Random Acts of Kindness

I meant to post this yesterday, but with my days blurring to mornings and so forth, I forgot. Nevertheless, here it is!

I’m inspired by individuals who go out of their way, against the grain, to show a random act of kindness. I usually see this when someone holds the door for me, helps me pick up something I’ve dropped, or even sends me a special note to brighten my day.

There are random acts though, that I inspire me in a different way because I’ve seen them committed without any acknowledgement of who they are. For instance, I’ve been in the Starbucks drive-thru and had my order paid for by the individual in front of me. I didn’t know who they were and vice versa! What I noticed today was someone picking up litter on their way into grocery shop and throwing it away. I also noticed a different person taking two randomly dumped shopping carts outside of the cart corral and return them inside. No one will say thank you for doing such things. They didn’t do it because they knew someone was watching. They just did it as a way to help!

These random acts of kindness often inspire me to find my own acts that make small differences. They also inspire me to teach my students about the power of being kind. I hope my impact on them has a similar impact that others have had on me.

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Last Day

I made it!

While some day of #sol18 weren’t easy, I did it!

I have a new understanding of writer’s block. I have a new understanding of what I expect my students to go through when I prompt and encourage them to write.

This was such a valuable experience for me as an educator, as a mother, and even for my soul. I’m grateful to my friend who shared this challenge with me. I’m also grateful to other bloggers for their comments, words of encouragement, and for fueling my drive to continue posting.

I can’t wait for this challenge next year, and have already passed this on to others who I feel may find value in daily writing for themselves.

Facebook Trolling

It’s midnight. You can’t sleep. What do you do? You troll Facebook, of course!

Usually you scroll your live feed.  Who did what today? 

You might indulge yourself and tap on a friend’s profile picture. Then, before you know it, an hour has passed.  You literally just spent an hour browsing someone else’s life on Facebook.  The best part?  You won’t remember a single detail of that excursion!  It’s all mindless tapping, clicking, scrolling, or through whatever means you navigate the social media black hole.

However, have you ever trolled yourself? Consider what would happen if you did.

Well, I did just that tonight.  I didn’t mean to actually, it just happened. I think I was looking for a particular picture to post to a recommendation from a social group I’m part of, and managed to “get lost” in my own photos.  After forgetting the purpose, I started to remember some really amazing moments.

I remembered some of the crazy crafting I used to do, just for fun, back when I had time.  (See Slimer image below.)

I remembered some of the intricate details leading up to my son’s pregnancy.  The happenings behind his nursery, “nesting”, early delivery, and the pure joy after his birth.

I remembered a good time was had during a Lady Gaga concert with my dearest friend.

I remembered spray painting an American flag in my Aunt and Uncle’s front yard for the 4th of July weekend, for the second year in a row.

I remembered polling my friend group for feedback on a stuffed animal being a zebra or a hyena.  It was a rather humorous conversation actually! (See Zebra-ena image below.)

I remembered the way some colleagues celebrated my half birthday, since I have a summer birthday and ya know, it NEVER gets celebrated at school with the rest of ’em.

I remembered the many inspirational quotes that helped me through my moments of weakness.

I guess my “remembered” statements could go on forever, but that’s what I like about social media in a way.  While it does leave a digital footprint of our lives, it is a way to keep a scrapbook of all the wonderment and growth.  There are many beautiful things that I’ve experienced in life, and sometimes it’s easy to become inundated by the negative.  I am grateful some of my happy moments are kept in an organized manner somewhere, easily accessible, and have grown to be opportunities for continued happiness.

Happy trolling!

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Museum Madness

Today was an adventure through a most amazing place of learning; the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

We ventured through as many exhibits as humanly possible.  My son, typically fearful of the larger than life-sized tornado, actually meandered into the weather systems hall for a closer look.  I was proud of his ability to gradually overcome this fear to a more established comfort.

Also during our visit, we toured the usual Great Train Story.  This is a model train exhibit showing the ventures from Chicago to Seattle, which is a trip we hope to take some day as a family.  We rode in a real tractor, played with steam engines and gears, scoped out a fairy princess castle, and even visited the U-505 (another favorite).

