Random Acts of Kindness

Well, I am officially another year older and closer to death!  Let's face it, 36 is an uneventful age, so to celebrate my 36th birthday I decided to implement 36 Random Acts of Kindness in order to kind of spice things up a bit.  The idea was presented to me by my pal Greta who I happen to share a birthday with.  She has a way of sucking me into things encouraging me to do neat things.

I will admit that my list was pretty extensive and ambitious so I was not able to complete all 36 acts of kindness in the two week time frame that I allotted myself but I will share with you what I was able to do.

1. Give money to a homeless guy.
Well, I didn't see any homeless people during my two week mission.  And I refused to do like Greta suggested and go to where homeless people hang out.  I'm just not that dedicated.  So, instead I donated money to the Fill The Boot initiative to help our local firemen support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

2. Bake a red velvet cake for my husband.
Ok, it is a known fact that I don't cook, so instead of baking a red velvet cake for my husband, I decided to buy one from Nothing Bundt Cakes. Same difference.  The end result is that he got to enjoy the fruits of my labor pocketbook.

3. Place money on vending machine
I work in a hospital surrounded by sick patients and worried, stressed, hungry family members.  I can't take away the stress and worry but I can fill their tummies so I placed an envelope with dollar bills on the vending machine with a note for someone to enjoy a snack on me.

4. Stop everything and listen when my children are talking to me.
I have developed a severe case of mental block when it comes to my children and their constant chattering.  I can only hear "mommy" "mommy" "mommy" so much before I shut down.  Well, I made a point to try and listen when my boys are talking.  I mean full on drop what I'm doing and make eye contact kind of listening.  I'm sure they appreciated my undivided attention and I felt like a good mom for putting them first if even for 20 seconds.

5. Have boys write a letter to a friend.
So I kind of cheated on this one.  The rules of etiquette dictate that you should send someone a thank you note when they have done something nice for you.  So I had Ian write a thank you note to his friend Gavin for inviting him to the movies.  So I killed two birds with one stone.  I'm resourceful like that.

6. Leave a large tip for my waiter.
What starving college student wouldn't appreciate a fat tip!  Now we didn't get crazy.  We just left $10 more than we normally would have left.  But every little bit counts in my book.

7. Give gift card to mail carrier.
This was easy.  I just placed a Starbucks gift card in our mail box with "For Our Mail Carrier" on it.  Viola! done!  Our mail man did ring our doorbell the next day to say thanks for the gift card.  That was a little awkward but whatever!

8.  Hug someone.
Speaking of awkward...I don't like for people to invade my personal space so I avoid invading other's personal space as well.  So hugging someone that is not an immediate member of my family or a really close friend was a bit outside of my comfort zone. So I hugged Alex, one of my coworkers at work.  I did ask permission first and I did explain the reason why I wanted to give her a hug which I'm sure defeats the whole purpose but that's as good as it gets.

9. Encourage someone who is down.
Let's face it, we all have bad days and sometimes we just need someone to acknowledge our bad days and encourage us to hang in there. I was able to encourage someone who is having a rough go of it.  Mainly because I felt her pain and I truly wanted at that moment to do anything in my power to take that pain away from her, but all I had were a few kind words and hopefully it was enough for her to push on through to face another day and have hope that it will all get better soon.

10. Donate clothes to Goodwill.
This was easy.  My boys outgrow clothes like crazy.  It's a bit ridiculous.  Fortunately, there's a Goodwill clothing drop box near my house so I bagged up a sack full of our clothes and blessed others in need.

11. Donate box tops to boy's school.
Many different brands of food donate a portion of their sales to Box Tops For Education.  Our school has raised lots of money to do many wonderful things for the school with money raised from donated box tops.  It's easy to do and quite frankly very wasteful to not do.  It's like throwing away free money!

12. Clean Break Room at Work
Pretty self explanatory.  Sometimes we have to scarf down our food in 10 minutes in order to hurry back to patient care so cleaning up behind ourselves has to wait.  I have a smidge of OCD so I didn't mind tidying up at all. I just hope my fellow coworkers know not to make it a habit!

13.  Donate a song on the radio to my husband.
I had to stay on hold for an annoying two minutes but I was able to place my request in with the radio station to play Still by Tamia for my husband. I'm not sure if they ever played it because I had to get out of the car but surely they wouldn't lie to me...right?!

14. Cook every day for 7 days
Umm....yeah....I only made it to three days and I tapped out on this one. How do people do it?  Where do they find the time?  After making one meal that nobody even touched, I WAS DONE!  Back to every man for himself!

