Now that I've been sitting on 31 for a week, I feel a little less depressed about it. How did I get to be 31?!?!
But I digress...to celebrate the start of a new year of life, I committed to completing 31 acts of kindness. This idea started with 30 acts of kindness last year, and it proved to be the best and most fulfilling birthday of my life...and, being a sucker for tradition, I repeated it for 31, but gave myself an extra day to do it as I had my first official day back at school on my birthday.
It was busy and awesome. Here's how I celebrated:
1. Drove to Olympia, took my grandmother to lunch and shopping.
2. Took the pup on a 4.5 mile walk at 5am in the rain. Seriously, he's the sweetest boy ever and I will end my birthday giving him extra snuggles.
3. Brought the garbage cans in for all my neighbors – while it was pouring rain!
4. Wrote 31 cards to people to thank them for their role in my life…including my high school mentor that inspired my career and college student teaching advisor that inspired my practice, as well as a birthday present for a special eight year old whose birthday is in two days and a special eighteen year old whose birthday was last month.
5. Brought flowers to my mom to thank her for all that work she did 31 years ago today – and every day since.
6. Was going to put lottery tickets on windshields, but because it was pouring rain, put them on the doors of some of my favorite neighbors….if they show up with fancy cars or move suddenly I’ll know they won big!
7. Brought treats and a thank you card to the animal hospital that was so wonderful when I had to say goodbye to my sweet cat, Missy.
8. Left quarters in and next to the gumball machine. I hope it excites some sweet kid - or grown-up
9. Left popcorn and a few dollars to Redbox movie renters.
10. Paid for the gas of an old man at the gas station. I was so excited it was him because I’ve seen him around the neighborhood and he’s darling! He insisted on pumping my gas for me
11. Brought donuts to my fabulous colleagues for our really early back to school meeting. I won't tell you how many I ended up eating...
12. Bought coffee for the three people in line with me at Starbucks. I think they thought I was weird - but they let me buy. Also left $25 for the barista to continue to give out free coffee. She made a call while making the coffee and came back and said the manager said they would match it so even more people could get a free coffee treat!
13. Tipped the barista extra – who wants to start making coffee for people that don’t have their coffee yet at 6am?! She deserves it.
14. Sent Facebook notes to 31 people whom I never say how much I appreciate or admire them – but I do and today I told them.
15. Brought treats and a thank you card to the emergency vet clinic that saved my dumb dog’s life two years ago – and cried when I thanked them, again, like I did last year. And again, they were so sweet.
16. Was a very very patient driver and consciously smiled, let people in, and didn’t curse under my breath at all the silly drivers that forgot how to drive in the rain – as it was last year, this was again one of the most difficult.
17. Gave a pedicure/manicure gift card to the woman that has stood on the off ramp of the freeway with a sign asking for help on/off for the past several weeks. This was the one I was most nervous about but I thought she might appreciate it. This ended up being my favorite, she cried, and said she was so grateful for such a wonderful, undeserving treat.
18. Donated blood – saved three lives...ate two cookies. I might just do it for the cookies
19. Brought coffee to one of my very favorite friends. Not sure she wanted it, but I insisted
20. Left quarters in the park for little kids to find. This was one of my favorites last year, but, sadly, I didn’t get to watch any kids find it because it was raining so hard and no one was outside. I threw them all around and ran back to the car.
21. Wrote encouraging and uplifting notes and put them in self help books and weight loss books at the Goodwill.
22. Bought five balloons and handed them out to kids at the grocery store (well, four kids and a really sweet old woman :)) I was pretty embarrassed doing this but the parents were super sweet about it and the kids were all happy.
23. Signed up to bring a meal to one of my favorite new moms!
24. Brought cards and a bag of candy to the generous senior citizens that volunteer at the Puget Sound Blood Center. The same guy that was there last year and remembered me! Even though I’ve been in five times since.
25. Left a package of treats and a gift card to my favorite mail carrier, Pat. He loves Zenith and is seriously the most friendly man ever. I want him to be my grandpa (or second dad I guess...I'm not that young).
26. Stopped by the pizza place up the street and bought a pizza for the next group that came in. The worker lady asked to call me and tell me who she gave it to - which I just loved! It was a dad getting takeout. He said he was a new dad and his wife was craving pizza. Hope they enjoyed it! And snuggle the baby extra.
27. Grabbed an umbrella and brought in the seven grocery carts around Safeway (did I mention it was pouring?!) and dried them off when I brought them in. Seriously, that job stinks. I will always bring my cart in from this day forward.
28. Left three gift cards and a thank you note for the nice men that pick up my garbage each week (I’ve been home a lot this summer and saw them almost every week :))
29. Honked at the Seattle teachers picketing for a fair contract. At the light, asked them what I could do to support them and the guy gave me two points to share with others: 1) in many cases, their contract does not put limits on the amount of kids they service. That means teachers that work in special services could serve many hundreds of kids. 2) Their request for fair pay. They've been given a 2% "raise" but that's to make up for wages lost and furlough days. So, no raise. Consider yourself a bit more informed.
30. Scheduled a date to take care of my sweet nephews and niece, take them to Family Fun Center, and give my sister a break.
31. The last one was for me - dinner with my great fam, best friend, and an evening spa visit!
Greatest way to celebrate a bday - and I'm going to make 31 my best year yet!