Happy New Year

Will it shock anyone if I say it’s been almost a year since I started blogging?

The plan was to shine a light on acts of kindness in the little corner of the world around me. But, along the way, I found myself sharing other thoughts, photographs, and even writing creatively, none of which I’d planned. Should have known better than to plan, right?

But this blogging endeavor also made me respond to other posts, comment on other written pieces, and I found kindred spirits in another little corner of the world. I thank you all for that.

So I’m sharing my January 2019 bullet journal cover page. And, yes, bujo’ing is another thing I never thought I’d do. Which seems ironic: I never planned on planning.

I chose tbe ladder because it represents where I am (at the bottom) and where I hope to be. I have loads of flaws and issues, but I’ve come to realise that acknowledging these flaws is the first step to making changes and improvements.

Have a happy, safe, healthy, peaceful and meaningful 2019, everyone.

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.

Merry Christmas!

Hello, everyone!

I’ve not been writing as much as I’d have liked. Lots of things have popped up and I’ve learnt that dealing with unexpected developments can be very time consuming. I shan’t bore anyone with the details.

Thank you all for stopping by to read, comment, nominate for an award or two, and for keeping me company on my blogging journey! It’s been almost one year since I started and it’s been so much fun!

The family and I managed to get away for a few days and I wanted to share these cuties with you. I found them at a Christmas market and could not believe they were being sold for approximately US$1.50. They’re butter cookies and taste better than they look!

PS – There were at least 6 more cookies in the box but they got eaten before we remembered to take a photo. 😬

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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What’s A Birthday?

Here are some questions I have been asked, have asked, and never dared to ask, not in the order listed.

photo: wokandapix

1. Are you celebrating a year well lived, or a good year ahead?

2. When you celebrate a baby’s first birthday, aren’t you actually celebrating the second? The first birthday was the day of the birth itself.

3. What happens if you have twins, one born at 2359 on 31 December and the other at 0007 on 1 January of the new year? One is ‘a year older’ but they are twins…

4. The Chinese are said to celebrate a communal birthday on Chinese New Year Day. So if you’re 20, you turned 21 on that day. So why aren’t you considered 22 when the day of biological birth comes round?

Please don’t think I’m being facetious. These are real questions whose answers are wide and varied, and sometimes hilarious. What might your answer be?

To anyone whose birthday is today, as you read this, Happy Birthday!

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ BIRTHDAY

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.

Happy International Sloth Day!

Yep, 20 October is International Sloth Day.

I had no idea about this day until I received several messages and links to informative sites about this cuddlesome, smiley animal. I am known for my soft spot for sloths and I have tremendous respect for those who have stepped up to care for these slow moving, harmless animals, particularly in the sanctuaries in Costa Rica.

Here are some fun facts about sloths:

– they don’t have claws; those are finger bone protrusions that grow up to 4 or 5 inches

– they poop once a week and climb down from wherever they are to do so

– they can develop an attachment to a stuffed toy and kick up a fuss when it gets taken away for a necessary wash

– during mating season, their calls can shatter the peace of any sanctuary

– they can hold their breaths underwater for more than 30 minutes.

Have a great weekend!

sources: National Geographic; travelandleisure.com