Yesterday I finished my second leg of backpacking. I was extremely tired but very thankful. After my train from Slovenia, I took what was supposed to be a 6 hour bus ride, which turned out to be 9 hours, down to Croatia's coast.
In front of me on the bus was a little 4 year old girl and her grandmother. Hours passed by and eventually the child got fed up with being on the bus. The child wouldn't stop crying and I could tell everyone else was fed up as now they couldn't sleep, and everyone (including me) was tired.
I realized I had downloaded a bunch of games on my tablet for my little cousins. I started talking to the child and her grandmother and offered the child my tablet to play a few games. Eventually the tears stopped, she played some games and even fell asleep a while after.
Free and simple kindness is awesome. Check out some of Croatia's scenery driving along old roads :)
I was waiting for the bus today to head for the child care session I help to guide. It was really cold out there. When I came there, the bus wasn't scheduled for another 10 minutes. There was an elderly lady there carrying a few bags, and I noticed she had no gloves on. She started talking to me randomly and saying how she has been waiting for the bus for the past 5 minutes or so, and that the weather was cold for her and she wished it came sooner. I took my gloves off and offered them to her until the bus came, and she took them. When we came on the bus, there was a police officer who saw the lady give me my gloves and thanking me, and he looked at me with a smile and nodded. ... Read Full Story >>
My dad has been feeling pretty down and discouraged lately. He's been in the hospital for 2.5 weeks and is now recovering there from an open surgery he had done on Thursday.
Today I brought him a blanket from home as he was saying he felt cold these past few nights. To help with the boredom I bought him some new books to read and some crosswords to work on.
More than anything, I know he's grateful that I'm visiting him daily and trying to keep his spirits up. This past week I've been going to his house more frequently to clean everything up that way when he eventually comes home to continue to heal, he doesn't need to worry about anything ðŸ’•
My mom's birthday is coming up and I've been asking her for a while what she wants.
Every time I've asked, she said the same things, that she's got everything she needs, she's got her 5 kids and she's got her health.
So I've decided to make her a "photo book". It is what it is: a book of photos, with whatever storyline you want to make. So I've decided I'd do one called "50 Things I Love about My Mom" (I picked 50 as that's what she's about to turn).
I've been asking my siblings what they love about our mom, and I've generated quite the list. I've also found accompanying photos from our albums to go along with it. I can't wait to get it printed.
Here's one from my little sister: "She bakes the most perfect and delicious birthday cakes."
The other day, as I walked to school, I continued toward a bus station, past a small construction area, and by an area that is currently empty. I noticed someone bringing a bunch of things: shoes, blankets, some canned food, clothing, perhaps donations that he has gathered from family and friends.
He started laying them down for people to take, and just left. By the time I was on my way home for the day, I saw that many of the items were taken by others. This was probably the sweetest act of kindness I've witnessed so far :)
I was at the grocery store earlier buying ingredients for a pretty obvious dinner...which my cashier pointed out as she was scanning my items. We talked for a bit which was really nice, especially coming from a young cashier (I haven't come across it much). At the end of the conversation, she asked if happened to have any hand cream, which I did not have on me. At this point I had already paid and as I was about to leave, I noticed I forgot an ingredient I needed. I went back and also decided to check out the hand creams they had. They had one on sale, and only one left...what are the odds? I pondered if I should get it or not but thought back to the time my coworker bought me a hand cream after I showed her how bad my hands were last winter (due to all the ... Read Full Story >>
Today I booked an appointment to donate blood. I used to fear needles and blood, but once I hit the age required to be able to donate blood (17), I booked it and decided to face my fears. This wasn't about just me, it was about others. I'm grateful for my health, and should use it to help others. I did it, and I still continue to donate. This will be my fourth time. I was talking to my dad about it, telling him about all the positives, and I've managed to successfully recruit him. He'll be donating with me. I can't wait :)
This evening I gave all the kids in my group kindness awards. I've been volunteering at this organization for kids for about 2 months now and I love it. Most of the children in our care struggle with some form of a mental health issue.
Today I noticed how well all the kids were playing with each other. The kids were patient, playing nicely with each other, taking turns at games, using nice language, and the girls were working hard on their bracelets that I taught them to make (it was pretty tricky).
So I noted the particular strengths each child demonstrated and wrote them each a personalized award. Their faces were beaming. They couldn't wait to tell their parents of all the good things they did. I'll be sure to do this more often.
Doesn't it feel awesome when people point out our strengths?
I talked to my little sister today and asked her how school was going. She couldn't wait to tell me about the kindness that she's been doing.
Since the beginning of the school year, she's sacrificed one out of three recesses to help out in the kindergarten classroom. She's helped clean, helped the children put their coats on, and got activities set up for the next group that comes in for the afternoon.
I told her how great it is that she's volunteering, at 11. She goes "yup, I'm like you now". Ha ha, made my day :)
I was on the bus today, reading a book for my class. Shortly after an elderly woman sat next to me. About five minutes later, she pulled out her knitting stuff.
