Posted in Good Things

Lovely Day

 This year I decided to jump on the band wagon of doing good deeds for my 38th birthday. I have been depressed for a few years now and wallowing in my self pity has not only become a hobby, it became a part of me. I have always been somebody that didn’t want to be the victim but I let people and events bring me down. It has been hard to stay motivated and to let hope even enter my mind.

When I first read this blogger’s post about her doing 38 random acts of kindness for her 38th birthday, I was inspired. It warmed my heart that somebody would take a day where they are to be celebrated and turned it into showing others acts of kindness. The post became so popular that she created a website.

I also did some research on depression and found that many said that doing for others will help you feel better. I saw it as taking yourself out of your own troubles and helping others. At this point I was getting tired of my pity party of one and wanted to do something about it.

The first thing I did was to make a list of things I wanted to do that day. I had read another blogger who had also done the acts of kindness for her birthday and spent $1000. As lovely as that would be, that wasn’t going to happen for a stay at home mom who is on a budget. Below is what I did:

  1. Returned shopping carts at my local grocery store: Something so simple and only takes a minute

  2. Offered to help somebody with their groceries

  3. Gave a lady I came across a Redbox code for a free movie

  4. Gave a $5 gift card to pay for the person behind me in the Starbucks drive thru

  5. Gave a $5 gift card to the person behind me in line at my grocery store: The cashier guessed that is was my birthday-it thrilled me that I am not the only one doing something like this right in my own town

  6. Donated flowers to my local cemetery

  7. Donated dog and cat treats to an animal shelter

  8. Left some tennis balls at the dog park

  9. Cleaned up the bathroom (picked up trash off the floor) at my kids’ favorite park

  10. Picked up dog poop at same park (Yep, got down and dirty for my birthday)

  11. Gave each of my kids 3 quarters to hide in the playground area for other children to find

  12. Left a case of water at a busy basketball court

  13. Gave a bag of soda cans to somebody in line at the recycling center that I had collected for two months

  14. Left a free milkshake coupon at Del Taco

  15. Made cookies for Curls’ class

  16. Took laundry detergent to a laundromat

  17. Gave $2 in quarters to a man in need at the same laundromat

  18. Donated books to the library

  19. Left a bag of change to cover library dues

  20. Took the daily newspaper into Coco’s for patrons to read

  21. Left coupon for a free slice of pie at Coco’s

  22. Gave a bag of hand me downs to a friend

  23. Hid $1 bills throughout the dollar section in Target

  24. Gave somebody a $5 Target gift card

  25. Left coupons at Target and Winco: This was Curls’ favorite good deed. She treated it like a treasure hunt, trying to find the item in the store and placing the coupon so somebody could find it. She asked if we could do it every week.

  26. Returned shopping carts @ Target

  27. Took cookies to my neighbor

  28. Also brought in her trash cans

  29. Complimented a stranger:

    So easy and I loved leaving people with a smile on their faces!

  30. Picked up trash: Curls helped me with this

  31. Let kids eat what they want

  32. Let kids listen to what they want to in the car on the way to pick up their Dad from the airport (a 45 minute drive): I was rewarded by being told they wanted to listen to Imagine Dragons and fun.-HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! 

  33. Left a generous tip at dinner

  34. Let somebody go in front of us in line

  35. Bought Curls her own pack of gum to keep in her purse: Anybody who is a parent knows what a good deed this is-especially when said child is five

  36. Red chose where to go to lunch.  Which considering that he loves Taco Hell makes for a really good deed.

  37. Opened the door for others
  38. Told everyone I encountered, “Have a good day!”

At the end of the day I was mentally and physically exhausted. But I also had a smile on my face. I found myself feeling happier and lighter.  My interaction with strangers throughout the day was positive.  I told my kids “yes” more than “no.” I smiled at others without thinking about it. So at the end of the day I have to say that I have taken one step away from depression and one step closer to enjoying my life, no matter what is thrown at me.

I will leave you with “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.  Hope you have a good one.

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Author:

I'm Stephanie, a California girl who is moving forward and not looking back.

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