Isn’t it true that some days are spent wishing for tomorrow? Lately I have been reminded by more than a few people, that this period of time right now will disappear before I know it. These irreplicable hours that become days which become weeks are filled with unique experiences that will never again happen. These messy, sleep-deprived moments blurring together to form a new normal will, at some point, be missed and longed for.
In the words of Mary Jean Irion:
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.
- Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.
- Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable.
This is the definition of “kind” taken directly from The Free Dictionary. I felt the need to look up the word after a day of bearing witness to the opposite of “kind” behaviour. It is amazing how up until December 25, it is “merry christmas” this and “happy holidays” that. The day after and whatever holiday spirit was stocked up in the 3 week lead up to the holidays has all been spent.
On December 26, I saw the absolute worst brought out in people in parking lots, at malls, in movie theatres. Call me crazy but charitable behaviour should not be seasonal. We all have places to be, dislike waiting, and want things done our way. But is that excuse enough to be unkind? No way.
A lot of folks have taken to participating in random acts of kindness. I believe this is truly wonderful but also know that so often being kind is a more immediate and daily requisite in our exchanges with others. Often the kindness that is needed is not in going out of one’s way for another human being but merely in making different choices as you react to situations that arise.
My kind is really a combination of what I bestow on others and how I value what others bestow upon me. Here are some very simple and basic ways to be kind in your daily interactions.
- Say “hello”, “please”, “thank you”, “excuse me”, “sorry” – as context dictates. It takes only seconds to do this but it means that you are actually acknowledging another human being’s existence and value.
- Be mindful of others around you. When in public watch where you are going and what you are saying. Again this is an easy way to respect the fact that we all share public spaces and all of us have the equal privilege of enjoying these spaces.
- Be helpful. Often it won’t be your problem that needs solving but somebody else’s. Choose not to hinder someone else’s enjoyment of life because you feel you can’t be bothered.
- Give others the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people will cut you in line or walk directly in your path without awareness of the impact this has on you. More times than not, it is unintentional. They may have failed to follow #2 above. It doesn’t mean you have to take it personally. Choose to be the bigger person and avoid unnecessary negativity.
Remember: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~ Dalai Lama
Right now… I am LOVING fruit. It is as if I’m tasting it for the first time. Grapes, blueberries, apples – all of it nectar from the Gods.
Right now…my nesting instincts have kicked in and no corner, cubby or cabinet within reach is safe.
Right now… my puppy dogs are being especially sweet to me and giving me extra licks and cuddles.
Right now… I am a stress-free zone and for the first time in my life, that is non-negotiable.
Right now… the leaves are beginning to fall and it is a great time to be alive.
I love fall. For me it is like a second start at January before the calendar year ends.
2013 take two. This year more than ever before, I really feel ready for a second take. Not a do-over just a kick-in-the-butt to get moving on my life and to-do lists.
This year, thus far, has been like a 7-course meal that I am still trying to digest. There have been very rich to very bland to near stomach-turning moments. But like with all good feasts, I am now onto dessert. (And yes I did order the chocolate souffle in advance.)
This weekend the summer clothes get put away, files get archived, home projects get organized and I return to blogging.
Fall is coming. And I’m ready!
*This photo was taken at the historic (now abandoned) Robinson Flag Station near Carcross, Yukon.
“He who is brave is free.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
There is a certain amount of courage and conviction that is required for us all to live our daily lives.
Maybe some days that means having a melt down, recovering and starting again. On other days, that could mean marching right into the dragon’s den with shield up and sword drawn. And still others, it requires the willingness to let go of the known, the ugly, and the stuff that just isn’t working. In making that decision, you hold the space for what’s next – whatever that may be.
Bravery is as much about optimism and foolishness as it is about perseverance and preparedness. It is also as much demonstrated in everyday life as it is in climbing mountains, rescuing those in peril, and standing up to a bully.
Living is not for the faint at heart. And I have begun to appreciate the acts of bravery that we each demonstrate daily as individuals.
Forget skydiving, for some bravery is walking into a room of complete strangers at a social event and striking up a conversation. Nevermind swimming with sharks, bravery could be resisting group think and choosing to be the lone voice and sole vote against something that you simply do not agree with. Maybe bravery is retraining in a completely different field after the loss of a job or overhauling your entire lifestyle to become fit and healthy.
Whatever it might be, know that we are all heroes of our own lives.
So here’s to the brave ones. All of us.
p.s. This post was inspired in part by a group of individuals participating in a Job Creation Program to start new careers after a decade or more of working in what is now a dying industry.