Occasionally I glanced at what she was doing because I was curious. She noticed me watching, and she told me she knitted socks and hats for the homeless. The sock looked amazing, cozy.
I liked the cause, so I pulled out $5 and gave it to her to use for more yarn. She seemed surprised and grateful. She said she relied on donations. It is amazing what some humans can do.
There was a homeless man sitting outside of one of the subway stations in Toronto, collecting change. It was a super windy day and he was only covered by a thin blanket. I wish I had money, I would have bought him a coffee or something, but I didn't.
All I had was my bus card and two subway tokens for traveling. I only needed one to get home that night, so I gave him the other. Public transportation is quite expensive over here, and I hope that it helped him.
Although I admit, I complained earlier about that five minute cold walk to the subway station, but now I'm thankful it was only for those very few minutes. I'm grateful for warmth.
I told my dad a few days ago that my mom got into a little car accident, as the roads were icy, causing her to lose control of the vehicle. She ended up damaging the tires and rims. She didn't have winter tires, which was part of the problem.
I didn't expect my dad to do anything. But today he drove 40 minutes to drop off 4 winter tires and rims for my mom. He said it was an early birthday present for her. They've been divorced for 14 years, but still care for and are kind to each other.
I love him. He inspires me all the time. I'm so grateful he's my dad
I feel so tremendously happy and grateful right now.
I got 2 hours of sleep last night, on top of my laptop basically, and I just got home (11pm) after finishing a few major assignments for school.
In a few minutes I'm about to jump in bed and get a glorious 7 hours of sleep.I'm grateful. For my bed. For my pillows. For my blanket. For a warm house. For a house. For sleep.
I'm also grateful for my dad, who offered to drop me off to school tomorrow, letting me sleep that extra hour. I love him. I love it all. I love life.
Good night :))
Last year, we tried to grow kale from seed. It didn't end up working out too well, Canadian weather can get pretty unpredictable. When we see our neighbor, we often exchange tips and tricks. We shared our kale story and a few days later he comes back with several plants for us.
As kale is biennial, the growth this year has been really good. They are growing so tall and producing a lot of leaves. Today I was able to get a bunch and share it with our neighbor. Without his kindness, we wouldn't have this much!
Before leaving for school this morning, I shoveled my driveway and sidewalk. It was cold and I was ready to head for warmth. But then I glanced a few houses down at the house where my elderly neighbour lives. He doesn't receive much help, so I â€‹shoveled his sidewalk and driveway. What a surprise it probably was when he woke up.
I work at an elementary school, and have become pretty close with one of the older custodians over the past few years.
She's been incredibly kind and encouraging and has also been through quite a lot recently. Butt despite the challenges, she always has a smile on her face.
Yesterday, I took the time to write her a card, letting her know just how much she is appreciated and what about her I really admire. Today, she let me know just how much that card meant to her.
The little things ♥ï¸
My dad and I started a garden shortly after he was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer back in December 2016. He's beat the cancer, and I'm glad the garden is something we continue to enjoy together.
Last year we were able to grow a lot of vegetables. We had many to give away, as well, to family, neighbors, and coworkers.
I cleaned the garden today, getting ready for this season's new growth. I am patiently waiting to transplant my seedlings.
Gardens have a way of bringing people together.
Yesterday I was waiting for the last bus to go to my mom's house. As the bus terminal was undergoing renovations, the buses had to be parked on another street close by. Time passed and still no bus.
Everyone was getting irritated. It was dark and cold out. My irritation soon turned into anger though, mostly because I was just getting over laryngitis and needed to get indoors. Half an hour passed and the bus finally arrived. We learned the driver was brand new and had gotten lost.
The regulars on the bus, including me, knew the route by heart, so we guided the driver step-by-step to where the stops were, where to turn, and how to look out for people wanting to board. I love the kindness that was shown to that man that night.
First days can be intimidating. I hope we all eased it for him.
Today I went with a few friends out for lunch to a restaurant in Toronto that opened in the summer. But not just any restaurant, it's a pretty unique one.
It's called "Signs Restaurant", and in order to make an order for food, you have to use sign language. We're given a little cheat sheet before we order which shows simple conversational signs, and the menus show the signs for each food and drink item.
All the waiters and waitresses are without hearing, as well. Our waitress was amazing. She taught us a bunch of signs while we waited for our food, and she was patient with me as I tried. My friend, who's also deaf, helped me out a little, too.
The waitress said I did amazing. I feel inspired now to take an American Sign Language course and will do so the next school year. I've already learned quite a bit from YouTube. I can't wait. I had the eggplant lasagna and salad (quite hard to sign) but it was delicious :)
We've had much more rain this summer in Southern Ontario, making me appreciate the sunny days we get even more. Today was one of those days, and being a holiday, I decided to take advantage of it and go cycling.
I usually meet a lot of cyclists on the trails I'm on. Usually we exchange a quick greeting as we pass each other, sometimes people stop and chat a bit longer.
