Happy, Happy New Year!! How has the first week of the year been going for you?
We’ve been busy cleaning, organizing and doing all of those pre-move things. Is it crazy that I actually enjoy it? For someone who is by no means a clean freak, the whole pre-move deep clean is a bit of a ritual for me. A sign of things to come, I guess.
Anyway, I thought what better way to start out the new year than with a little rundown of how it all went down with our random acts of kindness adventure.
Remember our advent tree? The one where we counted down the days to Christmas doing somewhat random acts of kindness.
Well, it turns out a certain trip to the US threw a wrench in my well laid countdown plans. So what is one to do in such a situation? Grab a friend and do as many acts of kindness in as few days a possible, I say. 🙂
So, before I left for the US I took all of the cards off the tree and got to work. I recruited my friend Monique one day to be a partner in crime and designated photographer (unfortunately there are no photos for the tasks I took on by myself). 🙂 And, in no particular order here is what we found ourselves doing.
Hopefully anyone who is embracing the random acts idea, especially in honor of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will find a few ideas here to be something that would work for you. 🙂
1. Buy a friend a
beverage coffee. Turns out I didn’t buy Monique’s espresso, but did indulge her in an ice cold Tamarind juice after our adventure. It’s a simple gesture, but I appreciated her help and enjoyed the down time it gave us just to sit and chat for a bit.
3. Leave an extra large tip at a meal out. I gave a super nice server a $10 tip on a $9 lunch while I was in MD in December.
4. Pay for someone’s meal. It could be the car behind you at the drive thru, the nice ol’ couple in the booth next to you at breakfast or someone behind you in line at a street vendor … if you live in a place with street vendors. 🙂
5. Give cold drinks to road workers (or hot drinks if you’re in a cold location). These guys win the most exuberant award. They just got so excited and happy and started calling over all of their buddies, I was worried we were going to run out, but it just worked out.
6. Donate dog treats to our vet’s office.
7. Clean up garbage in an area you frequent. I consider this a lead-by-example idea. A kindness to the earth idea. It usually garners funny looks around here when I’m picking up trash, but in the back of my mind I can’t help but think that it’s going to make some people think twice about littering in the future. And, I’m even known to run after people who “accidentally” drop things saying things like “Oops, I grabbed this for you after I noticed you dropped it, I see a trash can right over there.” with a big, friendly smile.
8. Give a stranger a phone card. This might not make sense in the US but many cell phones plans are pre-paid here, where you buy minutes in the form of a phone card. This guy was worried that I wanted money in exchange for the card, but once it was clear it was a gift he was very thankful.
9. Pay for someone’s groceries. I did this last year, too, as part of our 12 Days of Kindness.
10. Leave random notes of happiness on cars. We chose the more ‘rustic’ looking cars, which are abundant in Curacao … and probably left people looking over their shoulder in suspicion … which makes me wish we’d hung around to see some reactions to the notes. 🙂
Monique even got in on the fun. 🙂
11. Buy a stranger’s movie ticket.
12. Tape coins to a vending machine. We went to the vending machine at the hospital and left enough money for 2 drinks and a cheerful note.
13. Give cookies to tellers at the bank. No cameras allowed in the bank but those ladies love their cookies!
14. Tell a stranger they look beautiful. Turns out the lady in front of me in line at the bank had the most gorgeous sun dress on so I made sure to tell her.
15. Give cookies to the Venezuelan Embassy. That’s where I took Spanish classes … for free. It was nice to see my teacher again and they appreciated the thought. Frankin (my teacher) was happy to let me know he met a someone who had met me who said I spoke beautiful Spanish.*
*I met this woman one time and maybe said 2 sentences to her and it was at a birthday party so she had been drinking. 🙂
16. Bake brownies for Joel’s co-workers. Now, this one worked out kind of funny. Last year I baked cupcakes for the security guards, so this year I thought I would bake brownies for a different group … but, the security guards had another plan. 🙂 I was driving in one day when one of the guards proclaimed “It’s almost time for those muffins again.” 🙂
It made me smile so I couldn’t resist bringing them more treats this year. And I don’t know why they call them muffins, they also call flip flops “slippers”.
17. Lighten a friend’s load. Whether it’s offering to watch their kids for a few hours, run a regular errand you know they have or just pick up their dry cleaning. Something that might give someone just a few extra minutes to do with exactly how they like might just change the course of their whole day.
18. Donate school supplies to a school in need. I know many of you with kids have to do this already, but there’s always going to be a school out there who doesn’t have the parent participation most of us are probably used to.
19-24. Do something nice for yourself. Truth be told, I haven’t actually taken the time to do these yet, but I will. I believe it’s a gift to everyone … at least that’s what I tell myself to justify it and I’m totally buying my own story. 🙂
What about you … have you participated in any random acts lately? Have any fun, new ideas for me? Do you try to give people back their litter?
And, if you want to read a couple other ideas, check out what we did for the 12 Days of Kindness last year.