Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's my birthday... 5 years of kindness

Hello my beautiful friends, 

So today is my birthday and I'm left remembering what the last 5 years have brought me! Why only the last 5 years you ask? You see the last 5 years have been such an interesting experience for me, because 5 years ago today I started what was to be a year Long project, called Project 25 -Random Acts of Kindness. It started on my 24th birthday & was to be completed by my 25th birthday! I asked people all over the world to do a kind deed and report it to me! Then I could have (for my next birthday) a book (I'm a bibliophile after all) of all these awesome things people had done because I'd asked them to do it! And I was going to participate too! :) 

I wanted a 1000 kindnesses over the space of a year! 

What I got was...36! 

Okay so it didn't quite go to plan, but I learnt something so profound that I decided to give it a go. I learnt that if I wanted people to do a kindness, I had to do it too! I had to show them that they weren't alone, that I wasn't just asking them to do something I wasn't prepared to do myself! I had to lead by example! 

So I decided when the new year came around i would start this whole thing a fresh and show people just how simple, easy and yet life changing kindness could be! And this is how 365days of kindness begun! And the way I was going to show people how easy this could be was by doing a kind deed a day and blogging about it! 

I am the first to admit I am not a "regular blogger"! And by that I mean, I write everyday for two weeks and then not again for a few months. I'm as unpredictable as a busy woman trying to hold onto a scrap of sanity (perfect description for this year in particular). But you have stuck in there and supported me. People from all over the world have started following me, on this blog! whether they started following me by accident or on purpose I'll never know, but i am grateful for your encouragement and support! I'm not perfect, or regular in my blogging but I have shared photos, stories, friends, family, inspirations, books, cakes, weddings, celebrations, links, blogs and videos with you all in my attempt to tell you what kindness means to me! 

Life has not been easy, and I know there are people out there who are struggling with a thousand times worse problems than I have! That's why kindnes is so important. We can share the loss, sadness, grief, but also the hope, love and gentleness we have found in friends and strangers who have helped us & given us kindness in our hardest and even in our best times! 

I want to acknowledge a few people, the original supporters! The few who had followed me from day one, (mainly because I originally brow beat you in to it! Lol) And they are... my family! 

To my mum who I most definitely wouldn't be here without! She spent 26weeks in the hospital trying not to have me! She survived with a semblance of sanity after those 26 weeks of bed rest away from the rest of her family so I could be born! And Even then I wasn't a well baby! And she's been working pretty hard to keep me alive ever since! This is a woman who believes all mums should get the presents on the child's birthday because they put all the effort in on the day the child celebrates! And after all the effort she put in to making me a reality... Well...I definitely agree! mum, about the present, I'll see what I can do for you! ;) lol! Thanks for encouraging me and pointing out those kindnesses I don't see sometimes! :) You are one of the strongest women I know & you are beautiful! :) thank you for all your hard work, your love and support! :) 

My sister, who was one of the first people to do a kindness for the original project, and who continues her support today with the Facebook page! She is a gem! Another tough woman who is filled with a strong sense of justice and a willingness to make the world a better place! Thanks for being an encourager and a champion for this world! Thanks babe! 

My dad, who is no longer with us, would listen as I read out my blogs and dutifully flip through the pages of my kindness albums (even when he wasn't too sure what was going on)! Thanks for being a great role model and leading by example! You were always there to help anyone who needed it! Thanks dad! Miss you! 

My brother in law... One of the best men I know! Thanks for supporting all of us. And agreeing with V to let me stay so I has somewhere to go when my life was falling apart! Thanks for being strong for your wife and your kids through some really hard times! For leading by example and doing lots of "extracurricular activities" to support your kids! :) thanks for being a rock! Us gals, we ain't easy to be around! But you've done a great job! :) 

My niece & nephew continually teach me what kindness is! They have placed such trust in me as a "good role model" for them! Thank you for reminding me to have fun & "bounce", for sharing in kindnesses, nerdiness & books! And for loving me even when I'm grumpy or I tell you off! You really are great kids! :) don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise! 

To my "adopted" family who have and continue to encourage & support me in both my kindnesses & in my day to day "ordinary life": Tanya, Isaac, Eva, Liam, Taylor, Laura, Jamie, Big D, Ben, Lisa, Bobbie, Sandie, Terry, Paulene, Bev, Judy, Faye, Sarah, Dino, Autumn, Bel, Cat, Lance, Kayleigh, Matthew, Lorraine, Chris... And I know there are so many more! Please forgive me if I haven't names you specifically (it's 2.30am my brain isn't working at it's optimum). But please know I am so very grateful to you all for you love, support and encouragement! 

Who would have thought a little idea 5 years ago would have been so successful! Maybe not every one has taken up doing a kindness a day... But imagine if they did?! There would be so many lives changed and more lives altered for the better! :) even if everyone did an intentional kind act this week? it won't make any real difference to me, but to a stranger their lives will be a little lighter and a little better for a little while! And that's all we can ever hope to do! 

Hope you all enjoy my 29th birthday with me and that you bring a smile to someone's face, today in particular! :) it's a good day to be kind! 

Much love to you all 
<3 Daena x

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