Friday, February 14, 2014

It should be every day!

So, my original goal of one charity a month was a bit lofty. What was I thinking? I am a mother of a special needs child. I have a full time job, a husband, two other children and a home to care for. In a nutshell, I’m human and I have a life that frequently takes over. So, as evidenced by my lack of blog posts, I haven't quite "Done Anything"! I am excited to say though, that I have scheduled a date to cook and serve a meal at our local Ronald McDonald House and I’m thrilled about that. I’m working on getting my team of volunteers together and I’m planning my meal and grocery list. I will write more on that as the time nears. But in the meantime, just thought I’d share my thoughts on Valentine’s Day.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Whoopee, big deal! To me it is really just another day. Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the abundance of chocolates and other treats that tend to surface around the office on this day. But to me, Valentine’s Day is just like every other day in my life. I wake up and tell my husband I love him. I get my daughter ready for school, give her plenty of hugs and kisses and tell her I love her. I leave for work, kiss my husband and tell him I love him. I’ll talk to my two older kids sometime during the day and I’ll tell them I love them. Then, later tonight, I will kiss my husband again and tell him I love him before we go to sleep. You get the point and I’m sure you’ve heard this before. You don’t need a special day to tell the people around you that you love them. You should do that every day! And I’m sure we all do that. But what about the other gifts that are exchanged on Valentine’s day? Those also can (and should) be given any day throughout the year. Imagine how tickled your wife would be if she received flowers at work on any random day. I’ve been with my husband for 17 years and I think I have gotten flowers maybe 10 times. Probably 8 of those times have been random. It really does feel great.
It’s also Random Acts of Kindness Week. I think it is great that there is a week to promote Random Acts of Kindness (RAK’s), but we all know that we should do these every day. Seriously, how hard is it to just smile or give a compliment to a passing stranger? I have been the recipient of a compliment from a stranger and it made my day. I was riding in the elevator at work one morning and a very well dressed man commented that he liked my dress. Now I guess some would find this creepy, but I did not. I beamed from ear to ear and thanked him. Then you know what I did? I did what we should all do when we receive a RAK. I passed it on. I passed a woman in the hall and really loved the blouse she had on, so I told her. That one compliment really sparked something in me and I try to compliment people as frequently as possible. And my compliments are genuine. If I don’t like what someone is wearing, I’m not going to compliment them. But I will still give them a smile! Mother Teresa said it best, "We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do."

I guess my point in all of this rambling is that we should not reserve a special day or week or holiday to show love and kindness to other people. Send your mother flowers on August 3rd, cook your husband his favorite dinner on a Wednesday, pack a love note in your kid’s lunchbox any day of the week. To keep this in theme with my blog, we should also remember that charities need our help all year long, not just during the holidays. There are always ample opportunities during Christmas. You can adopt a family, collect food for a food bank, and even go caroling at a nursing home. But the food bank needs food year round, the kids in the family grow and need new clothes, the elderly in the nursing home sure would love someone to just sit and visit with. I am really trying to keep this in mind throughout the year and I hope that you will do. Remember, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Andrew Holmes. So go out and do your heart some good!