This week was a tough week for me. I learned that my main part-time job, the one that was going to come with some health insurance, is not likely to be funded. This is especially problematic for us, as it seems I have an ulcer, which is just no fun at all. Also, my mom, who had been visiting for 10 days, went home to Texas, and my heart was sad.
So my heart has been heavy, and my mind has been worried. But I don’t mean this as a sob story. In fact, I am forever an optimist, so I just always have this feeling that things will be okay. I mean, my husband and I have to work hard to make it so, but we do, so it is.
But this week I also had some beautiful and thoughtful random acts of kindness that helped me stay even more focused on the positive, and these acts seem to have replenished my soul. Because of this, because of how wonderful it feels to have random acts of kindness bestowed upon you, I wanted to devote my post this week to writing about how important these are and maybe offer some ideas about how we can provide some random acts of kindness in the coming week.
Yesterday, I received the most beautiful act of kindness in the form of a call from a friend inviting us to “camp.” If you’re not from Maine, you may not understand what “camp” is. Let me tell you: “Camps” are fantastic! Essentially, “camps” are little cabins on the water, and the water is everywhere here in Maine. So, if you don’t have a “camp,” it seems you are really missing out on the magic of Maine in the summer—unless you can find someone to share “camp” with you. We don’t have a “camp,” so yesterday’s “camp” share was lovely and just what my soul needed.
I had been working at the computer for most of the day, and it was a hot one here in Maine. It was about 90 degrees, and when you don’t have air conditioning, 90 degrees feels really hot. My husband was outside working on our yard and my youngest son was helping him when the phone rang. Our dear friend wanted to know if we wanted to go for a swim and a boat ride.
Oh, we did!
It was the best Friday afternoon I’ve had in a long time. The water was refreshing. My son had a blast swimming in the lake. We were taken for a boat ride around the lake to see the loons and the lily pads. Sunfish nibbled on my toes, and my worries felt far away.
I was thankful beyond words, but this was just one of many beautiful, random acts of kindness for me of late: My neighbor picked me a beautiful bouquet of flowers from her garden; my husband researched and sent me a list of all the natural remedies for ulcers; my friend from afar sent me an awesome chicken lady t-shirt—for no reason, just because; one neighbor brought corn on the cob over for the chicky girls; and another neighbor brought over a Lego set for my youngest son, even though we decided not to have a birthday party for him this year.
These beautiful gestures add up and remind me of what a lovely world kindness makes.
So, this week, my goal is to bestow some random acts of kindness, and I have a few ideas to share. I don’t want to be a product promoter, but there are some lovely, small and inexpensive gifts that I would like to share, just to plant some ideas for others. And, other things on my list are free or pretty much free. They will just take a little of your time.
- Make someone something homemade.
While I still can’t knit, I can crochet, and I know someone who really wants some homemade potholders. It’s my goal to send her a couple. But, if you’re better “maker” than I am, sending someone a knit cap or a homemade scarf for the fall are random acts of kindness that will just make someone’s day, or week, or month. The one time I received a knit hat in the mail was over a year ago, and I still treasure it!
- Send some LL Bean Maine Isle Flip Flops.
While I could probably write a whole post on the awesomeness of LL Bean products (and, one day, maybe I will), I’m pretty sure everyone needs at least one pair of these. I feel like the lobster ones are the best, but I’m Mainer biased.
- Write a letter or send a postcard.
I think we just don’t write enough in the old-school kind of way. My mom started writing me letters every year on my birthday, and I treasure them. Every single one of them makes me cry in a good way. But I know some people who collect postcards, so sending a unique postcard with a kind message can definitely lift someone’s spirits.
- Bake something for someone.
If you don’t have to send something in the mail, a baked good is a great gift, be it a loaf of bread or some muffins. Right now, it’s raspberry season here in Maine, so I am planning a raspberry-peach pie for someone tomorrow. I hope it’s yummy, and I hope it’s enjoyed. Every year, at Christmas, our whole neighborhood exchanges baked goods, and I treasure every baked-good item. But why wait until Christmas? Baking something for someone seems like an amazing random act of kindness.
- Send a copy of Jes Maharry’s Free Spirit coloring book and some colored pencils.
If you know someone who loves to color, I think this book would be an amazing gift. Jes Maharry is an artist who usually works in jewelry and does a lot of designs with animals. My wedding ring is a Jes Maharry ring. No diamonds. Just a simple, rustic band, and I love it. I’m guessing someone you know would be so pleased to get one of these in the mail. Plus, coloring is so therapeutic, right?
While it was a tough week for me, random acts of kindness really helped me keep my positive outlook on life. If you’ve been thinking about sending some random acts of kindness to someone, I highly recommend doing it now. One of my dear friends wrote a beautiful mini essay about how you never know what trauma someone is going through. It’s true. You just don’t. And we all have our worries, struggles, and traumas. Let’s help each other out with some random acts of kindness.
I’m evidence this week that they can make all the difference.