15. Go on date with husband.
My husband and I are sometimes like two ships passing in the night.  With our work schedules, church schedules and kid schedules, we rarely have a moment to ourselves.  Well, my in laws came to visit and we put them to work as soon as they made it through the door!  They pulled into the driveway and we left to enjoy a Benefit dinner called Burgers For Babies.  The food was amazing and it was for a good cause.  We got to dress up and have adult conversation and even valet park our car.  It's the little things!  It was a nice night out!
16.Let fellow driver merge in front of me on highway.
As my in-laws pointed out, Texans are aggressive drivers.  I didn't really notice this until they pointed it out.  But it is indeed true.  I decided to simmer down one day and let someone merge in front of me in the line at Braums.  You may not think this is a big deal but NOBODY GETS IN THE WAY OF ME AND MY BANANA SPLITS! This certain driver made an illegal dash for the drive through by zipping through the parking lot, but instead of speeding up to claim my rightful place in line, I allowed him to go ahead and get in front of me.  Go ahead and say it....I am one nice lady!

17. Speak to everyone that you pass in the hallway.
We all know that speaking is common courtesy.  But after speaking to about 10 people in the space of 20 yards....I was over it.  Some people spoke in return.  Some people smiled back.  And some people down right ignored me.  How rude!  It did become a little redundant after a while so I crawled back into my little shell and kept my eyes straight ahead and avoided eye contact at all costs!

18. Genuinely compliment someone
This was easy.  A lady at church has a Louis Vuitton  bag to die for.  So I drooled over it complimented her on her amazing bag and I meant it from the bottom of my jealous little heart!

19. No electronics for one day
EPIC FAILURE! Who can go a day without electronics? You feel totally isolated.  Alone with your thoughts, out of touch with the world.  It lasted about 2 hours.  Not worth the stress!

20. Call parents to say I Love You!
This was a bit weird because my family is not big on displays of affection whether physical or spoken and  I didn't want to just call and say "I Love You" and hang up so I tried to segue into it which stressed me out because the whole time I was like.... do I say it now?  how bout now? wait, what about now?  I just ended up getting off of the phone and quickly threw in an "I love you guys" and hung up.  Yes, I totally realize that I am a bit weird and emotionally stunted.  The first step is admitting that you have a problem right?!

21. Donate money to a worthy cause
I love Groupon.  If you don't know about Groupon I suggest you familiarize yourself with it ASAP.  Well, Groupon had an option to donate to the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.  This foundation provides opportunities for children of terminally ill cancer patients to experience family memories to last them a lifetime. What a way to give back and all it took was two clicks.

22. Teacher Gift
I really wanted to do something nice for the boy's teachers.  Let's face it...they deserve it!  They instill knowledge into my children's sometimes scattered little brains and they have to put up with them 5 days a week for 7 hours a day!! Well, we wrote a little note and attached a Panera Bread menu telling them to go crazy and circle anything they wanted on the menu and it would be delivered to them for lunch.  I mean...who doesn't like food!

Acts of kindness List & Excuses in Red

  • Buy someone's food behind me in the drive-thru *kept forgetting
  • Come into work early for someone *husband never made it home early enough
  • Babysit for a stressed mom *couldn't find time in schedule
  • Send flowers to a friend *couldn't decide which friend and I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings if they didn't get picked
  • Facebook post thanking my friends for being my friend *too cheesy
  • Take boys to bus stop *kept hitting snooze button
  • Take a friend to dinner *I tried but they ended up paying for my dinner for my birthday
  • Massage husbands feet *I hate other peoples feet
  • Iron husband clothes *I hate ironing
  • Put away husbands laundry *I hate laundry
  • Say only positive things today *I tried but failed
  • Donate old cell phones *couldn't find them
  • Donate blood *donation center was too far away
  • Send someone a small gift anonymous *too much trouble to decide what gift and who I'd send it to
  • Register as a disaster relief volunteer *way too involved and really...if a disaster happened I want to be with my family
  • Bring cookies to work *kept forgetting
  • Take boys to Chuck E Cheese *schedules were too busy for Terrance and I and I refuse to take them all by myself
So overall, this random acts of kindness adventure made me realize that maybe I'm not all that kind.  Some of the acts where easy but if I really had to go outside my comfort zone then they didn't get done.  I will admit that the acts I did get done made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Maybe I will try again next year and give myself a little more time to complete the mission or maybe I'll get the whole family involved.  Something to look forward to about turning 37!

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