Clap! ~ Act Of Kindness #38

At 8pm this evening, people came to their balconies, windows, driveways and front doors to cheer, clap, whistle, sing and bang on pots and pans to salute the medical personnel, cleaning crews, grocery store stockers, clear-headed decision makers and everyone fighting this unseen enemy. It was amazing.

Many of us are in lockdown and coping with our new normal. Many of us want to do something, anything, to make things better for our countrymen who are working while we’re safe at home.

My heart is heavy with sorrow for the victims, their families and the tireless fighters. My throat is thick each time the news reports an increased figure in the statistics.

So I am thankful for this moment of solidarity this evening.

It was just a small gesture that carried a huge message of support. It was something we could do.

So perhaps what happened fhis evening wasn’t exactly kindness. It is certainly not unique, having taken place all over the world. It is a small wave of gratitude and thanks, a mere drop in the sea of sacrifice, vigilance and commitment for the fierce frontliners in the Covid-19 fight.

To everyone on the frontlines – thank you.


Matcha Plus ~ Act Of Kindness #37

I went to Starbucks in Monday, hell bent on getting a Grande Pure Matcha Latte With Oat Milk And No Sugar.

Why? Because it had been one of those days. Oh, you meant why that drink? Because I had a medical scare last June and have gone cold turkey on coffee since then. I’d been choosing Matchas because they were supposed to be the wonder drink and since oat milk was available, why not? For some reason, almond milk is not offered (scratches head).

But this post is not about my green tea fixation. It’s about this:

When I took out my card to pay, the barista said the customer before me had paid for my drink, so I was to enjoy my beverage and to have a great day.”

Wow. I’d heard of people doing this and kudos to everyone who has. But I’ve never been a recipient and, sadly, it hit me that I’ve never done it for anyone before either.

So I went back to barista and told her I’d do the same for her next customer. Whoever you are, enjoy!

And whoever you are who paid for my drink, a huge thank you. I had a great drink, but your generosity reset the balance for the lousy day that drove me to Starbucks in the first place.


Healing The Soul ~ Act of Kindness #36

With the novel coronavirus rampaging away in ever expanding parts of the globe, it is hard to imagine folks bothering about anyone else.

We’ve read or heard stories about skirmishes over the last box of surgical masks, pet dogs and cats abandoned and forsaken, Asians insulted and spat on just because they were assumed to be virus carrying Chinese. Then there’s the manic buying of groceries and sanitizer that left supermarket shelves bare. And the snaking queues to buy masks.

It’s sad but not unexpected, I suppose, to behave as if there’s tomorrow so you can be a totally selfish being today; the daily increase of infection numbers and deaths do nothing to calm the anxieties and panic gripping so many countries.

I don’t know if the outbreak has peaked or if the worst is impending. But I know there is truth in the old saying that true character will be revealed in trying times.


Stories have emerged of quiet heroes who have donated masks and sanitisers to those who need them more. Youths who have set up collection points to collect these donations and deliver them.

Anonymous big-hearted people have tied bottles of sanitisers to lifts with messages of encouragement to share and take care of each other. Even more heart warming are the scribbles of thanks.

So, thank you, all of you, whoever you are. You could have hoarded your supplies but you chose to share them with your communities. Your kindness and generosity will be remembered.


Good Words ~ Act of Kindness #35

Last November, I was in the Young Adult Fiction section of my local bookstore, wondering whether or not to purchase a set of Keeper of Lost Cities books by Shannon Messenger for the library.

You should get them all,” said this voice behind me.

The speaker was a teenaged boy. Bespectacled, way taller than I was, and holding a stack of books in his arms.

They’re really good,” he continued. “I’ve read the lot and I’m just bummed number eight’s still not out yet.”

He must have thought I was an idiot because I literally stared at him, mute, for several seconds before remembering my manners and thanking him for the recommendation. And that yes, I would buy the set.

His mother joined us as he was describing the stories in Book Three and promptly apologised for him annoying me.


I assured her he was doing nothing of the sort, and that I was learning a lot from him. We chatted a bit more about the other books he had with him, then parted ways.

I could not have imagined that my book buying jaunt would result in the privilege of meeting this young man and his mother, and learning so much about seeing books through the eyes of an actual teenaged reader of books, the group I’d feared misplaced in modern techo-civilisation. Indeed, he had been a joy to chat with. He was articulate, knowledgeable, well mannered, and a credit to his mother.

I highly doubt he or his mother will read this but if they do, thank you. The young man’s unexpected act of kindness in taking the time to share his enthusiasm for some books restored my faith in young readers and, more importantly, in the future.

