Monday, February 27, 2012

Hospital...the easiest place to be kind!

Hey Everyone,
Sorry i haven't written in a while. things have been a bit crazy around here! Mum went into spinal surgery last week and i have been meaning to do a post about it! :) All went well which is amazing considering the delicacy of the procedure! But this means that i have spent a LOT of time of time waiting around at the Hospital! Funnily enough i tried to update this blog post whilst i was bored one of those times, but for some reason my phone is now pretending that it doesn't like my Blog! :S Phones... honestly who'd have technology?! (shhh....i know you do... me too!)

Anyways, as the phone and its internet connection were playing up i just used the notes section to jot down a few of my thoughts!

*warning... brain was slightly stressed so may not actually make sense in the long run!*

"Today my mum had very complex spinal surgury. Things about life and death are always very hard to deal with and i have been struggling! Yet I always find it amazing what happens at hospitals.

With the hours of waiting and watching i have seen the most amazing kindnesses (and experienced some for myself)! From asking a stranger if they are going up on an elevator (when they didn't see it open), to others chatting kindly to a sad and worried looking person. From trying to make someone else smile to bringing in something special from home to make sure the patient in hospitla feels more comfortable. From praying/sending thoughts for the person sick, to making a cup of tea for a relative that looks simply sad. I am coming to understand that the easiest way of sharing kindness is by going to a hospital.

Perhaps this ability to be kind stems from the very nature of work that occurs at a hospital. Healing! Love, Kindness, Generosity seem to be some of the characteristics that act as healing agents in Hospitals. Of course the hard work of those in the medical fields, and those that assist are clearly vital to health and well being!

I know the way the nursing staff took care of my mum was with kindness! They were patient, generous, and some rather comical (which made the serious nature of the surgery a little less terrifying). So thank you to all those who make a difference in their work! If you are a doctor, or a nurse or a support staff! Thank you for looking after our sick, sharing in our grief, welcoming new additions into families, making us feel welcome in a new place, smiling when you serve us a cup of tea, easing pain, laughing with us when we do something a little silly and simply being there when we need help! THANK YOU!"

 (*okay maybe it wasn't as incoherent as i thought it would be... that's good!*)

From someone how been helping mum now she is out of hospital, I appreciate all the little things that you did for her in there! So thanks!

Anyways, when i was sitting in the cafeteria on one of my endless waits at the hospital, I was reminded of the movie "Love Actually". The beginning of the movie is where people are being observed at the Airport, and the voice over (Hugh Grant to be precise) is noting that love is clearly visible at the airport. I thought that at Hospitals, kindness is clearly visible. And I remember thinking that (minus the grief and loss) that it would be a better place if we were like that all the time. Kind, i mean. I think people are more conscious of other people when they are at a hospital. And i think we need to be aware of others if we are to be kind in our everyday life.

Well, so much for this being a "short" blog post as I had first planned.

I hope all is going well with you all in your lives! And thanks for the friends and family who have supported me and mum over this last week! You have been lifesavers! SERIOUSLY! ;)

Luv Daena x

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Storytellers for Good

One of the things i started watching today are some videos from the "Storytellers For Good" and this one really made me smile. Its people my own age doing little things that don't cost them anything but make someone else feel better! :)

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: Kindness 101 from Storytellers For Good on Vimeo.

Made me smile! :)
Daena xx

Monday, February 13, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Week - 13-19th of Feb 2012

Hey Everyone,

I have discovered through the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation that they are sponsoring an event called "RAK Week" and have been doing it for the last couple of years!

"Thousands of people celebrated Random Acts of Kindness Week® around the world by committing to the Extreme Kindness Challenge – Our Ticket To a Kinder World from February 14-20, 2011. The Extreme Kindness Challenge asked participants to commit to a daily act of kindness for seven days during RAK Week®. RAK ignited the effort by suggesting a new kind action every day via social networks and the RAK website"  (RAK Week 2012)

If you want to check it out you can here!

You can score free bookmarks and cards! They will be having awesome videos and such on the website too! If you are on Facebook you should check them out as they have some pretty awesome stuff to share! I love their Facebook page as they always give such wonderful ideas as to what to do each day as a kindness suggestion! Its such an inspiration! :) They are also so much more organized than i am! :) I love reading their suggestions and also seeing the amazing things others are doing around the world! :) Its awesome!

