year of kindness challenge: week 37

year of kindness button

Hello from Nashville! I am currently in the country music capitol to visit my lovely Holly … it is so much fun just hanging out with her, laughing and talking and drinking tea and watching chick flicks. And I have been having a lot of fun exploring the beautiful Vanderbilt campus and surrounding area while she is in class. I’ve been getting some good writing done at Starbucks, too — pumpkin chai latte, bring it on! On Saturday we are seeing our girl T.Swift in concert! SO. EXCITED.

Anyone have any suggestions for places I should try to check out while I’m here in Nashville? Let me know!

The people I’ve met in Nashville have been so warm and friendly. In fact, my entire travel day from California to Tennessee was blessed with so many instances of kindness! From people letting a harried, late traveler go ahead of them in the security line to strangers complimenting each other while making small talk in line to board the plane, it made my heart smile to see so many instances of connection and kindness.

Another happy thing in my life this past week was that I reconnected with my friend Dana, who I hadn’t seen for years … she reached out to me when she saw I’d moved to the Bay Area, and we met up for breakfast on Sunday. It was SO great to catch up! She is one of those sunshine-filled people who makes you feel instantly at ease, and I was smiling the rest of the day after seeing her.

This past week’s kindness challenge was to fill out a feedback form with five star ratings, write a positive review of a book or product you love, or even call that “How am I driving?” phone number on the back of a semi-truck and rave about the truck driver’s wonderful driving skills. I filled out positive feedback for Marshall’s and Einstein Bros Bagels. It took all of three minutes to do each, and it made me feel like I was brightening someone’s day. Ever since my friend Erica started working at Target, it’s made me more aware that there are real individuals behind even the biggest corporations, working hard every day, who often don’t get as much positive feedback as they deserve. I also wrote two positive book reviews on Amazon {they aren’t up yet, but hopefully they will be up soon and I’ll let you know!} This week’s kindness challenge is certainly one I plan to continue doing. I didn’t see any of those semi-trucks with “How am I driving?” on them this past week, but I’m keeping my eye out … when I do, I am definitely going to call the number and give a glowing report.

The Week 37 Kindness Challenge is to do a household kindness for someone you live with. Do your roommate’s dishes, stock the fridge with your husband’s favorite drink, vacuum for your girlfriend, clean the kitchen for your mom. You get the picture! If you live alone, get creative … maybe you could do a household kindness for your parents or for a friend.

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Always,
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
– week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation
– week 26 challenge: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
– week 27 challenge: send a care package to someone in the military
– week 28 challenge: give at least one compliment every day
– week 29 challenge: do a favor for someone else
– week 30 challenge: scatter lucky pennies around a playground
– week 31 challenge: mail an empowering postcard
– week 32 challenge: plant something
– week 33 challenge: donate school supplies
– week 34 challenge: give a sandwich to a homeless person
week 35 challenge: compliment a salesperson to their manager
week 36 challenge: leave positive feedback

year of kindness challenge: week 36

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? It was H-O-T here in Danville … you can bet I’ve been drinking a ton of smoothies and iced tea! This weekend I went with my grandparents to see Eugene O’Neill’s play “Anna Christie” and it was fantastic! The actors were so talented and the writing was superb. It was very inspiring to me, as I’ve lately been working on a full-length play of my own.

Even though it still feels like summer, since it is now officially September and football season has begun and the pumpkin-flavored drinks are back at Starbucks, on Saturday I decided to bake my first pumpkin pie! It turned out great {much better than my disastrous pie that longtime blog readers might remember from last autumn, haha.} I also had a lovely lunch at CPK with my aunt and cousin, and yesterday I went to another cousin’s soccer game — she scored two goals! I was bursting with pride. It’s such a blessing to get to spend lots of time with my extended family.

This past week’s kindness challenge was to compliment a salesman to his or her manager. I went shopping at Whole Foods for the first time {after reading for months now about how amazing WF is on Robyn’s lovely blog The Real Life RD} and a very nice saleswoman helped me find coconut flour. When I told her it was my first time shopping at Whole Foods and that I’ve recently started going gluten-free, she also helpfully pointed out other gluten-free products. So I made sure to catch her name, and before I left I spoke to the manager about how wonderful she was. It took all of two minutes, and it certainly gave my day a boost!

