Me: “It’s a Mom and Me day, what do you want to do today?
Fiona: “I want to go and get school supplies for Eastside Baby Corner.”
So how did this start exactly? I was turning 40 in a few weeks, and I kept thinking about what I wanted to remember from this milestone birthday, what I wanted it to mean to me, and how I wanted to celebrate it. I am blessed to have an amazing family, great friends, a job that I love, and to be in pretty good health. In recent years, I had a friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 31, and so in looking at turning 40 all I could feel was how blessed I am. Her passing weighed on how I would view this birthday: less of a burden and more of a celebration of life. I decided that I would do 40 random acts of kindness for my birthday to give back to those around me, and I determined that that while some would be “random” and “spur-of-the-moment”, many of them would be planned—focused on those around me—from my daughter’s teacher, to the mail carrier, to the neighbors who we interact with each day. Other acts I would put out into the world and let the universe determine who I could benefit and how I could have an impact.
They always say “it is better to give than receive” and I can tell you that in doing these random acts of kindness, I am getting so much joy in return. As an added bonus, my daughter and I have started having real conversations about how people have times where they need a hand, and how we can help lift each other up. I’ve found that this act of giving quickly became contagious—Before I knew it, my daughter was donating personal things that really mattered to her, and my husband was doing his own random acts of kindness.
What I have learned so far is that the “easy” ones feel more like “just being me”. The acts of kindness where I had to really put myself out there and get out of my comfort zone are where I have reaped the greatest satisfaction—The little voice in my head that said “give…love…help…”, I listened to very intentionally, when in the past I may have ignored it, being “too busy” or overthinking it how to act on it. I have found my genuine nature shining through, and appreciate how my daughter is watching and learning. She is learning how to share her gifts, how to love, and how to look at life and all its many blessings.