New thing #26: Sketch & Updates

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Instead of the typical card and cake, my boss asked if I wanted to do a “new thing” for my work birthday celebration. I thought of going out for ice cream, and she suggested we go to Sketch down the street from our office (which happens to be across from the Sierra Nevada tasting room). They are known for their made in-house daily, organic ice cream, and offer more unusual, “boutique” kinds of flavors (I got the vanilla lavender swirl). It was nice to get a small break from the rain, take a walk, and move the work birthday ritual out of the office for a change.

 

Also, today my friend Jamie took me out to lunch for my birthday and gave me this awesome card. She said it made her think of my new things project.

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UPDATES:

Some people have been asking how certain things are going, so here are a few updates:

  • One of the brides from the Narnia wedding commented on the blog when she got back from her honeymoon, and I was stoked that she seemed happy with it.
  • I’m only on page 110 of War & Peace. I hope to catch up after this crazy busy month is over.
  • I was happy to see that the acts of kindness seemed to be spreading. A couple weeks ago someone left change in an envelope taped to our work vending machine. Written on the envelope: “The next one is on me.” Also, more co-workers ended up reading the blog than I anticipated, so at least one of the “anonymous” card recipients found out it was me who gave it to them. Oh well, you can’t expect anything to be kept secret once you put it on the internet.
  • I haven’t been back to BodyCombat class. I’ve barely been to the gym this month at all. Come April I plan to make a full comeback!
  • Mom and I watched our episode of Dance Party. We got on camera a decent amount, but I was surprised by how lame my dancing was, or should I say, my standing around. In my head I thought I was dancing, but on TV, I look like I’m barely moving! Maybe I was more nervous than I realized? I think the only way I would go back is to redeem myself. Go big or stay off the dance floor people!
  • I still want to stop on Frontage Road every day when I drive by it. I might have to start walking there once a week.
  • I got my official acceptance letter from Make-a-Wish! I go to the first volunteer training in May.
  • I found out today on our ice cream outing that apparently there is a lot of controversy surrounding Bay Street. The mall was built on an ancient Ohlone Indian burial ground. Since 2001 the Ohlone descendants host a “don’t buy anything day.” I hope that wasn’t the day I chose to shop there, yikes!
  • So far Match.com is and is not what I expected. I did expect it to feel artificial and forced. What I didn’t expect was how often I would have to ignore people. I thought I could just join, and kind of scope it out for a while, but the site has been livelier than that. I’m constantly getting emails, likes, “winks,” and match updates (I understand this is a typical woman’s experience with this site, so if you like this kind of attention, this is the place for you). Messages like “hey beautiful,” I’m okay ignoring. Some are unintentionally funny (“your eyes exude passion and wisdom…”), but some guys have written some really thoughtful and clever emails. None of them are people I would be interested in meeting/dating though (some due to distance, sorry but I’m not driving to Palo Alto to meet you for coffee), so it’s hard to decide if I should write them back. I would love to thank them for putting effort into their attempts, but it feels like leading them on.
  • I haven’t received my DNA testing kit, but I can’t wait!
  • I mentioned having a crush in my facial post, but people can stop asking about it. It’s clearly an unrequited crush, so there will likely be no interesting updates there.
  • My tattoo is healing nicely. It actually didn’t really need to heal at all, being that it was so small. I still love it, and it already feels like a part of me.

 

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New thing #3: 31 Random Acts of Kindness

First, I freely admit that I stole this idea. There are people doing random acts of kindness every day all over the world and posting them on the internet. It’s practically a movement. There’s even a Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

Second, I realized last night as I was planning out some of my “random” ideas, that this project might be more about making myself happy than others. I love doing these sorts of things. I like to plan, give gifts, and surprising people. So really all this “kindness” is just selfish— ha!—who knew? I confessed this to my mom and she said, “Well, can’t it be a win-win for everyone?” I don’t see why not.

The 31 Acts

1) I brought two dozen Krispy Kreme for the office…

2) …AND DIDN’T EVEN HAVE ONE! (Someone left a thank you note on the box!)

3) I brought gluten free cupcakes to my gluten free friend and fave co-worker (shout out, Jamie!) from the best ever cupcake place: Sinful Bliss Cupcakes.

4) I gave anonymous “you rock” cards to four of my friendliest co-workers, along with $5 gift cards to the coffee place across the street.

5) I got Ria stuff for her cubical at her new job (in the building next to mine).

6) I brought my favorite umbrella to leave for someone to find and use.

7) I gave three $5 Peet’s gift cards to random people. The first two were walking inside to buy their coffee, and the third I gave to the group of men who sit outside Pete’s almost every morning. When I told them why I was giving it to them, they asked which organization I was with. I said no organization, I just felt like doing it. They looked suspicious but thanked me.

8) I gave a $20 Books, Inc. gift card to the woman shopping in the store (support your book stores people!). She looked teary eyed and told me she would pay it forward.

9) I was at the toy store with Ria, and I was going to buy a random gift for a random kid. But instead Ria found a little boy playing with a toy train, and insisted on paying her gift from me forward by buying it for him.

10) Ria and I anonymously paid for someone’s meal at the place we were having lunch. When the waitress told him, he looked so confused. But she said later that he was really grateful.

11) We tipped the waitress nicely too.

12) I put a lot of quarters in a lot of meters (the picture below is only the first handful).

13) I picked up some trash (didn’t get very far with that- there’s too much!).

14) Once as a graduation gift I got a jar full of “Kind Notes” (fortune cookie type messages) in tiny envelopes. I took the little envelopes out of the jar and hid them around my work neighborhood (and hopefully people will find them so I’m not just another litterer).

15) I also put some of the notes in plastic Easter eggs along with a couple bucks, and left them around popular homeless hangouts near by.

16) And put some along Frontage Road on the way home.

17) I left a Magic-8 Ball for someone to find, with a note that said, “Take me. I will help you make those hard decisions.”

18) I got my dad, a Giants fan, a book at the bookstore called “100 Things Giants Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” and left it in his mailbox.

19) I talked to my Grandma (who recently doesn’t drive) on the phone, and offered my services as driver for an errand when she needs it.

20) I went to a BART station and gave someone my ticket with $8 left on it.

21) I got my Mom some flowers and a thank you card for being awesome.

22) I sent my friend a postcard, because she always sends me postcards (shout out, Roxanne!)

23) I sent my friend a message with an offer to babysit again sometime soon (shout out, Veronica!).

24) I bought my friend across the country an online gift card (shout out, Katie!).

25) I sent my aunt a guidebook for her upcoming vacation (shout out, Aunt Karen!)

26) I gave lots of sincere compliments.

27) I picked up dinner at Panda Express for my brother.

28) And paid for lady in front of me in line. She said, “Are you serious? Like, for real? Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.” She was the only person all day who asked my name, shook my hand, and told me that it would all come back to me ten fold.

29) I donated to a classroom project online via DonorsChoose.org!

30) I sent a couple “thinking of you” e-cards to friends I haven’t talked to in a long time.

31) I signed up for a CPR certification class, and maybe that will come in handy one day for another very specific act of kindness.

Honestly, I am exhausted. It was a long, rainy day. I feel drained (energy level and bank account), but very full at the same time (heart and soul). I consider myself a kind person, so doing something nice isn’t exactly a new thing for me, but I’m so glad I was able to devote a whole day to acts of kindness (I also found out that it’s national “I Want You to Be Happy Day!” What are the chances??). You can tell by the looks you get from people when you tell them you want to do something nice for them, that it just doesn’t happen often enough.