people in order to make you feel good. And it is selfish. But in a good way.
I have done small things for people – paid a toll for the person behind me, offered to drive a friend to an event, helped someone load groceries in their car when they had a child with them – and it does make me feel good. But as Jane wrote on her blog, these random acts have been few and far between, occurring when it was easy and convenient for me. I pulled out an extra dollar when paying my own toll, was going to the event anyway, had the time to help.
This 21-day challenge will involve a more deliberate effort, as well as some creativity, to find opportunities and come up with ideas of how to brighten someone’s day. But if it brings a smile to someone’s face, or encourages them to “pay it forward”, it will be worth the effort. And maybe, just maybe, I will develop a habit that will change the world for the better.
Are you in? Let’s honor those who gave everything 12 years ago by giving just a little now.
Today is that overly-sweet, hearts-and-flowers, you-can-only-show-your-love-by-spending-oodles-of-money, “Hallmark Holiday” known as St. Valentine’s Day. In the 19 years we have been together, I can count on one hand the number of times that Jeanne has given me a gift for this occasion. I know she sent flowers one year, and a “candy bouquet” another. I think she gave me my favorite moisturizer one time, but if there were other gifts, I have forgotten them. And that is OK. I don’t need a gift to know she loves me. When I left for work this morning, she told me I looked pretty – that was gift enough for me!
We usually buy each other a card at least, although this year, we are trying to cut back on unnecessary expenses, so we are going to do what some friends do. Go to the card store, browse the racks of pink and red sentiments, choosing just the right one that expresses our love, show it to each other and say “Honey, this is what I want to say to you today.” We’ll put the cards back, walk out of the store, and congratulate each other on saving $5 on a card that would end up in the trash can in a week. And then go out for our annual tradition – Chinese food!
May you be surrounded by love today and always.
Many of the bloggers I follow use their blog to exercise their writing skills. Several of them are working on writing books. I have no such aspirations. I blog to share my thoughts on life, to share what is going on with me and with my dad, and to share my spirit with those who care to follow along.
That being said, something I read last week about writing prompts got me thinking. What if I tried to write something besides what is going on in my life? What if I tried my hand at fiction?
A novel was too intimidating. I decided to start with a short story. But what to write about? I found a website that offered writing prompts, and one of them was “Bricks” – it brought back a memory from childhood that I have tried to craft into a fictionalized version of a real event.
Now I need to decide if I am brave enough to share it with anyone. If you think you can convince me to publish it here, leave me a comment with a reason why I should.
Today is a beautiful day. The sky is amazingly blue with not a single cloud in it. The grass and most of the trees are still green, although you can see a tint of fall starting to mute the colors. The temperature was almost chilly in the pre-dawn hour, but with the sun shining, it has warmed up enough to prevent shivers.
Taken about 2 hours after we stood outside to celebrate St. Francis
This morning, I spent about 15 minutes standing in a field, surrounded by students and colleagues, being together for worship in the great outdoors. The celebration was in honor of the Christian saint, Francis of Assisi.
The steeple of the church where we normally have chapel
But for those of us who do not identify with that branch of religion, it was still a meaningful moment spent communing with Nature. I was able to use my senses to take in the glorious surroundings – the feel of the sun on my back, the sight of the trees surrounding us, the sound of birds and humans singing, the smell of the grass and autumn in the air. I felt connected to the Earth and to all of her inhabitants – plants, animals, and other people. Truly, we are part of an interconnected web of life.
What a fantastic way to start a week! May yours be glorious as well!
Someone once said “Life is what happens when you are making other plans.”
Life for me has been very busy lately – so busy that I have neglected several things that need attention. I haven’t even started my taxes (and the 15th of April is looming). I haven’t done any yard work this Spring, and the weeds are already starting to take over. And I haven’t posted to my blog in weeks and weeks. OK, over a month.
The good news is that I am staying on top of my preps and grading for school. I have been able to visit Dad at least 2-3 times per week (usually more). And I got away for one night last weekend to visit friends and take in a comedy show. Much needed laughter ensued (before, during, and after the show)!
This week, my goal is to get my tax information together, call my accountant, and make an appointment – hopefully for next week! This weekend, the weather is supposed to be nice again, so another goal is to get out in the yard and start the clean-up that should have been done already. And by posting these goals, I have taken care of that last item from above. 🙂
Hopefully, I will be able to find more inspiration in the weeks to come. Check back… I’ll try not to be away so long!
Today, Sunday, December 5th, I am thankful for a house to shelter me in cold weather, clothes to keep me warm, and food to keep me from being hungry. I have abundance in my life that I often take for granted. Today, I am aware of how much I have that others need, and am pausing to appreciate all that I am fortunate enough to have in my life.
Today, December 3rd, I am thankful that I am able to help my students understand the complexities of Geometry. I do my best to find different ways to explain things so that, hopefully, something will stick. I also do my best to make math class fun so that they don’t dread coming each day, even if they don’t like the subject that much. When they say “Thank you” as they leave the room, I feel like I have done a good job! 🙂
Today, December 2nd, I am thankful for my friends. I have so many friends who are caring and thoughtful, it’s hard to wrap my head around it sometimes. Friends have offered words of encouragement, meals delivered to my doorstep, strong arms to help move furniture (twice), hugs when I needed them, prayers to whatever Source they believe in, and most of all, love. I have felt the love from near and far – thank you to all who send it.
Today, December 1st, I am thankful for Jeanne. She is my best friend, my sounding board, my grounding influence, my biggest supporter, and my life partner. One of these days, she will officially become my wife.
Today, November 30th, I am thankful for the time I get to spend with my Dad. He has been a steady influence in my life, and I continue to learn how to be a kind, gentle person from his example.