Today is my birthday. Forty. 40. The big four-oh…4-0. Forty. I’ve been expecting it all year, and I can’t say I am bothered by actually being 40 now, but it looks strange to me in writing. Foreign, somehow. Hmmm…
I have been a bit sidetracked in my quest to add kindness to the world. Surgery, kids’ birthdays, school events, Hanukkah…all the stuff of life, really, so not an excuse, just an explanation. I have nothing so tangible as a gift of a rainbow-jar of M&Ms lately, just little things like letting people change lanes in front of me, or giving a compliment that I might have kept to myself. In fact, I am going to “officially” add another AOK right here (#11), and list some compliments about some people in my life:
- My husband has an amazing work ethic and ability to focus, and while the kids and I miss him when he works so much, I so admire his ability to do what he does, and how hard he works to take care of us as a family.
- My mom and dad are incredibly generous with their time and love, for me and for my children. I don’t know what I would do without them!
- My mother-in-law and sister-in-law make the Jewish holidays so warm, loving, and distinctly yummy! I love when holidays are coming up, I can anticipate a delicious meal and entertaining company.
- Our preschool collects change from the kids all during December, and at the end of the school month, the kids count the money and vote as to which animals they can buy for needy families from the Heifer Intl. catalog. I love and admire our school director Barbara Crowley for bringing this bit of human kindness to our children.
- I love you, Stacy O., for being brave and strong enough to put a happy face on over your pain when we last got together – life with chronic pain can be life-sucking, and I hope our fun afternoon was worth the drive and such.
I could go on and on…maybe I will another day. I am blessed with an abundance of fabulous people in my life – what else could I ask for?!?
That was a quick month since I’ve written here! I had shoulder surgery on the 13th of November, so both my kindness-offering ability and my writing energies were disrupted. I am healing nicely, still having some pain, but overall doing quite well.
I was the recipient of some generous and much-appreciated kindnesses during this time – many thanks to those who helped with my children, brought us meals, and checked in on me!!
I did have the opportunity to add two more to my kindness totals – #9 and #10. There is a fountain near one of our doctor’s offices, and I left some coins scattered on the edge of it one day, so that people who came by would have them to use for making wishes. Between me and my mom, we only had maybe 10 coins, so I plan to do this again, and do it right. 😉 And I picked three of my favorite books at the Mission Viejo library, and left a crisp one-dollar bill and a little note in each one. Hopefully these books will be checked out – or at least read – soon. If you are a fan of female-driven mystery novels, sisterly classics, or the foremost author of Jewish children’s books, you might just find an extra treat along with your good read!
Since my big birthday is in 16 days from today – it’s still 12-12-12 here in CA! – I may not make it to 40 kindnesses before then…but then again, it might be really fun and inspiring to try!! Reply with a comment if you have any ideas!!!
Maimonides described 8 levels of giving, with the highest being that the giver does not know who receives the charity, and the recipient does not know who made the gift. Today, I was able to tweak my attitude as I was waiting much too long to get my labs done… I went into the hospital gift shop, bought an adorable balloon that said, “Smiling Angels are Watching Over You” with cute angels on it, and asked the volunteer at the desk to deliver it to someone, anyone. So he called to the children’s floor, and they gave him a room number, and up he and the balloon went. I have no idea who got the balloon, and since I didn’t give my name or any other information, the child who received it doesn’t know anything about me.
I hope that kid felt as great to get a little surprise, as I did to give it!! (#8)
Quickie kindness (#7) yesterday – a jar of M&M’s in a neighbor’s mailbox. Don’t fret, it was a chilly day, no melting should have occurred.
I hope it brightened their day to receive it as much as it did mine to give it!
Two things I love. (See above. And yes, I do crack myself up.) On Friday, I was able to bring dinner for my friend Gretchen’s family, and meet her 4-week-old baby boy. He is incredibly cute, as one would expect, and didn’t cry the entire 20 minutes I was there. 🙂 I hesitated about including this in my 40 kindnesses, because I would do this whether I was doing this little side activity or not. I always like to contribute whenever “meal train” sign-ups come my way; I’ve always appreciated when I’ve been the recipient of such kindnesses.
I loved seeing Gretchen, tickling her baby’s toes, and knowing that I made her life (now with 2 kids) a little easier.
Left rainbow M&M jars for the school office and the medical lab I have been to pretty much monthly for the last year. Many smiles and thank you’s from them, and for what seems to be to be such a small gesture. Look how little it takes (I said to myself) to brighten up someone’s day! I don’t imagine the rest of my Kindnesses will involve M&M’s, but you never know. 😉
I left these on my twins’ teacher’s desk before class this morning, with a little note – “Have a fabulous day – pass it on!”
I hope she likes M&Ms…#2!