My 40th Random Act of Kindness! Wow! I can’t believe how quickly this 40th Birthday project has transpired from start to finish. Throughout this journey, I’ve met amazing people every step of the way. No, not amazing in the star-struck way… but amazing in the human spirit way. I have witnessed the power in a simple smile of appreciation as well as the unabashed tears of gratitude. Performing 40 random act of kindness has blessed me so much more than I anticipated. This project has given me joy on dreary days, inspiration in the midst of drudgery, and hope for more things to come.
As more and more people have learned about my project, a common question resounds: “What are you going to do for your 40th RAK?” There is an unwritten expectation that the very last of anything needs to be spectacular. Think about it! The final act of a play. The final chapter in a book. The final day of the year (which is today!) There is a bit of pressure to make this, my final RAK, one of great magnitude and impact. After many weeks of reflection, I knew exactly what do for my 40th Random Act of Kindness. And ironically, it sent me to the very place I began Random Act of Kindness #1. The grocery store.
No… I did not perform another RAK at Kroger (although maybe I did and just didn’t write about it, lol.) No, this was strictly a mission to buy groceries. I needed three ingredients to perform my 40th RAK: cream cheese, chocolate baking squares, and a package of Oreos. If you’ve learned anything about me from my blog, you’ve discovered my love for blessing others by cooking or baking, and my 40th RAK would be no exception. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of… chocolate truffles.
Yes, I know I can spend $5.99 and get a package of elegantly wrapped delicacies in a shiny red bag. But I wanted to make a gift from the heart. A gift that took time. A gift to say “Thank You” for a very special group of people who have made an impact on my life.
In the past few months I have unexpectedly undergone testing for breast cancer. What started off as a “let’s just do a scan to get a baseline” turned into urgent phone calls and additional testing when an unknown mass was discovered. Without getting into TOO many details (which I could, but might be TMI for some), let’s just say that I have had more tests, procedures and needles in the past three months than I’ve had my entire life. NOT A FUN PROCESS WHATSOEVER!
There is something very humbling about lying in a hospital gown on a long hard table with an IV in your arm. Waiting. Wondering. Things in your life are quickly put into perspective when you go through a trial such as this (as I’m sure some of you know from first-hand experience.) Time becomes a vortex; you feel like everything around you is spinning. And then, like a real tornado, everything just… stops. Suddenly. Without warning. Done.
My results declared I was cancer-free. I was one of the lucky ones. Ironically, it was a diagnosis with mixed feelings, as I’ve had many friends and family members undergo this process with unfavorable results. Yes, I was relieved, but then I felt guilty that I should be spared when so many others are not. Why am I the lucky one? I am no better than anyone else! It was a bit odd to have joy, disbelief, and discouragement all rolled into one phone call.
The members of medical staff that assisted me during this time were amazing. In each step of this process they were compassionate. Gentle. Humorous. Attentive. The receptionist who greeted with a smile… the nurse who continued to call (despite being sent to voicemail over 5 times when I was in a meeting)… the technician who reminded, “This will only hurt for a moment”… the assistant who found a space heater to warm my cold feet in the recovery room… each and every person I encountered here showed me kindness. And to think that I am only one of the many patients they see from week to week. It was only fitting that I should use my 40th Random Act of Kindness to say “Thank You” for all they do.
Which brings me back to the truffles. 🙂
After gathering my supplies from Kroger, I came home and spent the afternoon making my goodies. (For those who want to see my truffle making step-by-step, you can visit my Snapguide site for the recipe with screenshots and captions.) I placed the truffles in a container and wrote a note inside of a Thank You card.
I then drove to the facility and dropped off my little container of treats. It was a very small gesture of appreciation, but one that spoke volumes from my heart.
As I reflect on my 40th Birthday Project, I am in awe. What started off as a fun, creative way to celebrate my 40th birthday has turned into something quite grand. Over 6,000 readers from 20 different countries have viewed my blog site over the course of six months. WOW! Of those readers, several have written me personally to share their own acts of kindness or how they have been blessed by others. I am inspired daily by those who promote the good in others, as they truly rejuvenate the soul!
A childhood song comes to mind when I think about my birthday blog. “This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine…” It’s true that I could have performed all these acts of kindness in secret, without fanfare or discussion. However, I believe we inspire one another, similar to iron sharpening iron. Being kind is contagious. Once you begin, you can’t quite stop. So keep going! That’s my plan. I may have completed my birthday project tasks, but this blog will keep going. Because kindness never ends!
Happy New Year, dear friends, and may you find joy and happiness in each and every day of 2013!