QUOTE OF THE WEEK: No act of kindness, no matter how small, ever goes unnoticed - Aesop

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


With May being an extra long month and June starting near the end of the week, I thought I'd take last week off and begin the new month's goals on Sunday.

Alas, the best laid plans sometimes go astray.

I have a very legitimate, although somewhat embarrassing reason for not starting this month's theme on time.  You see, I don't exactly remember what this month's theme is.....

How can that be?  Well, this is the problem:  it's all written down, sorted, and carefully organized in a notebook because my ideas tend to flow better that way.  And guess what - the notebook's gone missing.  I know, I know - it probably would be best if I had this information backed up digitally, and believe me, that's the first thing I intend to do when I find that notebook!

Until then, I plan on writing the occasional post about aging, life, and laughter.  Please check back soon, as I'll post June's theme and goals the second my notes resurface :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekly Goal #4 - Make a Donation

I didn't post the weekly goal yesterday.

Just in case you were wondering :)

So, here it is - better late than never, I suppose.

The final weekly goal in May's month of "service" is making a donation.

In some ways, I feel this is the easiest goal of all.  While many of us may not always have the luxury of time when it comes to helping others, I bet each one has a few seconds to reach into a wallet or write a check.

There are countless causes to donate to.  Some of these might include:
*church donations
*registered charities
*school fundraisers
*military families
*disaster relief
*individuals facing medical challenges

Donations aren't always monetary in nature.  Grocery items can be donated to the Food Bank, clothing to thrift stores, toys to a shelter, blankets to children's hospital...you get the idea.

The amount isn't important.  Small donations have a way of adding up to make a big impact.  In the words of this week's quote "no act of kindness, no matter how small, ever goes unnoticed."  Or, ever goes unappreciated for that matter.

So there you have it, folks.  This week's assignment is to find a worthy cause and donate to it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week in Review

A new week begins tomorrow, which means...

You guessed it - review time!

The goal for this week was to perform a random act of kindness.  This goal is part of May's overall focus on service.

I really enjoyed this goal because I found when I was less focused on myself and looking for ways to help others, my own troubles seemed to disappear for a time.  I felt a quiet satisfaction in my efforts and my entire day seemed a little brighter.  I feel this is the inherent nature of service; one sets out with the purpose of helping others, but often ends with the greater reward in return.

I won't be sharing specifics on what I did this week because I want my deeds to remain unknown.  I will say that I tried to do something nice anonymously once a day, and I divided my efforts between family, neighbors, and even a few strangers.  This is one goal I'd like to continue beyond the week - and I hope you will too.  Just think of the changes which could be made if we all decided to make the world a better place through one kind deed a day :)

Please check in tomorrow as I unveil May's final goal!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome to Adulthood!

My daughter turned eighteen last Sunday.

Man, was she excited!

She kept bragging to her friends that she was now of "legal" age.  The thing she seemed most excited about was her ability to order something off of an infomercial if she wanted.

However, it only took a few days for reality to set in :)

Here she is, getting ready for her first day of work at a local restaurant:

Let's just say she didn't look quite as perky when she came home.

She'd only spent three hours in training, but she was exhausted.  I couldn't help but play the devil's advocate by reminding her the time she'd spent working was only about half that of a regular shift. 

Her response was a loud groan.

Her other complaint was her boss wanted her to complete training next Wednesday, which is graduation day.  She is scheduled to come in from 1-4 p.m. and then she'll have to zip over to her 4:30 graduation.  And, to add insult to injury, her dad had just informed her she'd have to pay the monthly bill for the new phone she's getting for graduation.

I laughed.  "Welcome to adulthood," I said, patting her arm.  Like most of us, I think my daughter was so focused on the freedom aspect of coming of age, she forgot about the responsibility that comes with it.

Freedom without responsibility - if only it worked that way :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekly Goal #3 - A Random Act of Kindness

Sorry for the hiatus; our little guy ended up having surgery in Salt Lake City and we spent four days out of town.  We're now home, and our son is doing well.

As a result, I had little time to reach out to my neighbors.  In retrospect, planning this goal during a week with surgery was probably not the smartest thing to do.  However, we did find ourselves on the other end with having our neighbors reach out with well wishes and concern during these past few days.  It's taught me that part of being a good neighbor is allowing others to help you :)

Now, on to this week and its goal.  The goal for this week is to perform a random act of kindness.  To do something nice when no one is looking, not expecting recognition or praise for your action. 

Oftentimes, some of the most important work is done by those working quietly behind the scenes who know what needs to be done and are willing to do it without fanfare or fuss.  This is what I challenge you to do this week - to look carefully around you, spot a need or concern, then step in and help anonymously.  While you might miss out on the accolades of others, you will feel a quiet satisfaction in doing your part to make a difference.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekly Goal #2 - Be a Good Neighbor

I'm sure most of you know this little jingle from television, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."

This brings up a question - what does it mean to be a good neighbor?

I'd also like to pose a second question - how well do you know your neighbors?

I have to admit, there are a few people in our neighborhood I don't know very well.  I'm ashamed to say the reason is because they are of a different denomination than I.  It's not that I'm shunning them because they belong to a different church; rather, I don't know them well because I don't see them on a weekly basis like I do with my "LDS" neighbors.  I just haven't gone out of my way to stop by and get to know them.

This personal deficiency is prompting this week's goal of "being a good neighbor".  Here's the assignment: think of at least one individual or family in your neighborhood you don't know well and stop by to say "hello".  Bringing cookies or another treat can sometimes offer a good excuse for a visit.  Chances are you'll find they have been wanting to meet you, too :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

St. George Ironman 2011

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Ironman event held yesterday in St. George, and since this week's goal was about becoming a volunteer, I thought I'd share my experience with you.

The Ironman is considered the ultimate in conditioning events (think of a triathalon on steriods).  The athletes begin with a 2.4 mile swim in open water.  I don't know how many of you have ever tried to swim more than a couple of hundred yards at one time, but it's BRUTAL.  The moment after they leave the water, the participants hop on a bicycle and ride 112 miles:

As if that weren't enough, the event is finished by running a marathon - which is 26.2 miles, in case you were wondering:

To top things off, it was over 90 degrees on Saturday.  I was working at Run Station #1 in the afternoon, the first station located on the running course.  There were three lanes of athletes on our street; a lane of cyclists finishing their loop, and the entry and returning lanes for the marathon.  There were athletes from all over the world in every shape, size, and of varying ages.  Some of them chose to wear something quirky to set them apart, others chose to compete while carrying something meaningful.  One of my favorites was this runner, who chose to carry an American flag:
One runner came through competing on an artificial leg.  It was quite remarkable!

Despite the heat, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It was interesting to meet new people, and I felt a quiet satisfaction and pride at being able to help these people - most of whom were complete strangers - be able to realize their dream.  It only took one afternoon of my time, but it made a huge difference to the athletes.  I know they appreciated it, because many took the time to thank the volunteers.

So again, I urge you to look for ways to volunteer and become involved with a good cause.  You'll never regret your decision :)