First thing’s first: Chicago was AMAZING! I loved it all: from lazy afternoons drinking Prosecco on the back of a boat to stuffing our faces with deep-dish pizza and pulled pork sandwiches to dancing to old Madonna songs until 5 a.m. with our new friends from Omaha, it was the perfect birthday trip.
I’ll admit, half of me did this as an act of kindness; the other half as a social experiment.
As mentioned before, I work in the concrete jungle a.k.a. financial district of downtown Toronto. Because Union Station is located right in the heart of it, it is an eclectic mix of obnoxious suits, swarming tourists, frustrated construction workers and the occasional local trying to pass through unscathed.
I’ve started a 30-day no sugar/alcohol challenge (because apparently I’m a masochist), so I am craving allllllllll the foodz right now.
So I wanted nothing more than to give someone the gift of refined sugar and empty calories my deprived pleasure receptors are craving so badly. I don’t know most of my neighbours, just friendly “hellos and goodbyes” and casual banter, but there’s a new couple that moved in just two doors down. (Disclaimer: I am 99.9% sure they’re a couple because they are way too good looking and well dressed to be straight. Seriously, they look like they just stepped out of my Pinterest board.)
It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend and I couldn’t be happier that I visited my family. I spent the days hiking with my mom through Rattlesnake Point (even saw a deer!) and riding my bike through my old familiar stomping grounds. In the evenings, we dragged the TV out into the backyard, wrapped ourselves in blankets and watched old black and white Polish movies (which are hilarious by the way) under the stars.
Greetings from the burbs!
Today’s post will be compressed, as I am currently typing in real-time on my iPhone, from the parking lot of the local Walmart.
Why Walmart, you ask? Well, today’s act of kindness is devoted to my 80-year old slightly senile and mouthy grandmother, whose biggest joy in life is perusing the aisles of everyone’s favourite oversized retail superstore and making snarky comments about the other shoppers’ lacklustre Sunday outfits.
I will preface this by saying that I wasn’t planning on writing this post. It has been one of the hardest and most disappointing weeks of my life, and all my energy has been spent just trying to roll out of bed in the morning and put pants on.
Rather than turning this into a forum to air my grievances, I will tap into the lyrical angst of an artist many of you may (begrudgingly) remember, Limp Bizkit. “Its just one of those days / Where you don’t want to wake up / Everything is fucked / Everybody sucks.” Thank you, Fred Durst. Indeed they do.
I don’t argue often with friends, but when I do, I tend to self-righteously dig my heels into the ground and stubbornly wait for an apology.
One of my oldest friends did something pretty slimy last week and I caught wind of it right before a particularly stressful Monday at work. (Note to real-life friends: Mondays are not prime days for bad news deliveries. K, thanks.)
I acquired a penpal while visiting a friend in London, England, two years ago.
We hit it off as friends immediately: I, a fan of his English accent and horn-rimmed glasses, he, amused by my Canadian charm and “killer” dance moves. We bonded over copious amounts of vodka, all-night dance parties, midnight bike rides and slurred promises of bringing back the dying art of letter writing.
It’s Day 2 of my mini detour into self-directed acts of kindness, and I’m already feeling a bit more like my old self.
The concert last night was absolutely amazing. We decided to take an impromptu rickshaw ride through Toronto to get to the venue, and as I laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face, I realized that despite a rough few weeks, things are generally on the up and up. And that rickshaw is an undervalued mode of transportation – watch out, Uber!
I’ve been drafting this post in my head all day; not quite able to get the words down right. So instead, I am setting a five-minute time limit and just word vomiting with no backspaces. Bear with me – it’s been one of those days.
This project has had an incredible impact my life so far. I feel motivated to be kinder not only through these acts I showcase on here, but in my every-day interactions with everyone I come across. I’ve also realized that these acts don’t take a lot of time to incorporate into my life. A few minutes a day I devote to turning someone else’s day around? It’s a no brainer.