26 Acts of Kindness - #1

>> Monday, January 28, 2013

I have three very important roommates of the four-legged variety. And being the responsible pet owner I am, I spend a gazillion dollars on them every year.

They are so worth it.

Problem is, they’re all geriatrics. The youngest, Liberty, is only (?) twelve. The other cat (Pippin) and dog (Foxy) are both sixteen, give or take. And last year I lost Patches who was about the same age as Liberty.

Through attrition, I’m downsizing my pet world. It’s time. But until the day comes when no tails swish or hungry meows ring out, it’s my responsibility to take care of them all.

I’ve vetted with the Care Center  Hospital for Animals for as long as I can remember. It feels like I’ve spent millions and surely there should be an exam room with my name on it: They definitely aren’t the cheapest game in town.

And I don’t care.

The two doctors, Ron Lanford and Kristen Knirk, and their staff are wonderful. They’ve stood by and held me as I cried over heart wrenching decisions and put up with hysterical calls in the night. In the process, we’ve become friends and I trust them explicitly. They are no-nonsense and always give all the treatment options available. And respect my decision regardless of their personal feelings.

All Wore Out After Her Ordeal
Recently, Foxy had an emergency event and I fully expected her time with me to be at an end. I delivered her to the Care Center, expecting to say good-bye.

But that didn’t happen.

Dr. Knirk spent a long time explaining that Foxy probably has a tumor that will eventually become fatal.

Just not right now.

I breathed a sigh of relief and asked if I had spun into premature freak-out. Dr. Knirk kindly said, “No, not premature. More of a glimpse of things to come. But she’s fine. Take her home and love her.”

I still left in tears, hugged my girl a bit tighter, and was grateful for trusted friends.

So I made a card and baked some cookies.

A small gesture...

26 Acts of Kindness...

Will you pay it forward?

In honor of Catherine V. Hubbard, Age 6


Are you In?

>> Monday, January 21, 2013

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary rocked our nation and brought way more questions than answers. Such senseless violence—against children, no less—was beyond our comprehension. We watched the news coverage in horror. Personal stories of the victims, heroic adults, and the pain of those left to deal with their loss: We saw it all.

It left us sobbing for the victims and their families, hugging our loved ones a little tighter, and wanting to do something out of a desperate need to make it quit hurting.

And we asked questions:
“How could such an unthinkable thing happen?”
“Could it have been prevented?”

NBC New Reporter, Ann Curry, had a different question:

“What can I do?”

Her answer was to take to Twitter and issue a challenge:

One simple Tweet…that set off a firestorm.

People started to respond. To get excited. To share their experiences.

As I read, something stirred in me. I tend to be a bit self-centered and absorbed. I don’t plan it that way, just kind of happens. Life is very busy and we all spend a lot of time just making it through the day.

But a commitment to search out people to purposely be nice to? This I could do.

For me, 2013 is all about stretching, growing, and trying new things. Making a commitment to 26 acts of kindness seems like a good way to start. So here is my pledge:

  • I will plan and execute 26 acts of kindness in the coming year and blog about each one.
  • Some will be simple and spontaneous, some a little more elaborate.
  • Acts must take time, thought, and effort (as opposed to things I might normally do.)
  • I will train myself to be on the look-out for kindness opportunities.
Maybe after doing this, I'll be more inclined to do nice things routinely. I've heard it takes twenty-one repetitions for something to become a habit.

Guess that means 26 kind acts could be life-changing.

Guess I may learn to LOL (Love Out Loud)

Guess I'm in.

PS: Feel free to post your own acts of kindness here....let's all 'pay it forward.'


AKA: Kimbo Baggins

>> Monday, January 14, 2013

After going to see, "The Hobbit," I've decided that if I believed in reincarnation, I might have been an inhabitant of Middle Earth in another lifetime.

Wiki-Facts about Hobbits:

  • Enjoy six simple meals a day
  • Between two and four feet and tend to be stout, with slightly pointed, elfish ears.
  • They like to dress in bright colors
  • Their head and feet are covered with curly brown hair but cannot grow beards. 
  • Capable of great courage and amazing feats under the proper circumstances. 
  • Fond of an unadventurous, bucolic and simple life of farming, eating, and socializing, although capable of defending their homes courageously if the need arises.
Disclaimer: Some only apply in part. (I haven't looked at my ears lately and I've never tried to grow a beard although I did get my father's hair-growing genes.)

But there are similarities I can't ignore.

The hero in the movie is Bilbo Baggins and he's all about playing it safe. He loves his fussy, prim & proper lifestyle. Not caring much for risk-taking, adventures are off-limits, and changes to routine nearly send him over the edge.

Kind of describes me. And why 2012 was so incredibly difficult.

It was a hard year. The quiet, routine, albeit boring life I generally lead erupted into chaos, pain, and helplessness. I watched people I love suffer and all I could do was stand by, wringing my hands. Nothing seemed to go according to plan. Writing came to a screeching halt as my creative brain cells exited the building.

Photo by Dawn Huizenga
In the immortal words of a certain green, hairy creature (The Grinch) the last twelve months have "stinked, stank, stunk."

Needless to say, I wasn't sorry to see 2012 end.

But I must grudgingly admit that there was also some good things come out of the mess last year turned into.

It caused me to process and reevaluate my life. And even though it's hard and painful to look inward, the experience has been quite enlightening.

I'm starting to get excited about new possibilities and opportunities for growth. I've vowed to be more open as opposed to closed and rigid. Be spontaneous. Maybe even a little adventurous. Become an out-of-the-box thinker.

Novel ideas for this pseudo-Hobbit. And not easy. But nothing worth pursuing ever is and I'm up for the challenge.

 I think.

So come along for the ride. Could be interesting. Or at least entertaining if I fall on my face.

I leave you with a conversation Bilbo is having with his mentor, Gandalf, in considering the possibility of an adventure...

Gandolf wisely touts, "Home is behind you... The world is ahead."

"Can you promise that I will come back?" Bilbo asks.

"No. And if you do, you will not be the same."

Time for Kimbo Baggins to start her adventure.


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