From the beginning of this PopSugar 30Days of Kindness Challenge I was afraid that it wouldn’t be demanding enough. On Day16-18 I found that the tasks were actually a bit more difficult that I assumed. Then Day19-21 I was at the other end of the spectrum and felt like I should be doing do more. So over the next few days I doubled-up and challenged myself to do two acts of kindness, as small or big as they may be.
“Write a letter of appreciation to someone who positively influenced you.”
I felt a little awkward about doing this one, but once I decided on the person, the words flowed easily. The person I chose is a former colleague, technically my superior when I started my career. We got off with a rocky start, but over the decade we worked together, everything changed. I learned a lot from her and am proud that even after 4years since I’ve left that job, we still reach out to each other, professionally and personally. It’ll be interesting to see her reaction to my email when she returns from her trip.
Adding to today’s challenge, I wanted to leave a token of thanks to our mailman. But instead of just leaving an envelope addressed to “Mr. Mailman”, and decided to call the local post office and find out his name, and wrote out a card for Robert too, thanking him for his services. Sometimes words carry more weight than money.
‘Volunteer at an animal shelter, soup kitchen or nursing home.”
I would love to do this, and what better day to volunteer my time than during the holidays. However, I’d like to bank this for another time during the years when volunteering is at a lull. I’m not much of an animal person, so I started looking into soup kitchens and nursing homes to see what my options are locally. And hope to get my kids involved with this too.
Instead today, I decided to agree to be my friend’s date to a dinner of which neither of us knew many people besides the hosts. I’m fortunate enough to have a non-mommy friend who makes sure I get me-time, and going out sans kiddos is something I need more than I realize. Spending time with her and being around other adults without being distracted by one of my kids was a relaxing evening out. Also, made sure to bring a bottle of wine for the host. Mama taught to me never go to someone’s home empty handed.
“Give up your seat for someone else.”
Ever been to dim sum? How often do you get a table right away? Never. So while our party of 6 waited for our table in the tiny waiting area, I was surprised I was able to get a seat and offered it to my youngest child, until I saw a elderly lady and redirected my son and we offered it to her instead. My small attempt at teaching by example.
This task felt minimal though. So for dinner, instead of trying to manipulate getting take-out since we had my cousins over, I decided I wanted to cook for everyone instead. I feel like family dinners are so important. I grew up having dinner in front of a TV so when we built our house, I made sure there was no TV in the dining area. I also have a ‘no devices at the table’ rule, and my kids are the first ones to remind anyone who has their phone at the table to put it away. Tonight we enjoyed a BlueApron meal of chestnut fettuccine and a side of acorn squash, grilled lamb chops and Ahloo Quay (burmese chicken and potatoes), as well as each other’s company.
Kindness and courtesy are synonyms, and I think that’s where I feel torn. I’d like to do more acts of kindness that aren’t also acts of common courtesy. Writing a heartfelt letter is definitely not common, while offering your seat is. So some days, I will want to double-up.
Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge? View the Overview page HERE.