That simple act of kindness also made me think about how often the feedback we give to others, especially in corporate or business situations, is negative. I think most of us are more likely to go through the trouble of contacting a company with a complaint or write a product review warning others not to purchase the product than we are to give compliments or positive reviews. So, the Week 36 Kindness Challenge is to fill out a feedback form with five star ratings, write a positive review of a book or product you love, or even call that “How am I driving?” phone number on the back of a semi-truck and rave about the truck driver’s wonderful driving skills. 

Here’s a related quote that my dad sent to me that I absolutely love:

“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.” — Dale Carnegie

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a fun-filled Monday!
– Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
– week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation
– week 26 challenge: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
– week 27 challenge: send a care package to someone in the military
– week 28 challenge: give at least one compliment every day
– week 29 challenge: do a favor for someone else
– week 30 challenge: scatter lucky pennies around a playground
– week 31 challenge: mail an empowering postcard
– week 32 challenge: plant something
– week 33 challenge: donate school supplies
– week 34 challenge: give a sandwich to a homeless person
week 35 challenge: compliment a salesperson to their manager

year of kindness challenge: week 6

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was quite lovely and filled with friend time, which was SO nice. In grad school often everyone is so busy that it can be difficult to find time to get together, even on weekends. This weekend turned out to be the perfect timing for lots of social get-togethers. I had lunch with friends on Saturday, saw a movie with a friend yesterday afternoon– the new release Side Effects which was a terrific, twists-and-turns-filled thriller! — and had more friends over last night for dessert and many rounds of a very addictive Chinese card game called “Da Fa.”

My brother Greg has been in the forefront of my mind all weekend, because he departed for his month-long goodwill trip to Sri Lanka with a group of Rotary ambassadors. I am going to miss talking to him every day, but I am just bursting with pride and excitement for him. He is giving away 70 new pairs of shoes and socks through his nonprofit organization Give Running. You can follow his team’s travels on their blog at http://ustosrilanka2013.org/

me and greg shoes

Here’s a picture of me and Greg with a mountain of shoes he has collected and cleaned!

Last week’s Kindness Challenge was to do something kind for a neighbor. I have new neighbors who moved into the apartment below me back in November, and most of our encounters have taken place at 3 in the morning, when I go downstairs and knock on their door to kindly ask if they could turn down their bass subwoofer that is shaking the walls. {It is ridiculously hard to sleep when there is a rap beat thumping loudly and incessantly below you!} However, they are typically nice about turning it down when asked, and I thought I would try a tactic of kindness to let them know it is appreciated.

So I baked them cookies!

cookies

I baked a sampling of double-chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip, and oatmeal butterscotch. {And yes, I may have eaten a few myself!} 🙂

Then I stacked the cookies in this clear plastic container that I washed and upcycled {it originally came from a package of pineapple that we used last week when I made bbq pulled-pork sandwiches.}

pb cookie

cookie stack

I taped a thank you-note to the front of the container and dropped it off in front of their door.

thank you note

When I returned that night, the cookies were gone, so I assume the neighbors found them and brought them inside. I have not seen them in the hallways or anything, but I also did not have a problem with their loud subwoofer this past week, so maybe the two things are connected! 🙂 Here’s hoping we continue to have lovely quiet sleep-tastic nights around here.

Have you ever had a positive experience trying to “kill someone with kindness”? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

Here are some other good things that happened in my world this week:

  • Someone is posting kind notes in the bathroom in the English department! They kept popping up all week and totally brightened my mood. Here’s a favorite that I came across on Thursday:

kindness note

  • I have managed to stay healthy so far {knock on wood} despite a flu bug that is making its way around campus. 
  • My students are being extra attentive lately — always a bonus in my book!

How did the Week 5 Kindness Challenge go for you? What good things happened in your life this week?

Now on to the Week 6 Kindness Challenge: deliver Valentines to a nursing home, Veterans Hospital or assisted-living facility. I got this idea after I delivered holiday cards and cookies to a nursing home this past Christmas, and it was such a wonderful experience. The residents were beyond grateful and it warmed my heart to make them feel like someone was thinking of them and sending them good wishes during the holiday season. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by spreading love and kindness to elderly people in your town who may otherwise be forgotten!

Blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a marvelous week!
-Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor