It was so nice to have a long weekend. Somehow we got plenty done, did some fun things, caught up with friends and family, and had some naps dabbled within all that. Saturday we napped in the late afternoon (so nice)! Saturday night I fell asleep snuggled on Chris’ nap, and then Sunday we had brunch and I curled up next to him on the couch for a snooze, only to find out my snuggling with him made him fall asleep sitting up. Ah, how nice naps are for adults.
It was an interesting weekend, on Sunday I was quite cranky, and then two random acts of kindness happened to me (and yet I was still cranky). The first happened at the Starbucks drive-thru. I was very thirsty, as all weekend it was between 97-102 degrees which almost never happens in Portland, and definitely not before July 4th. Usually we are just hoping for a slightly warm and dry 4th. This year we got dry and hot-as-hell too. Chris and I spent most of our time in our bedroom where we have air conditioning.
So back to the random acts of kindness at Starbucks. When we got up to the window to pay, the girl at the window said, “The woman in the car ahead of you paid for your drink.” Wow. I always hear of that happening, but it has never happened to me (that I can remember). It makes me want to pay it forward the next time I am at Starbucks. You would have thought that would have lightened my mood. It made me grateful and appreciative, but nonetheless I was still cranky.
Random act of kindness #2. We were at Sephora. Not my favorite place in the world. It was loud, (and remember I was cranky). The line was long and I was done with my errands and just wanted to go home. As I am next in line at the register, the girl who had just paid turns to me and says, “Would you like to use the rest of this gift card? There is only a dollar left.” I was a bit taken aback. Sure, it was only a dollar, but she did not have to pass it on. Most people would keep it until their next purchase. Of course, she might dislike the store as much as me, and hope not to go back. In any case, I think I was a bit shocked at the second act of kindness in one day. I mumbled a “thanks” and continued with my purchase. Later, though I felt like my shock meant I did not share my gratitude in the best of ways. Sure, it was a dollar, but sharing is sharing.
This was my story of the kindness that was shared with me yesterday, now it is my turn to pass on the love. Join me?
One of my least favorite days of the year is Black Friday. I abhor shopping on that day. This year there is an art bazaar that I would like to go to in order to support local artists. If I happen to be in downtown Portland, our local boutiques and small businesses participate in Little Boxes, a way for the community to support local businesses. That would be the only adventure I would have with shopping. Even having said that, I still do not have any interest.
I do not understand the desire for stores to be open (and for folks to be out shopping) on Thanksgiving Day. Why oh why? Our nearby outlet mall will be open from 6 pm to midnight on Thursday, November 27, and then is open from midnight to 10 pm on Friday, November 28. Which basically means they will be open from 6 pm on Thursday to 10 pm on Friday. WHY?
This is why I loved hearing about “RAK Friday” (Random Act of Kindness Friday) intended for Black Friday. Friends started a Facebook page and also has their three kids in on the action. What a wonderful idea to think about celebrating Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude and rolling into Black Friday doing things for others, instead of buying “things.” What if we were able to change Black Friday into RAK Friday? What a difference it would make in this world of consumerism and commercial spending.
So here is my question for you, what should I do on RAK Friday here in Portland? And, for those of you that might be reading this while waiting in line at the mall, what RAK are you going to do for someone today?
We talk about random acts of kindness and how we do not always know the impact we have made on another’s life. We might pay for the coffee of the person behind us at Starbucks, or let someone go ahead of us in line at the grocery store. We may never see that individual again, and we never know if our small act has made an impact on their day. We don’t do it to say, “I did this.” Instead, we do it out of love, we do it to be selfless, we do it to lighten another’s load.
Often, I am deep in my thoughts, a zillion to-do lists cascading through my mind as I walk, drive, or scurry from point A to B. Yet, as I check items off the list, and add new items, I may miss opportunities to help another. I could always be more aware of what is happening around me. How often do you notice someone in need, and yet keep walking because you think, “I do not have time to stop.” or “I have too much to do to think about how to help.” I get it, as I am sure we all have those days, but has that become the norm that we are too busy to stop?
When I saw this video (in Thai, with subtitles), I immediately thought, if only we all could be more like this man, the world would be a better place. I know I often write about awareness, helping others, and gratitude, but each time I find a new idea I always want to share it. Repeating similar message in different ways allows us each to open our thoughts to new ways of thinking. Each are new reminders on how to lead better lives. My hope is the ideas that inspire me, will only then inspire others. So watch this man share of himself and hopefully be inspired.
We each could probably be better about keeping our head out of the clouds. Together lets notice more of what is happening around us. It might help us to see that all those lists are of small importance to what is happening around us.
So yesterday I was in Portland with the hat of jewelry representative. After venturing to a few boutiques I stopped to see my sister to pick up a book from her. I did not realize it when I was parking (I read the arrows on the sign wrong) and I ended up parking in a “no parking 4-6 PM” area. Ugh. I get back to my car as the tow truck is starting to put my front wheels on the tow truck.
I was flabbergasted. I thought I had read the signs correctly. I run to the tow truck and ask the driver why he is towing my car! He yells at me: “Look at the signs, you are not to park here between 4-6 PM.” I am obviously confused. I know how to read. I know how to look at arrows, but like we all do (or maybe it is just me) I read it wrong. Bummer. I must have had the most confused look on my face.
He yells at me, “Here is your ticket…get the @#$@#$!%$ in your car and drive away now, and I will not charge you for the tow.” Wow. That was the random act of kindness for me yesterday. Thank you, Mr. Tow Truck Driver. I appreciate your rather gruff affection and your walking away from taking more money out of my bank account.
Blindness, or misreading a sign = $90 for a parking ticket. Bummer. Gratefully, I only walked away with a $90 ticket instead of a $90 ticket AND towing fees. Yowsers.