a year of Wooden: week 21

Hi, friends! Does today feel like Monday for anyone else after the long weekend? I’m going to be a day off all week, I bet! Before I head into this week’s year of Wooden challenge, I want to wish my amazing dad a very happy birthday!! He is one of the most thoughtful, generous, creative, encouraging, hilarious, fun, sweet and supportive people I have ever met, and I thank my lucky stars every day for the privilege of being his daughter. I love you, Dad! Can’t wait to celebrate with you when I’m home next week! ❤

me and daddy

Speaking of birthdays, thanks in advance for your kind words and support of my birthday kindness chain! Your stories of kind acts have already made my birthday {coming up on Thursday!} very special indeed.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.
  • April: Build a shelter against a rainy day (financially).
  • May: Be true to yourself.

For the month of May, we’ll be focusing on the very first item of Coach Wooden’s 7-Point Creed: “Be true to yourself.” Each week, I’ll be posting a question for you to reflect on, perhaps through journaling or meditation. The goal is that by the end of May, you’ll have a clear idea of what it means to be your happiest, most authentic self so that you can work on being true to that self.

Last week, the question to reflect upon was: What in your life makes you feel most alive, vibrant, connected and strong?

I wrote mostly about the many positive people and relationships I am blessed to have in my life, those people who lift me up and give me encouragement on the inevitable tough days when I doubt myself or get knocked down. Other things that make me feel most alive, vibrant, connected and strong: volunteer work, my church community, yoga class, writing, reading, teaching, and the wonderful blogging community — yes, that means all of you! 🙂

This week, here are your questions to consider: If you were to reach back and give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would you say? Looking into the future, what advice do you think your 90-year-old self might give your current self?


–from Brad Paisley’s song “Letter to Me”

year of kindness challenge: wrap-up + reflections

year of kindness button

Last week’s kindness challenge — the final challenge in this Year of Kindness — was to forgive someone. I am a fierce believer in forgiveness. When you forgive someone, you set yourself free from the cage of anger and pain and bitterness. As I mentioned before, this past year was a tough one for me at times. There was so much love and growth and laughter, but there was a lot of pain, too. The hardest part was knowing that I caused others pain, in particular two people I cared for deeply. I can’t know, and can’t control, whether they ever forgive me. But this past week, crossing the bridge from 2013 into the sparkling new year 2014, I knew I had to forgive myself.

Sometimes, real life is messy and difficult. Sometimes, being true to yourself and listening to your gut creates collateral damage. Sometimes, you are confronted with a decision and there is no pain-free choice to make. But I know in my heart that I made the right one. Sometimes, pain is necessary to avoid a much greater avalanche of pain in the future.

So this week, I finally wrote a letter of forgiveness. To myself. And I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It was a fitting end to this year of kind acts: being kind to myself.

I learned and grew so much from this year of kindness challenge.

kindness collage

Here are my top 5 take-aways:

1. Aesop is right: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” This year has solidified my belief that even small acts of compassion and joy — smiles, cards, a few minutes out of your day to help someone — can make a big difference. You never know how very much your kindness might mean to someone!

2. Want to be happy? Be kind. I learned that if I’m in a sad or grumpy mood for whatever reason, the quickest way to turn my day around is to do an act of kindness for someone else.

3. Little by little, big things can happen. This time last year, the idea of doing 52 unique random acts of kindness seemed like a huge, overwhelming task. But by focusing on one act per week and integrating it into my routine, doing acts of kindness became a habit — something I soon looked forward to every week! I was also so inspired by the support and encouraging words I received from readers and fellow bloggers. Special thanks to Lauren, Lindsay, Danica, and Gayle for contributing kindness act ideas for the project!

4. Being brave and putting yourself out there is SO worth it. There were times I was nervous to do acts of kindness. Striking up conversations with strangers, buying coffee for people in line behind me, reaching outside my comfort zone … it can be scary to put yourself out there! But every single time, I was left with a huge smile on my face and gratitude in my heart.

5. Have faith. It’s a magical world we live in. Time and again, I have been blown away this past year by the wonderful connections and coincidences that have happened — and by the acts of kindness that others have done for me! Keeping track of acts of kindness has also made me more aware that we are all connected.

bday girl

As always, in love & kindness,
❤ Dallas

P.S.: Head on over to this Year of Kindness Challenge page to see all the archived posts from the entire year!

Questions of the day:

  • What is something you need to forgive yourself for?
  • What are your final thoughts & reflections on this year of kindness?

goals for the week of 11/18

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new domain name, daybydaymasterpiece.com! I’m so excited and am delighted to have you join us. Thanks for taking the time to stop by! 🙂

As I mentioned in my earlier post, something I want to start doing on here is posting some goals at the beginning of each week that I’ll be focusing on that week. {I got this idea from Crystal Paine, the Money-Saving Mom, whose goals always inspire me at the beginning of every week when she posts them on her blog.} I’m hoping you will be inspired to share your goals, too, and in this way the blog can become a goal-setting community of encouragement and motivation!

Here are my goals for this week:

  • get up to 200 pages written of my thesis
  • start reading The Happiness Project for PBF Book Club
  • write Thanksgiving cards for loved ones
  • clean bathroom & vacuum
  • finish grading student work
  • enjoy time with Mike’s family
  • finish knitting scarf for Mike during car ride
  • post announcement for winter writing camp