For RAK Week 2012 I thought that i would try and do an RANDOM act of Kindness everyday this week... instead of my usual simple kindness! This may not seem very big, but like thousands of people around the world doing this for strangers, i thought i would give it a shot too! :) Only can take one step at a time and one day at a time! :)

Anyway i hope like me you take the challenge and for a week (not a whole year) you do an act of kindness everyday! :)

Keep me posted as i love to hear what others are up to!

Goodluck all those who take the plunge!
Daena xxx

Friday, February 10, 2012

The September 2011 Kindnesses...

Here are the Kindnesses for September!

In September 2011 I traveled to Armidale, New South Wales to attend the "in house" university work for my Archaeology degree. So i had to fly from Perth, Western Australia to Sydney, New South Wales and then travel for 8 hours by train to get to Armidale. It was a lot of fun as I love trains and train rides! but i was exhaused from going on the "midnight horror" plane to catch the train! i stayed awake for a long time! lol!

In Armidale, i had a lot of fun. I got to meet lots of people that i had only talked to online and its always lovely to meet people you've talked to for so long! :) I had lots of people do wonderful things for me whilst i was there too! One of my classmates took it upon himself to pick me up from my accommodation every morning and drop me home as there were no buses on the weekend. So THANKS to him, a literal life saver!! I almost froze my butt off over there... and for those who think there is no snow in Australia, i have to let you know that there DEFINITELY was over there and whilst i was there! :)

I had some old friends of mine take me in for a night in Sydney, so that i didn't have to buy a night in a hotel. And i had a great time catching up with them and was so immensely grateful for their comfortable couch! :) You guys rock! :)

So thats just a little about what i was up to in September 2011.
Hope all is going well for you! :)
Daena x

P.S. Thank you to all of those who have checked out this site, even though you don't know me personally! My page views have jumped from the 300s to the 500s in only a couple of days! So thanks for all your support! :) I look forward to hearing from you! :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A little bit about me...

Hi everyone,
Well i have been writing this blog now for over a year and have realized that unless you know me personally, you probably know very little about me. Apart from the fact I'm a lunatic who is starting her second year of kind acts!

I am a woman (i'm pretty sure you would have gathered that by the photo at least!), and i am 26 years old! I have just completed my Master of Arts in Archaeology degree and and working occasionally for one of the Western Australian Universities.

I have a wonderful family. I have two parents (still married) and i have a special older sister (and by special i mean awesome!). Both my parents have disabilities, however both are not related to birth defects of anything and are things that they have aquired later in life!

My mum has spinal injuries which cause her to be quite ill a lot of the time (so i do a lot of kindnesses for her!). I live with her and act as her "carer". She is an amazing woman who has taught me so much! She has always encouraged me to live my dreams and challenges me to challenge myself. She is also the woman that everyone loves and asks for advice or help. And even with her disability she doesn't let that stop her and she does the best she can for everyone she possibly can! I am inspired by her and what she puts up with and what she achieves as a result. I kind of find it funny when she tells me she feels like she isn't making a difference in the world! You just have to look at the people shes supported and she makes all the difference in the world!! She will often also do random acts of kindness with me, or as well as me!  I love my mum so very much! Thanks Mrs Guest! :)

