Day 735: Ice, ice, baby


.
Okay, so it hasn’t been quite this icy on Toronto streets lately, but it has been pretty slippery in spots out there.

And I have broken both wrists over the past two years … the left one after a very bad fall that bruised both my arm and my ego.

So, forgive me if I’ve been a little skittish out there and inching along even more slowly than my 82-year-old Pops.

In fact, right outside his building, I almost went flying went I walked across a patch of black ice on the way to the grocery store.

So when I saw that the lock had rusted off the box of rock salt outside the store, I was hit with a brainwave (my annual one).

And a plastic bag left behind at the bank machine beside the supermarket helped me execute my cunning plan.

After I came out of the store with my dad’s purchases, I used the extra bag to scoop up as much salt as I could from the box. Since I was using it for the public good, on a route directly in front of the store, I figured no one would mind. (And I didn’t set off any sirens or alarm bells, so, SCORE!)

I carefully navigated the snowy sidewalk back to my dad’s building, and when I got to the patch of black ice, I carefully distributed my swiped salt as evenly as I could over the surface.

Yes, I ended up having to use my bare hands and risk dreaded chapped skin, but it was well worth it. Disaster hopefully averted… until the next storm, anyway.

In other winter good-deed news, a friend of mine told me that her neighbour regularly takes her snowblower over to my friend’s property and takes care of her driveway too… how nice is that?!

Stay upright, all!

how-to-walk-on-ice

p.s.

I shouldn’t laugh at this after my falling history but I just can’t help myself. Enjoy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Day 734: Random or not-so-random, kindness matters

coverstory-blitt-newspaper-revised-875x1200-1478270888I love hearing about random acts of kindness. That’s basically what this whole blog is about. Those small, everyday kindnesses that can make a big difference to someone else.

So I found this article by Dr. Susan Smalley, called There are no random acts of kindness: the non-random nature of kindness is key to its value, really interesting.

Here’s an excerpt:

I think it is a misnomer to describe acts of kindness as random; kindness arises with an intention to “be kind” followed by an action. While the acts may be directed toward anonymous people or animals, the person’s act of kindness is anything but random — it is deliberate and directional — non-random in nature.

I think that the non-random nature of kindness is key to its value. It reflects a conscious choice on the part of the actor, to give, to help, to share and to soothe. It seems to me that it is in the conscious choice we reveal our role in shaping our own humanity and even our evolutionary future.

The preparation of a sack lunch for a loved one is full of kindness; it is intentional and directional. I remember writing little notes and including small “surprises” (e.g. Hershey kiss) for my kids in their lunches when they were little. A sack lunch can carry a lot of love within it.The other day I saw my daughter preparing a “sack lunch” for her boyfriend who is in a rather rigorous 5 day a week 8 hour a day school program. She wrote his name on the bag — just like I used to do for her and her brothers when they were little. It was such a sweet act of kindness, and it made me think about all those sack lunches that will be prepared in the next months as the fall school season begins.

But there are many non-random acts of kindness around us all the time. When we meet a homeless man or woman on the street, we may offer a cup of coffee, give some change, or just wish them well with a smile and hello. That is anything but random — we choose to place our attention on them and we choose how to respond — with kindness or not…

I think what we really want to practice are more non-random acts of kindness – directed to those we know and to those we don’t know – as much possible.

I am sure it will make our lives happier and the world a kinder place.

So, whether we call them random or deliberate is clearly not the important thing. But that we try to do them at all.

One very non-random thing I’ve done a couple of times is to donate stacks of my beloved New Yorker magazine (which I try to read cover to cover, because every issue is just so dang amazing, but don’t always get to do) at my local hospital.

They conveniently have a big bin near the entrance to collect reading material for patients and their friends and families. What a great idea!

Recycling is all well and good but if you can share a great read with others that, to me, is an act of kindness… although definitely not a random one.

p.s.

Song of the day, for the holidays. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Day 733: TTC kindness

I heard about this story on CBC radio this morning and had to share the original FB post that sparked the story:

ttcstory

I sincerely hope I would jump in and try to help if anything like this ever happens to me.

After all, I also don’t leave the house without Advil. 🙂

p.s.

Song of the day for your listening pleasure:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Day 732: Love matters

textlovequotemusicquotesbeatles-8bdafe6d1cc4e8b3aca1e302b0344fdd_hThis past year has seen some dark times on the world stage, making it hard not to get fearful or depressed.

In fact, an old friend of mine gave me a call about that on the eve of the U.S. election last week. He suffers from schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder, among other ailments and, beyond that, is an artist and songwriter who is very sensitive to sensationalized news reports about world events or natural disasters.

He’d been following reports of the election and was greatly disturbed by the bullying demeanor of one of the candidates and was terrified that this person would be voted in.

I always try to be honest with my friend, not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because he has a keen sense of when someone’s not being completely honest. So I told him that he should try to relax and calm down because there was no chance of this person winning the election. I wasn’t lying, I really believed that at the time.

So, naturally, when this person won, I felt terrible that I’d mislead my friend, who had counted on me to be the voice of reason.

We’ve talked since, and he’s come to terms with things, and I’ve realized that it wasn’t the content of what I told him that was important but mostly that I answered his call at all (he said he’d been calling everyone on his contacts list that day and I’m the only one who answered).

Now, if he’d called me 10 minutes later, I might’ve been in the middle of something and not answered so I feel grateful that I did that time, that I was able to be there for him.