Giving Bus ~ Act of Kindness #34

photo: rawpixel.com

I came across this article on my newsfeed today and thought I’d share it with everyone.

Mr Curtis Jenkins is a Texas schoolbus driver and had chatted with his young passengers about what they’d like for Christmas. Then he bought these gifts for each child, out of his own money.

I say thank you, Mr Jenkins.

You have given those children more than just Christmas gifts; you have shown them what it means to be kind, generous, and to open your heart to others. You gave them the gift of a precious memory I hope they will cherish.

The article can be read here.

Help Yourselves! ~ Acts of Kindness #33

My seat in the office is near a vacant desk. Nobody knows why there’s such a desk but it’s become the go-to place for homeless ownerless belongings; water bottles, pens, extra handouts … you know, the sort of stuff that appears after a meeting and nobody ever comes back to claim? It’s the height of irony, really, that this desk gives all manner of stuff a temporary home but itself is unused for its original purpose of being somebody’s desk.

In late September, somebody put a box of cookies on that desk. Accompanying it was a stack of small bowls and a note that said, ‘Help yourselves! Have a great day!’ The other riff-raff items had been placed in a box on the floor and this treat now had pride of place in the middle of the desk. You can imagine the delight and confusion. Nobody knew who had done this and, while I sat close to this desk, I never saw who the benefactor was either. There were many smiles that morning.

photo by anaterate

A week later, a box of tea bags appeared. Then a large bag of freshly roasted nuts. Then some fruit tarts. Then a tin of chocolates. While we eventually learnt who had brought some of these items, nobody ever found out who put the cookies there! Or if anyone did, they never told me.

So, to the person who started the little hospitality table – my thanks to you. Your act of generosity and kindness brought more than cookies – it paved the way to other contributions, and our colleagues have stopped to eat, to chat with each other, and to catch a breath. We have slowed down our manic dashing about to say ‘hi’ and to give ourselves a little treat. Thank you, also just as much, to everyone else who brought something to share.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Journal Journey

I am a coward when it comes to trying anything new.

It’s not that I have a fear of failure because I’m completely familiar with that feeling! Nor is it the unwillingness to change. It’s more the trepidation that comes with not knowing what to expect.

Back in June, when I was diagnosed with Essential Tremors, I wrote a little (here) about these fears and about attempting to start a bullet journal so there’d be some order and planning to my life. I’d hoped the doodling and writing would help tame the tremors.

Well, I’ve bitten the bullet, to use a terrible pun. Many hours of YouTube videos and much scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram later, I started my journaling journey in July.

Nobody really needs to see my messy monthly layouts, clueless cover pages or the sorry state of my spreads. Don’t get me started on my horrible handwriting – alas, I can’t even blame the tremors for that one – or my clashing colour choices. Some day, when I’m less of a coward, perhaps I’ll share some of these pages. But not today.

Today, I’m writing about my bujo journey because I’ve filled up one Leuchtturm notebook, and it feels good! Also, the tremors have significantly reduced.

There’s nothing like looking back and seeing how you’ve lived your life, how much time was wasted overplanning for things that sorted themselves out, how the weekly shopping could be better consolidated with better planning…

I’m starting my second notebook for November. To mark the occasion, I’m sharing this page, inspired by the talented @spotgirldesigns.

I don’t do her artistry any kind of justice, believe me, but I tell myself I’ve managed an “arty”-looking page, crooked lines, weird spacing and all! So I want to thank her, and every one who has generously shared their journal ideas.

Kindness Dilemma ~ Acts of Kindness #32

I’m not entirely sure if I should smile or cry that this happened to me several days ago.

photo by quinntheislander

I want to smile because caring, gracious people are still all around us. I want to cry because I feel I may have offended the same gracious people.

What happened? I boarded the bus for home, carrying a tote and a small paper bag. As I passed the driver’s cabin after paying the fare, a young lady half stood and gestured to her seat. “You sit,” she said.

I thanked her politely and smiled widely, but declined. I had only three stops to go and was perfectly fine with standing.

As I made my way towards the rear of the bus, two students jumped up and chorused, “Auntie, you sit down!” Again, I thanked them and declined, assuring them I was fine.

But here’s my dilemma: should I accept such offers? I feel I should have because the rejection might send unintended messages to those of us raised to be gracious. Have I “taught” the students, for instance, not to offer their seats next time?

But why would I sit when my journey is short? And your day might have been more tiring so you deserve the seat even more.

The only thing I’m certain of is my gratitude that gracious kindness still exists.

What do you think? What would you have done?

By the way, I’m not yet a senior citizen and I don’t look elderly. I think.