Friday, September 6, 2013

Being Kind, 28 times

I think sometimes being busy with whatever you're busy with whether it's being ill, working, dating, exercising, whatever it's hard to remember to be kind to people. I'm talking truly, genuinely, go out of your way to be kind to people for no reason at all.

I've always heard of these people doing these random acts of kindness on their birthdays and doing how many ever acts on their birthday corresponding to the age they turned that year. I always thought to myself "I could never do that, because I could never do x amount of random acts of kindness in one day because I would tire to quickly."

Well, since the name of the game this year is ambitious, I decided that I could in fact do 28 random acts of kindness for my 28th birthday. It just might take me a little bit longer, so I gave myself the whole month of August. And I did it! Yay! Go me! So here they are! P.S. I know it's September 6th, give a chronically ill girl in grad school a break. They were completed in August, I just haven't sat down to blog about them. Ok? P.P.S Some of them don't have pictures because people were staring at me, some of them don't have pictures because it was dangerous. It's up to you to use your imagination as to which is which. But all were completed, honestly.

1) I mailed 28 hand written letters to friends! And for someone with Fibromyalgia and EDS that's a lot of writing and love folks. Writing is painful! So if you got a letter, I really LOVE you!

2) I paid for this persons coffee at my favorite coffee place. 

3) I donated school supplies to the Vigo County United Way School Supply Drive.

4) I sent a mutual gluten free friend my favorite gluten free brownie mix in the mail.

5) I sent a friend who has a Hopekeepers group in New York (a chronic illness support group) like I'm trying to start a Hope Kit as an idea to do with her group. 

6) I sent a gift card to Staples to a teacher friend in Florida in case she needed some last minute stuff for her classroom. 

7) I sent a "pill box" filled with words of encouragement and candy to a friend in Pennsylvania and the left over candy to share with her daughter. 

8) I sent a book to a friend in SC who has been going through some rough health stuff lately and kept posting on Facebook that she really needed a new book to read.

9) I gave 2 people from my class a ride to the hospital that were walking from campus when we had orientation. They admitted it was a much further walk than they thought and over 100 degrees outside and were very appreciative. 

10) I went to the library with a friend even when I didn't feel well to do homework with a friend while she wrote a paper, just so she had some encouragement to get her work done. 

11) I took my mom out to a NICE lunch when she drove me out of town (2 hours each way) on a Saturday (her only day off each week) to pick up my bassoon that I had been waiting so anxiously to pick up for 3 months but knew it was risky to make the drive by myself. 

12) I donated $10 to a friend's trip to Mayo clinic she is getting ready to take to hopefully get a better diagnosis for herself. 

13) I bought this t-shirt that provided 14 meals to people across America.

14) I wrote notes to all my nurses at my infusion center and brought them chocolate. But forgot to take a picture of it. :(

15) I held the door open for everyone I came into contact with. Some people found this annoying which I thought was interesting. 

16) I let driver's merge if they had their blinker's on and I let walkers cross the street. Every time. No matter what kind of hurry I was in. All month. This one took discipline. 

17) I cleaned the house for my mom one day, even when I wasn't feeling well, so she wouldn't have to when she got home from work or on the weekend. 

18) I donated $1 to the No Kid Hungry Campaign at Arby's and in return (which I wasn't expecting, it's nice when those things work out) I got these coupons for donating, worth more than $1 for sure. :) 

19) I left the extra stamps I had after my mailing escapade at the stamp machine for someone else to pick up  and use when they came into the post office after me.

20) I gave out the recipe to a yummy dinner I made and posted on Facebook. Here you can have it too! 

21) I donated $1 to the American Red Cross when we went to eat at Rick's

22) I played nice on Social Media outlets (for the most part)! Anyone who knows me knows that several of these groups I get in get a little heated and controversial. And (for the most part) I stayed out of the controversy. I may have ranted about the idiocy on my main page, but didn't engage in an argument, and that's a big step for me. So good job to me! :)

23) I complimented a stranger. Have you ever done that? It's awkward. But it's fun. It led to a very interesting 2 hour conversation during an infusion, and I'm glad I did it.

24) I picked up some veggies from a CSA for a friend of mine who had class and client's during the window of opportunity to pick them up so she could enjoy some fresh organic produce for 2 weeks. These aren't the actual veggeis I picked up for her, they're mine (we belong to 2 different CSA's), but I wanted to put another picture in. 

25) I cooked dinner sometimes that was healthy and yummy for my mom after she had a long day at work. Here is one of them: 

26) I taped money to the drink machine on the first day of class with a note that said "Have a good first day of class with some caffeine on me."

27) I taped $2.00 to the parking meter in the parking lot where I got a parking ticket this summer for not having change and the handicapped non metered spaces were all full. I put a note there that said, "So you don't get a ticket like I did."

28) I spent a lot of time in August being kind to myself. I spent a ton of time soul searching, life searching, body searching, and figuring out what is best for me and where I am. Of course it's the first week of September now and all that's changing, but I did it. I started out this blog talking about how I think we've all become so busy and forgetting in that business to be kind to each other. However, I think it's equally important, if not more important to take time out to be kind to ourselves. After all, we're the only one we've got and once we're gone, we're gone. So yeah, I think I can count being kind to myself on this list, what about you?

Anyway, that's my list of what I spent my August doing. Taking time out to be kind. And it was so rewarding. Some of the stuff is stuff that I do everyday and didn't think of it as being kind. Some of it is stuff that  I would like to start doing more. Some of it was really hard. But all of it was rewarding. And they all taught me something. Even if it was that kindness doesn't have to be a big gesture, some of the biggest thanks I got and greatest rewards were from things that cost nothing, and the things that cost money I never saw a return on my investment (the drink machine, parking meter, coffee shop line, etc). But the holding the doors open, the letting people pass in front of my car, that's where the smiles were. The little things. What's that the Bible says? Oh yeah, this:

"This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing." Matthew 10:41-42 The Message

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