31 On My 31st
It’s my birthday. I’m
29 31. Woohoo. I’m not really a fan of my birthday. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the attention. Maybe it’s because my birthday is one of the last things my Grandma and I ever talked about and it’s now just a reminder that she’s no longer here. I don’t know. But, this year I wanted to make it more fun for myself. I came across this on Pinterest a couple of months ago and was inspired. I loved what this super cute girl and her family did for her birthday. I wasn’t really sure I could do it with 2 kids and during my busiest time of year, but I knew I wanted to try. So I did.
I decided to do my random acts of kindness in the two days leading up to my birthday. I knew I couldn’t do them all in one day with two young kids. And with Brayden in school on Thursdays I wanted to make sure that he got to help.
Here are my 31 acts of random (and not so random) kindness:
1) I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I bought a gift card. When the clerk handed it to me I gave it right back to her and said, “Actually it’s for you”. She asked, “Why? What for?”. I told her it was just because and she was always very kind to me when I shopped there. She was extremely thankful and said it was the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for her. It was a great way to start.
2) I bought lottery tickets from 7-11 and gave one back to the clerk after I bought it. She didn’t really seem to care that much. But, I really hope she won some huge prize!
3) I tapped lottery tickets to the gas pump. Someone pulled up right after I left so I drove around a couple of times to see their reaction. Either the guy totally didn’t see them or didn’t care because he didn’t take one! When I went back a few hours later they were all gone My Grandma loved lottery tickets so it was fun to do.
4) At our GAP Kids there is a particularly nice salesman. When I was pregnant he would always tell me how great I looked and after I had Kennedy he had equally nice compliments. And all of us moms know how nice it is to be complimented while you are pregnant and right after you’ve had a baby! I took a thank you card for him, but he wasn’t there so I left it with another sales girl. I’m pretty sure she thought I had a crush on him and was leaving him a love note or something. It was awkward, but I hope the note encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing and making moms feel great.
5) I went into several restrooms at the mall and left “You’re an awesome mom” post it’s on the changing table.
6) I went to Sephora to buy moisturizer and the sales lady was particularly helpful and accommodating. When checking out she gave me a survey to take. I never do those things, but I took this one in hopes that it would help her in some way since she helped me.
7) I made a conscious effort to make eye contact and smile with others at the mall. Especially moms with crying kids I know it always makes my day to get a smile from a stranger!
8) I surprised Brayden with a UCLA pillow pet. Because it was super cute and I knew he would love it.
9) Brayden and I left coins in the candy machines at Babies R Us.
10) And then we hid dollar bills in a couple of the toy dollar bins at Target.
11) Left a Target gift card on a car with a note to “Be Awesome Today”.
12) I left a thank you card for our mailman.
13) Brayden and I made rainbow signs and left them around our neighborhood. He’s a really awesome rainbow drawer.
14) We went to the grocery store to buy flowers and bought an extra bouquet. We gave it to the elderly lady who had been in line in front of us. They were sunflowers. My Grandma’s favorite. The lady was so sweet. She just had her first great granddaughter. Tristan Riley. She’s 2 1/2 weeks old.
15) We drove through McDonald’s and bought the guy behind us lunch. He was stoked! Had a huge smile on his face.
16) We brought flowers to my mom at work to say thanks for giving birth to me.
17) While at Target the night before Brayden picked out two of his favorite movies and we donated them to the kids at our local Children’s hospital. I was a patient at that hospital as a kid so that was fun to do. And, wow, has that hospital grown since I was there!
18) We left change next to the vending machine at the hospital.
19) Held the elevator door open for people to get on the elevator even though I was the one with two kids.
20) When leaving the hospital there was a mom going inside with her young baby. She looked stressed and tired. I couldn’t catch her before she went inside, but I did leave a Starbucks card and a picture Brayden drew on her car. It’s a rainbow flower. Because he’s awesome at drawing rainbow flowers too.
21) When I handed my money to the parking lot attendant I also handed her a Starbucks card. It’s cold in that little booth! And she got a huge smile on her face.
22) These next two are my favorite. I brought cupcakes to the nurses on the mother baby unit at the hospital where I delivered Kennedy. I thought I would just drop them off and didn’t expect to see any of my nurses. I ended up seeing my favorite nurse. Michelle. She was awesome and totally remembered me, which I thought was crazy. I think I hugged her 5 times. Nurses on the mother baby floor are special people. I really appreciated mine and I’m glad at least one of them got to see Kennedy.
23) I brought flowers and asked the nurses to give them to a mom who might need a little pick me up. I started crying when I did this one.
24) I stopped at the cafeteria and bought a cup of coffee to the parking lot attendant. Again, it’s cold in those little booths! I don’t think he liked coffee though.
25) I sent a note of encouragement to a fellow mom blogger along with a gift card that I thought might give her a little pick me up.
26) I left a book that I enjoyed reading on a bus stop.
27) On the way to do number 27 Brayden and I saw people camping out in front of the movie theater. Twihards. We went to Starbucks, bought hot chocolate, and walked it over to them. Brayden was the one who actually talked to them and handed it out. He was so proud of himself and all 4 people that we gave it to were SO appreciative. I was very proud of my boy.
28) I’m not sure this one counts, but while at Starbucks the barista asked me what we were up to. I hadn’t told anyone what I was really doing, but for some reason I told her that I was doing 31 acts of random (and not so random) kindness for my 31st birthday. She asked a lot of questions and when we left she said she was so moved and inspired and she was going to do the same thing on her birthday. I thought that was pretty cool.
29) This was my least favorite and I’m glad I did this almost last as I think it would have discouraged me from continuing if I would have done it first. We went to the downtown area of our town to pass out balloons. Brayden was so excited to do this. He passed out the first three and had great responses. After that it totally went downhill. He either was completely ignored or people wouldn’t take the balloon from him. One dad was downright rude. How can you be rude to a cute 3 year old trying to give your kid a balloon? It made my heart hurt and we ended up only handing out 3 of the 7 balloons. I didn’t want Brayden to get his feelings hurt anymore. But, I learned a lesson from this one. From now on, I will do my best to make eye contact with everyone who attempts to stop and talk to me. Whether it be the annoying people in the mall who want to curl my hair or a homeless person asking for money. I will not ignore them. Because getting ignored and treated like crap sucks.
30) We picked up liter in the parking garage.
31) Gave a Starbucks gift card to the janitor who was working downtown. Thought he could use a coffee to warm up.
This was a hard project. It was tiring physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was surprised in both positive and negative ways by peoples reactions. The hardest tasks were the ones where I had to interact with people. It’s easy to leave something for someone to find. It was harder to interact with someone, make eye contact and explain why I was doing what I was doing. But, those were also the most rewarding tasks.
I’m glad I was able to complete the 31 acts. It did make my birthday fun. Rather than going and buying a new outfit for myself I was able to spend that money to make others happy. And making others happy is what makes me happy.
For my birthday I would love if you could perform just one random act of kindness today. It would make my heart happy and I’m sure it will make yours happy as well! And I would love it if you would leave a comment saying what you did! Happy 11/17!