Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 3 (or: Crap. How am I going to do One Thousand distinct remarkable things?)

Yes. I know I sound like a whiner, which is exactly what Holly told me I did NOT have permission to do. I’ve made this commitment, and I should be just brimming, gushing even, with happiness about it. But here’s the thing that struck me after my initial “what have I done” reaction: How on earth am I supposed to come up with O-N-E-T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D remarkable things? Which, it turns out, is a wonderful thought, and I’m not such a big whiner baby after all (nya-nya, Holly).

See, here’s the thing: I’ve got some resources. Some world-wide resources. You might even call them a web of resources. What happens when you Google “Simple Acts of Kindness”, you ask? Glad you asked. And I reply (in a still cold-induced stuffily muffily accent): This: 
  • Did you know there’s an entire foundation dedicated to random acts of kindness? They tell us that the unofficial “Random Acts of Kindness Week” is coming up! February 15-21, 2010
  • And if you’re wondering how to be kind, eHow has a seven step answer:
  • And YouTube has this to say about it (if you watch this, you HAVE to wait for number 16.  I'm seriously considering making that be day number 22): 

  • And you can subscribe to a free weekly newsletter about helping others at  And OH heavens, they even have a list of kindness ideas, to help those of us who can't seem to come up with them on our own! 
  • And as if it's a shock, lo and behold, someone else is blogging about doing good. I’m sure there are more than two of us. In other words, I’m not in the least bit original. Holly will tell me she told me so.
  • Google generosity? And you have to actually Google “generosity” and not “generoUsity”, as I did. Well, that’s even better! Wikipedia joins in with:
  • And apparently there’s a whole game devoted to generosity.
  • And a list of quotes about generosity.  Barbara Bush is at the top of the list. She says: “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.” And then, for something a little more credible, Buddha says: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” 
What’s my point? Wait - what is my point. I seem to have become fuddled. Oh yes! My point is, that coming up with lovely things to do may not be as difficult as I had at first lamented. In fact, the ideas may even land in my lap. I opened up my email this morning, and found a fabulous article from one of my favorite magazines, Yes!, enumerating personal steps to take that will change your and the world. Oh Yes!

But in the end, when my friend C.J. posted this on her Facebook page:  “2 years ago today I lost my mom to congestive heart failure so today PLEASE do something thats good for your heart you mom," I decided to take advantage of the fortuitous, sweet and helpful suggestion, and for
Day 3 of One Thousand Days, I sent my mother a bouquet of flowers. This would have been a more heartfelt and personal something, but I am, afterall, sick as a dog. Holly will probably approve in theory, but not in practice. She’ll probably tell me to try harder, and I’ll say “I will when I don’t feel like fainting every time I get up”.  And anyway, mom just called to say thank you for the lovely surprise, so apparently someone appreciates the theory!

As a closing thought, last night as I limped (rather than lovingly snuck, but if one could lovingly limp, I did!) into my sons room and cleaned it as well as I could in the midst of sneezes, wheezes and dizziness, and yesterday when I made him a custom cootie catcher with Homer Simpson quotes inside, I realized that this process is going to be about more than doing good for others. It’s going to be good for me, too.  All we need is love (DO do do do doooo)!
3 down, 997 to go.

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