I’m an idealist. I like to see the world through my rose-colored glasses. To believe that all people are really good at heart.
So of course I enthusiastically said [in fact, I might have screamed] “I’m IN!!” when I heard about Ann Curry’s idea. Her #26acts of kindness in remembrance of the precious lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday. What you do and how you share your #Acts is 100% up to you. I don’t plan on posting about my actions; I’m doing this to remember those in Newtown and not for personal recognition on any front. However, I did feel that I should share the experience I had this morning as a recipient of someone else’s #26acts.
I waiting until this morning to fill up my gas tank on the way to work. As I pulled into the station, got out of my car, and prepared to fill up my tank, I dropped the gas cap under my car. Great- I thought to myself. Here I am standing in frigid temps in ridiculous studded pumps and now I have to climb under my car and get that stupid thing. I continued the process of paying at the pump and almost forgot about the cap. Until someone tapped me on the shoulder.
It was a kind, generous gentleman who had taken the opportunity to pay it forward. He clearly saw me drop my gas cap and instead of standing and laughing as I attempted to combat crawl under my SUV, he simply retrieved it for me. No need to ask; just a simple act of kindness.
As he handed me my gas cap, I spuddered off about 14 “Thank yous” and bid the man a very, very Merry Christmas. He walked away, got into his own car, and drove off. I don’t think that man knows the impact that he’s now made on my day. Here again- a simple act & a huge payoff.
So, for this I’m hopeful: as we’re all out engaging in our #26acts over the next few days, I’m going to pray that this rubs off on us all. That the “do-good feeling” has a lasting effect on us all and that we continue to go out of our ways to exhibit kindness to our fellow man. May we strive to make this a part of our everyday. Let it continue to be a source of pride for each of us. Imagine the impact YOU could make on this world with a smile and a couple of acts of sincere kindness…
on positive thinking [& living]
Often I’ve been asked how I keep such a positive attitude. My response [more commonly than not] is to say that you have to think positively to act positively. I make a conscious CHOICE not to linger in the bad, sad, and irritating. I pick things out of my everyday to celebrate and embrace; things that I know I have been blessed to be the bearer of; things that not everyone is so lucky to encounter.
That’s not to say that I’m always happy. I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty unfair shit this year. But living in that- in a constant state of perpetual anger and frustration- will get me [you] nowhere. Even through the darkest days, you must make a decision to focus on the good. What comes is a happier perspective. Because things could always be worse.
So the goodies that Momma P gave me (pictured above) on Monday— well, I couldn’t help but share them with you all.
the first is a Book of Gratitude. Much like Miss Brooke’s weekly gratitude, this little journal of sorts challenges you to pick three things out of your day that made you happy. In a way, it allows you to appreciate the small, the lovely instead of focusing on your never-ending “To Do” list or falling into the perpetually negative slippery slope that can be life. I’m using this as my journal; an unfiltered place that I can store all of my tiny pieces of happiness.
the second is a dammit doll. Because sometimes, even a Book of Gratitude can’t solve a really shitty day & even the cheeriest of us needs something to take out a few frustrations on.
I challenge you all to do this- pick a few things out of each and everyday that make you just a little bit happier. It can be even the tiniest things- a fantastic cup of coffee, a great laugh with an old friend, your favorite Christmas song. Soon, you’ll forget about dwelling in the negativity, the struggles, and the sadness and you’ll appreciate the little things you have in your life.
I promise- it will be beyond worth your efforts.
on a few [faint] lines
I just texted my Momma to thank her for passing on her brilliant anti-aging genes and fantastic skin elasticity to me. Who ever thought that at [almost] 30 we would have “friends” already worrying about crows feet and laugh lines?
her response was classic Mary P:
Keep smiling and be happy!!!
once again reminding me that honest to goodness happiness really is the best medicine- far better than any cream or serum that money can by.
Yet as I type this, I realize that happiness which I hold so close to my heart will also one day etch laugh lines in my face. That hours of worry and years of excitement will eventually appear across my forehead. However, with that will come a lifetime of memories and stories and laughter and celebration.
and at that point- I’ll be okay with having a few old creases to show for it
How’s that for your Smile Friday?
Have you ever had one of those days:
one where you beam with pride
where you get every pat on the back that you deserve
one where your hard work finally falls into place
where you find the perfectly cropped, stripped sweater that you’ve been searching for to match a dynamite pleated skirt [you seriously didn’t expect more from me did you?]
where you realize that nothing is ever going to be just the way you want it and that you are okay with that concept
that life is learning how to smile through the frozen freezer coils and bum hot water heater
and find the magic in the everyday
Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been up since 5 am [yawn] or the sheer sense of excitement for a three day weekend laid out ahead of me [please see aforementioned ‘hard work falling into place’ reference]. Whatever it is, my little soul is soaring right now.
I’m often asked how I manage to keep my outlook on life so positive…
all I can say is that with days like today— it’s hard not to.