Saturday, January 5, 2019

The first post of 2019 - A Call to Kindness

I bet you have been wondering what has taken me so long? Or if I’ve forgotten what kindness is? No! Absolutely Not! 

The truth is that would be impossible

This past year I’ve been working full time and I decided to be thoughtful about what I wanted to share on my blog.

There are a few things that I’ve stuck to in recent years that may continue this year like Sustainable September (but also may not depending on what this year actually brings). 

I am acknowledging my inconsistency with blogging too. I’m not perfect but I’m constantly improving.  Kindness is still so important to me that I keep coming back to it again and again. 

2018 brought with it some HUGE changes for me.  I moved between 3 countries, from Australia to Wales to England. I got 2 jobs (one which I had to leave in order to pursue the other). I moved to 2 new houses in two different counties. I also got myself a new boyfriend (well he’s not so new now... but the first I’ve had in a long time). It brought with it a change in my life circumstances all of which has made my life both easier and harder to bring kindness to peoples lives. 

It’s easier now as I am exposed to a diverse range of people on a daily basis, not many of whom know much about my kindness mission. This makes it quite fun to surprise people with thoughtfulness. 

It can be harder because Archaeology as a career is more often than not back-breaking manual labour. Even though I love it, it wears me out a lot and I come home exhausted regularly. 

However that hasn’t stopped me being kind... 

2019 had already brought with it kindness and encouragement from others for me. 

I’ve continued to joyfully worked to bring a smile to the faces of people I work with, live with and know. 

I wanted to start this year by reminding you that kindness is easy!  AND you can start a year of kindness at any time (even 5 days after New Year like today). If you want to do it don’t let anything stop you, least of all the date. 

So this is a call to kindness if you want to join me. It doesn’t have to be hard. 

For example: 

If you break it down to a weekly kindness schedule : 

Monday’s: smile at a stranger/compliment someone. A compliment could be about their outfit, their adorable pet, their lovely smile, or their ability to keep coming to work everyday when you know they have stuff going on at home or when they are dealing with chronic pain/illness (I have a few friends whose lives are crazy and yet they still show up for me when I need them). 

Tuesday’s: make or buy a hot/cold beverage for someone. it can be offering to get someone a glass of water or remembering and buying them that Double Dirty Chai latte with Coconut Milk they drink on a regular basis. The price or effort is up to you. 

Wednesday’s: take a treat into work to share... it’s hump day on Wednesday and everyone will appreciate a mid-week pick me up (I have been doing this at work - and mostly involved me baking yummy treated on a Tuesday night but this week I took some fruit mince pies in to work (I can’t eat them but they had a packet of 6 fruit mince pies on reduction for £0.05 per back so I grabbed two to make the day more enjoyable for everyone. I got to be kind they got to eat yummy things). If you don’t work regular days etc, make or do something special for your family or friends on a Wednesday if you want to stick to this plan. 

Thursday’s: write a thank you to someone for something good they have done for you. This can be as public as a Facebook post acknowledging their gifts and why you love them so. Or as private as writing them an anonymous hand written note to thank them for generally being a good person. 

Friday’s: do a job or chore for someone else. This can be offering to empty the bin at work or emptying the dishwasher when it’s your housemates/partners turn. It could be raking the leaves for your neighbour, helping them move snow in winter, watering gardens/plants in summer or just checking on an elderly family member/friend/neighbour. 

Saturday’s: Connect with someone you’ve been meaning to contact but keep forgetting to/putting it off. Simply sending a message to a friend or family member that says “I’ve been thinking of you recently, how are things? Hope you are well!” Or writing a letter or email to catch a friend or family member up on all they have been missing in your life. It could be calling someone for a coffee date or organising to go to the movies together. Or it could be sending a care package to a friend in another country (this has made a huge and amazing kindness for me when family and friends have sent stuff my way! 😊). 

Sunday’s: do something to be kind to yourself! This can be having a bath, Reading a book you’ve been wanting to read or even making your favourite tea/coffee/ chocolate/hot Carob drink and taking 5 minutes to sit and enjoy it in silence (yes parents - I know that’s a lot to ask but I hope for your sake you kids sleep sometime!). 

Other things you can do to spice up your kindnesses: 

When it’s someone birthday just send them a message to let them know you know they were born on this day and how special that is to you. If it’s YOUR birthday send a message to your mother (after all she did all the work of growing you inside her for up to 9 months) or a person who has been a mum/parent figure to you to thank them for helping you and keeping you alive this long! Or for teaching you the resilience you needed to stay alive on your own! 

Anytime it’s a special holiday (E.g.  Christmas just gone, Valentine’s, Easter, Hanukkah, Diwali, any festive card giving holiday etc) when you are sending a card, write one thing you are grateful for about that person. It can be hard sometimes but if you think about it, there is a reason you are going to the effort of sending/giving them a card why not make it extra special. 

Do you love books? Do you have a couple extra dollars to make someone’s day? Put some cash (I recommend notes as coins can cause damage to a book) with a post-it note in your favourite book/s at a book shop to contribute to the next person, who opens the book, to purchase it! 

Appreciate the work of those around you like Posties (postmen and women), ambulance workers, Firey’s (fire department workers), nurses, doctors, managers, street cleaners, cleaners in general, garbage men/women, service men and women, retail staff, regular delivery drivers etc. you could always thank them for their work by writing to their work places/ managers to compliment their work or contact these people directly by giving them a thank you note/card. Gratitude is by far one of the nicest and simplest kindnesses around and you can do it verbally or in written form. 

One idea for office workers: 

I like leaving one of our staff little compliments and encouragements at random places in her Post-It Note pad. She knows who does it, but if you were less obvious than I am... You could make it anonymous! Note: I do try to be sneaky but she’s very clever! 

Extra info: 

There are so many ideas if the weekly kindness plan doesn’t work for you! You can check out FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and so many places for kindness ideas. 

I am not the first and I won’t be the last to choose to do a kind deed a day. I REALLY WANT people to take this on... it really has changed MY life for the better. And I hope it works for you too! :) 

Here is to another year of kindness. 

Much love to you all, 

Daena x

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