My dad is in a high care facility with a rare and debilitating brain disease called CerebralAmyloidAngiopathy (yes that is a mouthful to say!). For those interested in reading about it you can check out this link:
This disease causes my father to have mini strokes and have FrontoTemporalDementia (yes i like my big words!).However, this disease was only diagnosed in the last 5 years.
My father is/was an extraordinary man! He used to do so much for me and my sister that he was always considered our "House-Dad". He, coming from the country where he grew up in a country town, used to treat everyone as friends. He would bring home strange and interesting people he had met in his adventures, he would talk to people all over the world on the computer (my dad was one of the first people to have internet access in his area). He made/makes friends easily. He used to do what we call "bread runs". which basically means that he would collect the day old bread from local bakery's (that they couldnt sell that day) and take them to families in need and to halfway houses and shelters. He did this everyday for about 6 years, then he cut down a little as more people offered to help. Our little old car used to smell like bread as a result! My father supported Indigenous churches and he would sit and have a chat with the "bum" in the city, usually buying a cup of coffee to share with them. He has always challenged me to treat everyone equally and to share what little we had with everyone. He is part of the reason that i started doing this project!
My dad is still a great man, even though the disease has affected him alot, sadly. I still love him and visit him regularly... so often you will see little notes about visiting the nursing home. Or me talking to people there! I have discovered that even a kind word or gesture can be enough to make one of those other patients smile, as they rarely get visitors! I have come to love some of dads fellow "inmates" (as he calls them) and love to chat to them or give them "lifts" in their wheel chairs to the dining room for dinner. Thanks Dad for the love and support even from the comfort of your bed! :)

So enough about my parents... they are awesome! What more could you possibly want to know!? lol. Apart from the fact that they gave birth to me! :) hahaha!

Well, I have an older sister! V is about 3 inches shorter than me so i call her my "little sister" even though she's almost 6 years older than me. She is married to G who is a wonderful guy and en excellent brother-in-law! Both of them have supported me through so much in my life. Including letting me live with them when I was 17 for a few months, when dad first got sick. My darling sister V helps me run the Project 25 Page on Facebook! And i am grateful for all the things she has found that encourage me to keep going! Thanks guys! I am very grateful for everything!

V& G have two lovely kids, a boy AJ (whos 7 and three quarters) and a girl AV (who is almost 4 but thinks she 30... oh and she thinks shes the queen!). Both kids crack me up and are beautiful kids! AJ sat me down the other day to share all the Kind deeds he had done so i could write them in my book! And AV is such a funny little munchkin but when the time for hard work is come she's right in there with the rest of them. I love them dearly and they seem to think I'm the coolest thing since sliced bread, which is nice for the ego! lol!

That is my immediate family! But i have some awesome "aunties" who with their families treat me and mine like we are blood! These people are so treasured that without them i would probably not have done half the stuff i have done or wanted to do!

One encourages me verbally supporting me & my mum emotionally! She has also found every article written about Kindness for me! You are a champion! She has done a million kindnesses for us all that she may never know and she sends the ones she intentionally does to me for Project 25 so that i can be inspired too! :) She has supported me financially, emotionally and even physically. She does RAKs and kindnesses for those around her! And the love with which she gives them is profound!

One of my other "aunties" is so awesome she let me live in her house for a few years whilst she lived in a country town. She has supported me financially and practically over the years. She is one of the most practical people i know! She also leads by example. She is the one who in previous notes i have written about as she just makes quilts! And by "makes quilts" i mean she made almost 100 of them last year alone for the neonatal clinic at one of the hospitals. The quilting group she belongs to makes them for the postnatal deperession unit, as each new mum gets to take a quilt home with them. Apparently they are not in as much demand now, as they have a large stockpile! :) But she keeps making quilts, as its something she loves to do and that she can freely give to someone. i find it funny that she also doesn't consider what she does as Kindnesses or RAKs. She does it as its fun for her and it can practically help someone out!

There are so many people who help inspire me with what they do and who they are for me. I am so very greatful!

I wanted to share this because even though i have been writing about what i'm doing, I haven't been writing about who I am! and I am my family! They love me, cherish me and encourage me to do stuff that no ordinary person would do!

Like my mum dared me to shave my initials into the back of my hair when i was 12 and i did it! Well... maybe not all the things i have done have been such a brilliant idea! lol! But i will do things for a laugh or to prove those who say i cant do it that i can! I'm pretty stubborn. But I'm also passionate, creative and encouraging. I know that not all of my qualities are what everyone fit with but i try to follow my fathers example and treat everyone equally. Regardless of the skin color, sex, creed, religion, race, age or sexual orientation, i try to encourage and love those that i meet to the best of my ability.
I don't always succeed but like 365days of kindness... i take one day at a time and do the best I can!

Well now that i have written an essay about my life and family (even those NOT blood related) i hope you might understand what i do and why i do it a little more.
Thank you for reading this, and if you know me a special thanks for the support!
Daena Guest