And that’s my hope… that we don’t let fear win. That in these small and simple ways, we can continue to be there for one another and fight fear with love. Always with love.

Thanks for listening.

p.s.

Speaking of love… love this!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Day 731: Fighting the good fight

.

You might notice my last post here was in May.

My life took an unexpected turn in May. My sister got very ill. Then, my brother needed emergency lung surgery. And a few weeks after that, my dad had a stroke and my husband and I spent the summer overseeing his care, packing up his house and moving him from his town two hours away to Toronto, to be closer to us.

Oh and I fractured my wrist out of sheer folly and carelessness.

Not only did I have no time to blog about good deeds, I didn’t much feel like doing them. It felt like there was some kind of dark cloud hovering over our family and around every corner was more bad news and road blocks and frustrations.

Did I rise to the occasion and feel appreciative of the small miracles of life and more loving toward my fellow humans? I’m ashamed to say, no. Quite the opposite.

Being sleep deprived and wracked with worry made me short tempered and selfish and resentful. “Why me?” “Why now?” “When do I get my life back??”

Tough times can bring out the best in people, draw out admirable qualities and virtues they never knew they had. You read about average Janes and Joes in the World Trade Center on 9/11 who didn’t hesitate to put others first when it really mattered and rose to the challenge of trying to save as many people as they could.

Or just today, I heard an interview on CBC radio that brought me to tears, about a man in New York who — without hesitating for a second, and at risk to his own health — donated his stem cells to a complete stranger in Toronto who suffered from leukemia.

And here I was complaining about having to trek two hours to Cambridge, Ontario, every Friday after work to pack up my dad’s house and make arrangements for his care.

Very humbling, folks. And a good reminder to me of why I started this blog in the first place.

Because I’m not one of those noble, truly selfless people I mentioned above. I’m usually too stuck in my own head and preoccupied with my own comfort to automatically put the well-being of others before my own. To spontaneously lend a hand. Offer a shoulder. Look a stranger in the eye and smile.

My family isn’t out of the woods yet but I felt like sharing this today after I watched the video above. Not sure why it touched me so deeply but it cracked open a box of worries and regrets and new resolve that hopefully means I can keep fighting the good fight.

It struck me that even though I may not be made of heroic stuff, I can certainly keep trying to be better. Kinder. Even if it’s just in small, simple ways. Doing things from a place of love. For I do believe that’s what we’re here for.

Here’s hoping writing it down like this will help me stick to it. One good deed at a time.

p.s.

In my absence, I missed this really cool project that Patrick shared on my “About Me” page, called the Good Mojo Project. Please do check it out!:

What a fantastic blog and project you have. I wanted to share an idea I came up with called the Good Mojo Project. The idea of the Good Mojo Project is to give a flood of positive messages and posts to one person a day who needs a pick-me-up (like when it is your birthday on Facebook). With enough people buying-in, it would be an amazing experience to see all that support and good energy being directed towards them when they are having a hard time.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be open to sharing the page below and getting more people on board to send the messages?
https://www.facebook.com/GoodMojoProject/
Thanks for checking this out!
Patrick

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Day 730: Fort McMurray fire

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 1.21.45 PM.png

I am terrified of fire. Maybe because I started one in our family kitchen when I was in Grade 8. Making donuts.

When I was running around screaming “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!” my little brother calmly and wisely said, “Call the fire department.”

The Fort McMurray fire is on a scale I can’t even imagine. I’ve made a donation to the Red Cross relief fund. Wish I could do more.

Acc. to this Globe & Mail article, here are ways to help:

  • Money: Click here to donate to the Red Cross. You can also donate by texting “REDCROSS” to 30333.
  • Supplies: Here’s a crowdsourced Facebook page to connect Fort McMurray residents needing items with volunteers providing them.
  • Volunteers: Those interested in volunteering through the regional municipality can apply here.

For ways to get help, click here.

Praying they can stop it soon and that no one gets hurt.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Day 729: We are in this together

10649806_529725663878111_2687511542412633544_n.

Stumbled across this photo and had to share.

It reminded me that acts of kindness can occur in the most unlikely places.

I’ve been practicing “random acts of friendliness” lately, which doesn’t sound like much except that I might be the least friendly person I know.

12670339_1018429908252027_8086540552589000654_nNot that I don’t like people, I do. Most people. Okay, some people. But I tend to walk around lost in my own thoughts so I frequently pass by someone I know and they have to wave their arms in front of me to get me to pay attention and notice them.

In the past few weeks, though, I have made a concerted effort to smile at strangers, hold doors open, the works. This is a big city, so sometimes that has gotten me strange looks, but not very often, surprisingly enough.

But, as I found out the other day, looks can be deceiving.

In our office building, because of a glitch with our elevator system, we need security guards to ride up and down with us from the seventh floor and operate the elevator with a key. I can’t even imaging how long these shifts must feel for the security guards, so I try to chat with them on the trip.

Most of those on elevator patrol welcome the conversation, but one guy in particular was particularly hard to read. He was seated on a chair, staring at the ground, willing the day to be over.

But as soon as I asked him how his day was going, he turned around and his whole face lit up. His smile changed him into a completely different person. We chatted for a few minutes, and now when I see him, he smiles right away and we share a few words.

I don’t know whose day got brighter, his or mine.

p.s.

Instead of a song for the day, I have a laugh for the day. Try not to howl, I dare ya!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized