Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Challenge - Week 2

While I'm late in posting, I have still been working on my 30 day challenge of acts of kindness. Here are my updates for week 2.

Day 9 - sent a thank you to a fallen serviceman's family. This one had been on my list to do, but I wasn't sure how to start. So, I went to Google and found this site. I knew that I wanted to send a thank you to someone's who had lost their child a while ago, not recently. When a loss is recent, everyone is around to remember your loved one and help you with your grief. Over time, most of those people go back to their lives, and you worry that your child will be forgotten. So, I picked someone who died close to the time that Vivienne died who was also from Ohio. Then, I googled and found his parents and wrote them a letter of thanks, assuring them that their son had not been forgotten.

Day 10 - took a platter of cookies to the local firehouse. I dropped them off and thanked them for their service. The fireman who greeted me assured me it was nothing, which I know isn't true. Those people run towards burning buildings while we run away. The least I can do for them is give them cookies.

Day 11 - sent a gift to a friend. She needed some encouragement, and I was happy to provide it.

Day 12 - returned the cart at the grocery store. The weather was bad, and I could have put it in the section for a grocery store employee to get it. But I decided to return it to the store, so there would be 1 less cart for them to collect.

Day 13 - bought coffee for a coworker. She'd been having a really tough week, so I went to Caribou and grabbed her favorite coffee.

Day 14 - gave books to a friend. She was preparing for surgery where she'd be laid up for a while. So, I collected some of my favorite books to give her to help her pass the time.

Day 15 - gave a 100% tip to a waitress. It was just me, so the check wasn't big. I know how hard waitresses work, so I left her a 100% tip.

Day 16 - donated magazines to the library. Our local library collects magazines to donate to the elderly and to give to kids for craft projects. We collected up a bunch of our magazines, and I dropped them off at the library.

I've been really touched by everyone sending me their notes of random acts of kindness that they've done. It helps to encourage me to keep going on the project and see the 30 days fly by!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Challenge - Week 1

Last week, I wrote about my 30 day challenge - 30 days, 30 random acts of kindness. I know that some of you reading have also joined in, so I wanted to update you on my week 1 of the challenge.

Day 1 - sent flowers to my Mom. For those of you that don't know my Mom, you're missing out. She's one of the most giving and kindest people I know. I don't tell her nearly as often as I should how much she means to me. So, it felt appropriate that day 1 was to thank her and make her feel special.

Day 2 - bought coffee for strangers. I had a Starbucks gift card laying around, so I took it in and told the barista to buy coffee for as many people as it would cover, and to tell them to pass on the kindness.

Day 3 - fed people's parking meters. I'm guessing that no one realized I fed their empty parking meter, but maybe I saved someone a parking ticket!

Day 4 - bought bagels for my coworkers. It was a Monday, and nobody likes a Monday, so I took bagels to the office for my coworkers to hopefully brighten their day just a little.

Day 5 - wrote a congratulations email to an old friend. It may not sound like much, but she'd recently had a baby. Congratulations notes on new babies are not easy for me to write, but it is the kind thing to do.

Day 6 - brought home treats for Gordon. It was little, but it was a candy that he loves, and he was super excited about the gesture.

Day 7 - let a car go in front of me in traffic. I know it doesn't sound like much (it isn't 30 days of grand gestures!), but it's a location where I normally don't let people in front of me, but on this day I did.

Day 8 - sent a Valentine to a children's hospital that's collecting them to give to the children on Valentine's Day.

So, that's week 1! I have a few more ideas for the coming week, but I'd love to hear your ideas too!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Taking the Challenge

I’ve written before that trying for another child after you’ve lost a child (or children, for that matter) is like jumping off a cliff. You don’t know if your parachute will work so that you’ll glide safely to your destination or if your parachute is just a backpack and you will crash to the ground. It is a terrifying decision to make. Someone once told me that you’ll know you are ready when you want it more than you are afraid of it.

And here we are again. . . preparing to jump. I am most definitely terrified, but I am also confident that my desire for a child I get to raise is far greater than my fear of what could happen. I’m trying to take the process in pieces, because the thought of playing out all of the what-if’s is more than my brain can handle. And so I focus on the first few steps and getting through the next month. 

I recently read an article about how the process of trying to conceive is a constant waiting game for a person with infertility. Obviously, this thought resonated with me. But the author had a few tricks on how to survive some of this waiting time, and I figured I would try one out.

A 30 day challenge. The author of the article came up with different 30 day challenges to help pass the waiting times. And so I’ve decided to take one on myself to help me through the next 30 days. Starting today, I will commit to one random act of kindness every day for the next 30 days. I’ll document each one in a journal, and I’ll collect them to share here on the blog. My hope is that it will help the 30 days pass by much faster, and at the end, I’ll be further along in my journey while also spreading a little good.

So who is with me? Who wants to join me on my 30 day challenge and passing a little kindness onto others every day? It always helps to know you have a group rallying behind you, which we’ve been very fortunate to have through every step of our journey. I’d love to have others with me on this 30 day journey too – you can send me some of the acts of kindness you’ve done that I’ll post here with mine. We can all encourage one another to be more patient and giving with others, while you help me get through the next 30 days.

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been pretty open through my loss and infertility journey by sharing so much on this blog (maybe too open for some). This next jump, though, I plan to keep private. For this part of my life right now, it needs to be something that I focus on with my husband. There is more that goes into a round of IVF than I can possibly explain, and we’re going to get through those with each other. I’m keeping a written journal through the process, so maybe I’ll share it someday. But for now, it is a journey we take privately. We’ll take all of your good thoughts, prayers, baby dust, whatever you want to send our way, though!

And so, as it has a few times over the course of the last year, the blog changes directions a little. For the next 30 days, it’s all about Random Acts of Kindness. I hope that you’ll join and help me count down the next 30 days.