Well look at February zooming by like nobody’s business! Did you know that February 13th was National Kindness day? I didn’t until I saw it fluttering by on IG. Between the kindness postings and feeling like I left last week’s blog half written I thought I’d take a moment to touch back on the topic I closed with last week, which was spreading kindness out into the world in whatever way possible. Of course, there’s a little back story to this kindness thing because oversharing is pretty much what I do. 😉 And here we go. When I was in high school it was recommended that I attend Alateen meetings (this post isn’t about that so I’ll let you click the link if you’re curious what those are). After the meeting, literature was passed out to help navigate the seas of the reality of needing to go those meetings in the first place. I was probably 16ish and honestly had no desire to be at the meeting but decided later to take a look at material, since this was what they considered to be some of their best stuff. I was pleasantly surprised when a few lines of the handout titled Just For Today actually caught my eye. The handout was a double-sided bookmark filled with ways to live your best life; today I’ll share the two that resonate with me to this very day.
- I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anyone knows of it, it will not count.
- I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Those two little gems were life changing for me. I wasn’t raised with either of those mentalities. In fact, nobody valued happiness or really actively being kind in my home. I’m not saying there wasn’t kindness or happiness, what I’m saying is my role models did not impress upon me the importance of going out of your way to be kind and/or happy. Reading those lines as a teen felt like the permission I needed to go out into the world and be my best self. And so, I did. I held tightly to those lines through the ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot along the way that I thought I’d share a few things with you:
- Being kind (doing someone a good turn) is gratifying. It feels good to do good. Why more people don’t actively practice being kind is beyond me.
- Showing kindness to someone and not telling anyone takes some getting used to but once you do it a couple times it becomes clear why that part was included.
- Showing kindness, not just to others, but to yourself, can lead to happiness.
- There are a lot of truly unkind people in this world and it’s not my job to fix them, but it is my job to be kind to myself by not going toe to toe with them.
- Happiness does not naturally flutter into your life every day, but even in the most challenging times it’s important to remember it will come again.
- Happiness can be hard work. During those rough patches it helps to try to pull your mind off of it in whatever way works for you. I like to look at cute animals online, watch comedy, read cheesy romance novels, or simply smile for a bit which tricks your brain into releasing happy chemicals.
Since I don’t get out much anymore, I’ve had to change the way I try to spread goodness each day, but I’ve been doing this for decades now. It can be something as little as telling a cashier, who looks exhausted, but maybe has a very fancy manicure, that her nails look great. Don’t get me wrong it’s not about her looks, it’s about noticing another human and saying I see you, and I appreciate you. There are a million ways to spread kindness, and a million ways to seek happiness, and as we all know some days are easier than others but I truly believe that the two are interrelated and intentionally practicing them can lead to a more fulfilled life.
This post was difficult to write, lots of deletes, lots of directions. It feels like a post about nothing but if in the end it encourages someone to share a kind word or do a good deed, it was time well spent. Since the topic was partially happiness I just have to share what I stumbled upon today for those of you on the basically air diet because everything tastes blah and/or hurts your tummy, mac and cheese ya’ll. Specifically, Amy’s Gluten, Soy, and Dairy Free Rice Frozen Macaroni and Cheese. It was absolutely amazing! Not sure what’ll do to my tummy yet but I’m hoping for the best because my taste buds threw quite the celebration. 😊
Be good to one another and be good to yourself. 💕 A few extra doodles from years past as I posted them when the prompt was bees and I thought I’d share them here again.
The above post was not intended to provide mental health advice nor was it referring to people who experience clinical depression. I was simply sharing my personal experiences. My heart aches for people with clinical depression, as it runs in my family I know you can’t just wish yourself happy. Although if that was possible I’d would wish you all happy myself as I’ve seen firsthand what a cruel experience it can be. ❤