Friday, November 13, 2015

A Birthday, A Challenge & All Things Random

Today I turn another year older.  I am not quite sure how 43 arrived at my doorstep so quickly but it did.  It seems like yesterday I had the world by the tail (or so I thought).  Dreaming of what my life would look like by the time I turned this age.  I can tell you it looks nothing like what I thought it would.  I think it turned out better.  Better because it made me who I am today scars and all.

I learned a lot over these last 43 years.  Like how change can be scary and great all at the same timeHow things never buy happiness. 
How time is the most expensive thing you can spend.  So don't waste it- and spend it wisely.
How we are all loved by our Heavenly Father - whether we choose to believe or not.
How love is the only thing that lasts into eternity..... so love BIG!

Today I am excited but not just because it is my birthday....but because its also Random Acts Of Kindness Day (worldwide).  A perfect opportunity to be kind and show love to someone else!  Its a win win!

Lets face it- we should try to do this everyday.  But today because I turn 43 I am going to set out and do 43 Random Acts of Kindness.  Will you join me?  I don't expect everyone to do 43 but can you spare just one?  Instead of wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook or all things social would you please skip the greeting, go do a random act of kindness for someone and then use the hashtag #randomactsofkindness43 instead?  I will know that that is code for Happy 43rd Birthday Julie!  (P.S.  No need to post what you did- just the hashtag so we know you did something!)

If your unsure of where to start check these out:

43 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
  1. Leave quarters at a laundromat.
  2. Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing, takes no time, and could make someone’s entire day. Don’t just think it. Say it.
  3. Take five minutes to send “happy mail” (postal or email) to sick children who are fighting serious illnesses and want to receive mail. Go to  Go to send postcards and choose a child from the current kids list.
  4. Has a friend recently lost a loved one?  Make sure to follow up and let them know you’re thinking about them during the holidays.  Those will be tough days.
  5. Make little gift baskets for the kids in your neighborhood.
  6. Pick up the tab for the person behind you in the drive thru.
  7. If you’re an customer you can donate’s money to your favorite U.S. nonprofit through Amazon Smile. It takes a total of 20 seconds to read how to do this and set it up. Then Amazon will donate to your favorite nonprofit each time you make a purchase.
  8. Collect soda can tabs and magazines to donate to Ronald McDonald House for sick children and their families. The charity gets paid for these. Also find out how you can volunteer and give back in other ways here
  9. When it’s summer and hot, give out cold Gatorades to your mail carrier and garbage men. When it’s freezing outside offer hot chocolate to crossing guards, police officers and others.
  10. Cook an extra portion of dinner (or dessert) for someone who needs it.
  11. After a wedding or party donate all of the flowers to a nursing home. If you want to see the impact of these random acts of kindness, personally deliver a flower to each resident. You could also bring the flowers to a hospital and ask the receptionist to distribute them to patients who could use them.
  12. Take flowers to the nursing station at a hospital — for the nurses.
  13. Send a card to people who dedicate their lives to helping us – soldiers, police officers, fire fighters and teachers to name a few. Write a letter to a deployed or wounded member of the military through Operation Gratitude. Check out for more information.  Soldiers say that’s the most meaningful part of care packages they receive.
  14. Send cards to lonely seniors. Contact area nursing homes and send cards to residents who may no longer have family or visitors to brighten their day. 
  15. Text someone just to tell them something you appreciate about them.
  16. Keep an extra umbrella at work, so you can lend it out when it rains.
  17. If you’re a business, leverage what you do every day to do good and perform acts of kindness.
  18. Listen. Don’t interrupt. We underestimate how important and comforting it is to be listened to.
  19. Encourage someone to pursue their dreams.
  20. Donate your stuff. Instead of saving things in case you need them in 10 years, consider giving stuff to someone who needs it now.
  21. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
  22. Everyone is important! Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk, the janitor and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile.
  23. November is a perfect month to get involved with Operation Christmas child!  Check out .
  24. Contribute a small sum of money to grant a wish of a foster youth by going to One Simple Wish has an online directory of requests that case workers submit for their foster youth. The wishes are often the simple things – money to go to prom, dance lessons, money to pay for being on the school cheerleading squad, to name a few.
  25. Follow up with people.  Someone you know going through a hard time or received bad test results?  Make sure to follow up to see how they are doing and to let them know you care.
  26. Get an email address for your kids and send them memories, achievements, awards, etc. Give them the email address when they turn 18. Better yet write them handmade letters and put them in a book for them for their graduation day.
  27. Pay for someone’s dinner…
  28. On Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, go to your local memorial or event and pass out mini flags or flowers to Veterans.
  29. When a friend makes a meal that you love, ask for the recipe.
  30. Teach someone. We can all teach something, and sometimes the small things make the biggest difference.
  31. See a mother who is seems frazzled in a store because their kids are screaming at the top of their lungs?  Instead of judging- offer a smile and just say “hang in there”.  It could mean the world and give that mother the strength and courage to keep going.
  32. If you’re upset, take a deep breath and count to 10 (or perhaps 15) before you say anything. Ask yourself if what you’re going to say will be helpful.
  33. Call your parents if you’re still blessed to have them around!  
  34. Don’t ignore the next homeless person you see. Buy him food. Enjoy his smile when you give it to him. Carry around a care package of food or toiletries that you can give to a homeless person.
  35. Let another car merge in front of you, or stop to let a pedestrian cross the street.
  36. Hold the elevator for someone who is running behind.
  37. If you print an Internet coupon before going to a store, print a few extras to give to other customers.
  38. If you see someone who looks lost and might need help with directions, don’t wait for him to ask you for help.
  39. Photograph a stranger (but not in a creepy way-lol). See a person or a couple trying to take a photo of themselves? Offer to take it for them.
  40. Returning a movie to Redbox?  Hide $5.00 and a note saying “Have a great movie night!  Here is some money towards popcorn or candy” 
  41. Leave a big tip.
  42. Call someone you love. Tell them you love them!
  43. Carry around a $5 gift card so you can give it to someone who does something awesome. Or, create and carry “thanks for making my day” cards that you can give to people.

Have fun and love big!  And thanks for making it my Best Day Ever!