I was on a train heading into Sydney where a middle-aged man experienced a mental distress episode. It made those around him extremely uncomfortable.
A young woman sitting near me started talking to him to make sure he was OK. The two of them spoke for about 10 minutes. The lady showed such compassion and empathy towards this complete stranger.
Not only did she calm him down and help him come to the decision to seek assistance, she stunned those of us sitting in the immediate area with her kindness and humility.
As I sat in a restaurant, an elderly man using a cane dropped his coffee as he was setting it down on the table. I took over a bunch of napkins and wiped off his chair and the table.
An employee followed up with a wet rag to prevent stickiness. The man told me he has carpal tunnel and can't feel much in his hands. As I write this, I think: Let us not develop a form of "carpal tunnel" in our hearts.
I was struggling to think of a kindness to write about this morning, and while I was wracking my brains my email went ping with a blog update in my inbox. I read it while I pondered.
I saw a description of a friend's morning routine, seeing to her sheep during lambing season, and it brought a tear to my eye as it was beautifully written.
Kindness dilemma instantly solved! I wrote her a message immediately saying how much I'd enjoyed it, and she wrote back saying how lovely that was to hear and how she didn't think anyone actually read her ramblings.
Now I follow quite a few blogs but I rarely comment. Maybe I'll start making more of an effort to let the writers know they're being heard.
One of my students' parents brought a boatload of these pens to pass out to the class. There was enough for me to share with two other classes. She had them made with this incredible positive affirmation. It kind of made my day! :)
My six-year-old grandson visited. I played some marble games with him, and then I walked with him to the local park. He had fun on the jungle gym. We then went on a walk in the park, and stopped and watched the older kids at the skateboard area.
He saw some garbage and insisted on picking it up and throwing it in the trash can. He said, "We can't let the planet get hurt."
I'll take him with me to a clean up project on Earth Day if his parents don't have plans. I think he'll like that.
Every time I am in 'my' supermarket I make sure to talk to the cashiers, smile at them, wish them a good day, etc. Today one of them looked stressed so I made sure to give her an extra bright smile and her reaction shocked me: She started smiling herself and told me that she always is happy to see me, as I would be one of only a few people who would see her as a human being and not as some sort of cashier robot.
I mean, it is a huge supermarket in the middle of the city, they have lots of customers! And obviously, most of them ignore her as a person. I didn't do anything special, yet it was special to her. While I feel touched and honored by her praise, I am also a bit sad that such basic contact is obviously such a rare commodity for her.
Winter storm headed our way this evening with heavy wet snow expected, between 10-20 inches. Spent most of yesterday preparing: baking, cooking, filling buckets of water, making sure generator works, alternate cooking methods, minimal heating options, etc...
If we lose power, we lose our water (on a well). We are about 7 miles from town, but at least we are on a school bus route, so our road will get plowed, eventually.
Well stocked on seeds and food for the birds and creatures.
We volunteer today at the foodbank and charity shoppe. Grateful that we can do before the snow hits. Have a feeling that we are going to be busy with folks stocking up on supplies!
*Banana bread is for fellow volunteers. Always like to bring an appreciation treat :).
For the second time in several weeks, the tire pressure indicator flashed in my face on the dashboard of my car. The tires looked fine, but I took the car to the tire center near my home. Confession: over the weekend, I somehow managed to drive over a curb. The guys at the tire center checked everything out. They couldn't find a problem except for one tire that showed no damage but lost some air. Keep an eye on it, they said. For the second time in several weeks, there was no charge for the services.
Before I returned to pick up the car, I stopped at the local drug store and purchased a giant bag of miniature chocolate bars (135 of them!) to give them in thanks.
My 89-year-old mother was visiting me. As she was helping me fold laundry, she commented on how pretty my bras were and lamented that when she started wearing bras, pretty ones weren't available. When they were available, she couldn't afford them because she and Dad were raising a family. Then she felt too old for them.
I decided to take Mum down to my local lingerie shop. A wonderful salesperson professionally fitted her for a lovely, lacey, colourful bra while telling her no woman was ever too old for va-va-voom.
Mum would have considered it frivolous to spend more than $20 on underwear, but I bought the bra she liked the best. The smile on her face as she left the store with an elegant little bag containing a puff of lace wrapped in tissue was amazing. She hasn't stopped smiling since.
After reading it’s International Woman’s Day, I wanted to do something to note the occasion. I bought some mascaras to donate to a local woman’s shelter. My sister-in-law works there, and told me lots of women at the shelter wish they had the means to buy “non essential” things like make up. I hope this little gift lifts their spirits.