This morning I talked to a young man who said that while he was tired from the activity, he's grateful to be alive.
How true. Though I came home tired, I'm grateful to get to experience another day. Also grateful to be healthy enough to cycle and to get to experience all the wonderful scenery I did see ðŸ’•
I was recently moved to another elementary school in order to help out in a few programs. After the first week, I ran into the custodian who thanked me for the most simple task...stacking chairs in my classroom at the end of the day. Something as simple as that makes his job of sweeping/mopping the floors a much easier task.
Here he was thanking me, when it should be the other way around. It got me thinking about little things that I could do that would make a bigger difference for others. Today, while grocery shopping I came across a bunch of poorly put away shopping baskets. I noticed that if they were poorly put away to begin with, people were more likely to continue with that trend. So, as I put mine away, I fixed the stack neatly, which may encourage others after me to do the same.
Keeping my eyes open for more simple acts of kindness!
The other day I was at the mall grabbing a gift for a friend who was hosting a dinner.
While browsing one of the shops, a lady came up to me and started a conversation. She said she'd just been given terrible news, that an old friend of hers had passed away with cancer.
I could see the shock and sadness through her eyes and in that moment I know she needed to be listened to and comforted. Which is exactly what I did. I offered her a hug and lent her an ear for however long she needed.
I met an older lady on the way back home from running an errand. She stopped me on the sidewalk, asking for directions. I gave her directions, pointing the way she needed to go. But she looked distressed and started to tear up, like she's been lost for a while and wasn't familiar with the area.
It was dark and cold, so I offered to walk with her, reassuring her it was only a 5 minute walk. I saw her struggle to walk and keep up the pace, so I slowed down and carried her bags for her.
We talked the whole time, getting to know her. I found out she lives outside of the country and came her temporarily to take care of a sick family member. She was incredibly sweet and kind.
When we got to her place, she cried, gave me a big hug and thanked me for helping her, while saying a prayer. I let her know I was glad she was safe and couldn't imagine being somewhere unfamiliar and being lost, hoping I'd receive similar kindness in that situation.
I treasure the time I get to spend with my mom, even if it seems that I spend more time fixing things around her house than visiting with her:(.
Today her refrigerator was on the fritz, so I did my best to troubleshoot the problem. Before I throw anything away I will always try to repair it myself. What harm could it do? After watching a few YouTube videos, I gathered the correct tools, along with all the determination I could muster and with the help of the universe, we were able to get her refrigerator up and running beautifully!
One less item at the landfill ðŸ’•
I saw some garbage floating in the sea while swimming yesterday. It's tourist season over here, and I've noticed there's more garbage on the shore as well.
I gathered everything in a plastic bag and th
We had a dump of snow last night and a lot of the neighbourhood streets weren't plowed all that well. On a walk today, I noticed a car that was stuck on the road. One of the sidewalk plows happened to be there in that moment and gave him a push to get him out of the snow he was stuck in. I also had someone new fill in for an absent coworker today. I made sure they felt welcome, showing them around and explaining everything, though they were only there for the day. At the end of the day, she thanked me for my kindness with a bouquet of lollipops. At first I didn't know what to do with them, but this evening I was presented with an opportunity to give them away. A friend was telling me about how their young child is going through a phase of sensory seeking ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday my dad's truck broke down. He knew it was coming but didn't think it would be this soon. It's at the mechanic and he'll get it back tomorrow.
He wasn't too happy as he needs it for work, but today there was a bit of a twist. We had a sudden severe thunder/hail/wind storm this afternoon. It caused a big branch from his tree to fall right on his driveway.
Right where his truck would have been. If his truck wasn't at the mechanic at that moment, it would be beyond repair after the storm. Everything truly does happen for one reason or another.
After the storm, I helped my dad and some of the older neighbours to clear their branches. The neighbourhood was a mess!
This morning I set off on a bike ride for a few hours, taking advantage of the beautiful weather and exploring some trails. At the last minute, before turning back, I decided to go on a short trail I haven't ridden before.
While on the way back, I was stopped by 2 elderly women who asked if I had seen any keys along the trail as they must have slipped out of the lady's jacket while out on a walk. I explained that I hadn't been paying attention to the ground so I wouldn't know but I told her that I'd ride back and see if I spot them.
A few km's down the trail I saw the keys on the side of the trail and picked them up. I rode back to the women and gave it to them. They were so happy and thankful :)
The other day a parent at the elementary school I work at dropped off their child and gave a little Christmas gift for everyone to share. A pack of bubbles for the kindergarteners I work with! The parent spoke of how she had observed me in the past blowing bubbles with the little ones and saw how much they enjoy it...but hasn't seen it in the past few weeks or so. So she decided to gift me this pack. It was such a thoughtful act to be able to make an observation like that and get something based on that. It was the most simple yet most powerful act.
Such a sweet moment ♥️
P. S. I Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays! Over here all of the local roads are closed due to the blizzard conditions, so celebrations for my family have been moved to tomorrow. Stay safe!