Every time we visit the museum, we find ourselves drawn to the history and symbolism behind the U-505.  I’m proud of my country for their feat; this huge accomplishment while risking their lives that provided a huge vantage over the Germans during the war.  I’m amazed and in awe of the massive metal structure and the story behind its journey from the Atlantic to landlocked Chicago.  I’m also saddened.  Every time I gaze upon this submarine I’m filled with sadness.  I’m sad for the lives lost during this time.  I’m sad for the way families had to suffer.  I know this is part of our history, but at times I contemplate what if war wasn’t the answerWhat if we could all truly find an amicable way around our differences?

I know my way of thinking isn’t ideal.  Maybe that’s my utopia though; a world where violence isn’t the answer, ever.  But every time I visit this particular exhibit, I can’t help but feel this way.  Except today was different; the museum was in total, utter chaos.  Now keep in mind, we typically roam the museum passages early enough to feel as though we have the place to ourselves.  There were so many people it felt as though the museum had a new pulse, a new sense of life.  Spring Breakers exploring the museum’s wonders for the first time brought about a sense of intrigue, imagination, and expression.  Today I focused on the museum’s visitors more than the exhibits, and this helped me live U-505 moments from a different perspective, with a different sense of appreciation.

While I love the museum and the U-505, I love even more that we have a place to explore the past without having to relive it.  May the lives lost never be forgotten.  May the love of learning and exploration continue on for generations to come.

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Weirdest Wedding Invite?

Okay, in need of some feedback here, and I’m inquiring for a friend.

Sometimes I gauge social situations incorrectly and want a frame of normalcy here. Let me also explain that I enjoy weddings, think they are beautiful, and love that they are celebrations of two soulmates unifying their undying love for another.

With that, what happens if a friend invited you to her friend’s wedding, but you aren’t on that level of friendship, nor have you met the friend’s friend? What is the intent behind such an invite? And yes, there’s more to the story that I can’t fully divulge, but nonetheless, it’s still an interesting predicament.

Through this situation, I try to consider viewing things from the other perspective. I try to ask myself the questions that help me better understand the decision-making without judgement. I don’t always win the mental battle, but it doesn’t stop me from trying to make the best choice, take the right next step, or be considerate of the other person involved.

In the end, I suppose I could have advised my friend to consider it as a nice gesture and send a gift, as doing the right thing is always the best thing.

I Remember A Place

A handful of years ago, I lived a more quiet life, and at the time, such stillness was difficult for me. Being a city girl, I missed the sounds of airplane noise, ambulances and fire trucks, the roar of a bustling interstate, and even loud sub woofers as they drove by at 2am.

Now I’m sitting here at 2am, missing some of those quiet moments. I miss the peeper frogs and their croaking sounds. I miss the chirping crickets in the tall, grassy fields. I even miss the howling of a coyote pack as they prowled under the moonlit night for food. I miss the calming, babbling brook as it meandered nearby. I miss how you can see every star in the sky. You can see the way they almost wink at you each time they twinkle. I miss being able to see the depths of our galaxy. I miss how small it made me feel, and how the vastness always put things into perspective. I even miss the freshness of the air that tickles your nose each time a gust would blow. I miss how the country air gave me a larger than life sense of freedom from the chains of responsibility upon each inhale.

I know someday I’ll make it back there for a visit. It’s just nice to remember a place you once called home. It’s nice to remember all the things that drove you crazy, just so happen to be things you miss, and love.

Shoes Galore

I’m pretty sure I have a shoe addiction.

I suddenly realized this as I walked into my home earlier today and noticed the pile. The endless pile of shoes that has accumulated throughout the week of being worn. It also became more of a realization as when I attempted to pick up the pairs and put them away, there was no more room to store them!

If you can imagine two over the door organizers and two large wicker baskets full of shoes. High heels, wedges, Converse, flip flops, sandals, two pairs of shoes that are exactly the same except a different color, slip-ons, rain boots, snow boots, and two pairs of slippers, to name a few.

Oh, what’s a woman to do with so many shoes?