With all the shopping, baking, wrapping, planning, decorating, cleaning, etc etc etc I’ve been doing the last several weeks in preparation for the BIG DAY….I have really been feeling like something was missing. Like I was forgetting SOMETHING. But honestly, I could not put my finger on it. I have been soooooo BUSY with this, that and the other (I won’t bore you with the details) that I literally haven’t had a spare second to ponder what this “missing something” was. Until Saturday. Mother Nature stepped in and decided to save me from myself.
I had a million and one things to do Saturday, including going into the office to put some work into a project with a deadline looming this week. Friday late afternoon I started getting a stiff neck and a tight shoulder…by Friday night I was in PAIN! My neck and shoulder were so tight and strained I could hardly move my head at all! It literally came on that fast. And I know I didn’t do anything to INJURE it…because I had been fine all day. This literally hit me like a bolt out of the blue and I am convinced it was my body letting me know it had had ENOUGH ALREADY! lol.
I have been “burning the candle at both ends” for several months now thanks in part to the unexpected success of this blog (I wouldn’t change a thing!) But the added stress of the holidays, and a BIG deadline at the office…I have really been pushing the limits of what my mind and body can take. While my mind still seems to be somewhat intact (I’m sure there are those who will argue that fact)…my body definitely went on strike this weekend. Yesterday I was literally forced to stay home all day in my jammies and try and nurse myself back to working order. I got some “essential oils” from my niece-in-law (is that a word? I think it should be.) and spent the day applying the magical potion and just trying to heal.
During this forced inactivity I finally realized what was “missing” this Christmas season! My reservoir of Christmas cheer was near empty because I hadn’t been doing anything to fill it back up. I have been so wrapped up in making Christmas special and wonderful for myself and my family and other loved ones…I hadn’t given any thought or attention to reaching out beyond my comfort circle…and making it special for others. We participated in a “Giving Tree” at church where we bought items for a family in need and donated it, but that’s been the extent of it. I just knew we could be doing more, something that required a personal touch…and not just writing out a check. Then last tonight…as I contemplated what to post today and thought about the BUSY week ahead…..I found it!
I found the thing I didn’t even know I was looking for and it all makes sense now.
Over at BraveGirlsClub.com they have a Christmas initiative of sorts going on where they are handing out Kindness Messages from Thanksgiving to Christmas to strangers they meet anywhere and everywhere!
You can even download and print out the “notes” then all you have to do is grab your kids, your spouse, your best friend, your Mom, your Dad, your brother or sister, your nieces or nephews, your boyfriend or girlfriend, whoever!…..and hit the streets! Or the Mall! Or anywhere there are people who might be in need of your unexpected gift of kindness, and start spreading Christmas cheer. What I LOVE about this idea is that it underscores how EASY it is to spread love, kindness and feelings of goodwill and happiness in this world where there is admittedly a lot of hurt and unhappiness. I’m sure we can all think of at least one time where something kind someone said or did for us made a huge impact.
So here’s the plan: print out these Kindness Messages from BraveGirlsClub.com….. or make up your own (I think I’m going to do some of each)….cut them up into little strips of paper…and slip a handful into your pocket. A trip to the mall would be ideal because you would have a captive audience of sorts to try this out on. But if a trip to the mall is not in the cards (and frankly going to the mall this week might send me over the edge! lol) just be on the lookout throughout your day for opportunities to spread good cheer with your kindness messages. How about leaving one in a grocery cart at the store…or on someone’s windshield? How about handing out a few to those harried folks waiting in line to mail packages at the post office? Is there a Senior’s Center nearby you can run in for a few minutes? How about an anonymous note in someone’s mailbox at work?
I am taking my own challenge on this and will report back after Christmas (or sooner). I hope you will try it too. I can’t wait to hear your experiences!