We had a pretty great weekend . Friday night we had Paul's corporate holiday party . Saturday night we went to the Dave Matthews Band concert (Seeing him perform is always amazing but seeing him perform in his hometown was pretty special). Sunday we had a holiday dinner with some of our very best friends . Despite all of the fun activities, like all of you, we went through them with a very heavy heart . The tragedy in Sandy Hook was never far from our minds and it just didn't feel right celebrating and enjoying time with friends when so many families were going through utter devastation .
This tragedy hits so close to home not only becaues innocent children were involved but because my sister just moved to Sandy Hook, CT, a few weeks ago . Sandy Hook Elementary is the school that her future children will attend and part of the reason they moved there was because the town is so "kid-friendly" . I am so sad for her that her new community has now been forever scarred by this act of violence .
When I first heard the news on Friday I was overcome with grief and negativity . I wanted to rush to school to pick up my girls and hole up inside my house and never enter this scary world again . I'm not going to lie I still have to fight those feelings a little bit - sending Riley to school today was harder than I would like to admit. Not only am I fighting fear and anger and overwhelming grief, but also helplessness to do anything to make it better . While there truly isn't anything I can do to make it better for those who lost a loved one, I did find something that I can do to make myself and hopefully a stranger feel better about the world we live in - at least for a few minutes . On Friday my sister-in-law, Ashley, (who also lives in CT) posted this message on Facebook:
"America: Make a promise now to perform a random act of kindness tomorrow .
Lets show ourselves the good within our souls ."
These words really resonated with me because I was doubting the "goodness" in America . Over the weekend Paul and I gave it a try . It started at the Dave Matthews concert . While waiting in line we would anonymously pay for the next person in line and tell the cashier to tell them "Happy Holidays ! Do something nice for someone today ." Most of the time it was just costing us the price of a beer or a coffee or a t-shirt but it made the biggest impact on the way we felt . For the first time over the weekend feelings of pure joy came back to us . I would walk away with the BIGGEST smile on my face imagining the person's reaction to such a random kindness and hoping that it would inspire them to do something similar . We tried to do it anonymously but one time I got caught and the girl behind me gave me the biggest hug and kiss on the cheek and said she was absolutely going to do something for someone else . It isn't so much that we bought them something special but it was an instant reminder to just be nice to each other - even someone that you don't know . After talking about how good it felt my husband and I have decided to keep doing small things like this as often as possible . It is also something I can do with Riley to show her how good it feels to just be nice . It is honestly sort of an addicting adrenaline rush . If you are still feeling blue, try it - you will be surprised by how good it feels . And it can be anything - leaving something nice on someone's door step or car window, paying for someone's groceries or lay away items, giving a total stranger a nice compliment, etc . It really has reminded me how good it feels to just be nice . So, thanks for the inspiration, Ashley ! Your idea has provided me and hopefully a few strangers with a moment of happiness during this incredibly sad time .