I don’t really like the idea of publishing this post because the whole point of this is to make it so that my birthday won’t be all about me. However, I decided to post it because of a post another woman made about her 35th birthday, which was the reason I did it in the first place. If, because of me posting this, someone else decides to do the same thing or something similar, then it’s worth it.
So what am I talking about? I’m talking about celebrating my 33rd birthday with 33 acts of kindness. As I was growing up, my family always made a big deal out of birthdays and always made sure to celebrate the life of the person whose birthday it was. I love doing this for my family, but when it came to my birthday, I apparently loved having it done for me just as much. If my expectations for my special day were not met, particularly by my husband, then he would know it.
I have to stop here and say that my husband made my birthday a very special one, exceeding my expectations. After giving me a Garmin running watch/heart monitor before my marathon, on my birthday he still gave me gorgeous pink roses, a sweet handmade card, a coat, an SPU t-shirt, and then went and bought me not one, but TWO delicious chocolate cakes, my favorite Magnum chocolate ice cream bars, and more chocolate ice cream. He stayed home from his soccer practice and took me and the kids out to dinner, and he treated me like a queen all day. I don’t deserve that man!
This year, I was finally convicted about my bad attitude, my lack of thankfulness. After reading the post I mentioned, I realized one way to get my mind off of myself would be to set my mind on helping others and making other people happy. I couldn’t imagine spending an entire day doing 33 acts of kindness with two young children–I knew that would be near impossible for me, at least incredibly stressful for everybody, so I decided to give myself the whole week after my birthday to complete my 33 acts. My definition of an act of kindness was that it had to be something I don’t normally do, something that would make another person happy, and whenever possible, it had to be secretly done. I finished today, so here is what I did:
1. made homemade hot chocolate for Greg
2. made homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows for Mr. C
3. emptied the kitty litter for Greg
4. took out the trash and recycling for Greg
5-8. gave three flower pots (with flowers in them) and Halloween candy to nursing home residents
9-10. gave two coloring books and two boxes of crayons to a Lonsdale child through church
11-13. left three sets of shampoo/conditioner samples in showers at my gym
14-18. left five bookmarks with inspirational quotes in lockers at my gym
19-20. left two God Bless You bookmarks on two car windshields
21. left $1 change in a plastic bag taped to the drink machine at the gym
22. complimented the woman beside me at the gym for working so hard and doing such a great job (she was working really hard with a personal trainer but looked exhausted and a bit discouraged)
23. left a box of cookies in the mailbox with a card thanking our mail carrier
24. watched a friend’s son so she could get work done
25. gave a box of Pepperidge Farm cookies to workers at my kids’ pediatrician’s office
26. put coins in an empty parking meter for a car parked there
27-29. gave three gifts to three children at Children’s Hospital
30. left change for the snack/drink machines at Children’s Hospital
31-33. left encouraging comments on friends’ blogs
I loved doing this, even though a lot of them were tiny things. I did still want it to be about me–I wanted to get that happy feeling from doing good by seeing reactions–but thankfully, God had other plans, and for the most part, I didn’t get to see the result of most of them. I hope I will continue to do this throughout the year as well as 34 more for my next birthday week!