Staff at schools have had to make accommodations during the pandemic, with people taking up extra duties when needed. When our office staff was reduced on campus, a woman named Patty, who hadn't ever run our office, took over. She has done a phenomenal job. She's been like a saint to everyone on campus. So, today we celebrated her as our Saint Patty, with a staff-signed poster, flowers, Starbucks, a gift card, Gummies, and more. She seemed stunned.
Many years ago, a dear friend taught me to end each conversation on a high note. To this day we never end a conversation on a negative note. In fact, I think we take the time to think of something just to ensure we end our conversation positively.
Over time this has become a regular practice for me. If a conversation keeps turning to topics that drag me down, I try to change the topic or put a positive spin on it. Hopefully if I am heading down the path of negative thoughts, someone will do the same for me.
Sometimes there are topics that need to be discussed that are not uplifting and there does not seem to be a way to find a positive note. At such times I find it is important to remember to be kind and speak with love and compassion.
Garden shops and florists are finally open after being closed three months for the pandemic. We visited a florist friend who I have not seen for over a year now and splurged on lovely flowers: two bouquets and 10 plant pots of pansies.
I think it is so important, now more than ever, to support small local businesses, even if they are a tad more expensive than the bigger stores. I gave my husband a big bouquet and seven of the potted pansies to take to his mum who is not so mobile nowadays. Some of the flowers are for the house to cheer it up. Spring is in the air!
My nephews Nived, 8, and Krishiv, 5, were getting ready for their new karate class. Their mom asked me to drop them off. As we were leaving, we found a kitten squatting outside the door. Since we are not typically friendly with creatures in my part of the world, the cats usually run away when they sense human presence. But this one stayed put when she suddenly found us a couple of steps away. We felt she might be afraid, or she might be in need of some care. With my nudge, Nived picked up the kitten. We are usually quite afraid about contacting animals, but this time he brought her in. We arranged a little bit of milk, and she drank as we took turns stroking her back. When we had to leave for the karate class, she followed us out the door. Two street dogs showed up and we could physically ... Read Full Story >>
We love our dentist. She bends over backward to accommodate her patients. She comes in early and stays late if you have an urgent need.
She does what is needed without looking to make extra money for “add-ons.” She is a wonderful person, warm, friendly, very thorough, kind, and caring. She wears a beautiful smile, too. We ordered this mug to surprise her.
It was our first day back to school with kids. My colleague, a reading specialist named Barbara, asked how I was feeling:
Me: Hanging in there, a little tired.
Barbara: It's a lot. What do you have for lunch today?
Me: A sandwich.
Barbara: What do you like? I'll bring you something tomorrow. Do you like salad?
Me: (thinking) Wait a minute. What? She's going to get me a salad tomorrow?
Barbara: What kind do you like?
Me: I like Asian chicken salad.
Barbara: I have an extra Asian chicken salad. Let me get it.
(She disappears into her room and produces this beauty for me.)
Barbara: Here you go.
Me: "Thank you." (thinking) How did she do that? It seemed like she was Santa Claus just pulling out of her bag whatever I asked for.
A friend of mine passed away, and I was in need of cards for his wife. It took me a while, but I found some beautiful cards produced by a local artist. However, she didn't have exactly what I wanted. She went out of her way to find something suitable for me, and she went to special efforts to get to the post office the very next morning.
My first card to my friend's wife is seriously delayed, particularly as it now needs to travel to the other side of the world, but I hope it will remind her that people are still thinking of her.
I've just posted a review on the card maker's Facebook page to give credit where it is due. She was nice to tweak her designs for me so quickly.
I gave help to an ill student. He lives alone in a rented room, and his parents live in another city. A few days ago, he was suffering from some serious disease in his teeth. He was not able to eat anything and also faced problems speaking. No one was with him to take care of him.
He messaged me and asked for help. I visited his room and took him to the hospital and provided him with proper treatment. After taking some medicines and getting some proper care, he is feeling good and relaxed. I also talked to his parents on the phone and told them don’t worry, he is good, and I am taking care of him. They offered thanks.
There was a time I had to count every single penny I spent. I had to keep a tally in my head while shopping. I would stand there and add things up over and over and over. There was this time during the holidays when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s because way back then they had the most gluten-free food and I had a toddler newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I stood in the frozen food aisle adding everything up. The total was too high. I couldn’t buy everything. I didn’t want my card declined. I looked through everything trying to figure out what to put back. I kept everything everyone else would have loved, but put back the one thing I loved. It was a simple frozen package of chicken tamales. But that package was what put the total over budget. I hated the feeling of not being able to ... Read Full Story >>
A small child is in the hospital for a problem with damage in his stomach. My roommate invited that child's family to stay in our flat, and he asked me to use another room in our home.
I agreed to their stay, and my roommate thanked me.