31 Random Acts – First Recap

I want to take some time to thank everyone for the kind words, tweets, emails, texts and likes these past few weeks regarding 31 random acts!  I’m so grateful for your support and enthusiasm for this project.  I’m also very happy about the impact we are making on the world through our acts!  So far, we have a strong and mighty group of eight participants with 40 total acts completed thus far!  Shout outs to Jan, Kelly, Maria, Erica, Suzie, Kim and Patrick for your contributions!  Like I said in my original post, it is never too late to jump in and spread some good around this month.  Here is the link to the how-to post if you want some more information on how to get started.

As for my challenge, I’ve completed eleven different acts so far!   Some of my favorites include:

On my way to work one morning, I popped into Starbucks and bought the girl behind me her latte.  She was really happy and grateful!  This is a selfie of me celebrating the random act.

 

I wish I could see the look on the person’s face when he/she opens this box of sunshine.

I wrote a letter to one of my favorite local establishments thanking them for their consistent excellent customer service.  It made me feel really good to put some of my gratitude into words!

I realize that the blog has been a little quiet this month.  (More details on the silence soon!)  But, each of the acts have been posted to the Instagram account, Facebook page and Twitter handle (use #31randomacts).  Please follow along, and let us know if you are conducting any acts!

“Never forget that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead

Repost: Is life what you make it?

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I dig through my archives and read through some of my past posts. Usually, this exercise makes me laugh because what was I thinking a writer is his/her own worst critic.

The other day, however, I read one of the first posts I ever wrote, and I actually kind of liked it. I wrote the article in more of a free form writing voice than I currently use, which is refreshing on days like today when my writer’s block is more frequent than Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes.

What do you think?

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Originally posted: August 19, 2012

My sister left for college this week. She’s officially a buckeye. I know that those of you living outside the state of Ohio find our mascot ridiculous since it is, well… a nut, but the scarlet and gray hold a dear place in the hearts of those from the state that is at the ‘heart of it all.’

As I texted my sister on the morning of her departure, I felt sentimental. But, not in the way that you might think. I didn’t think about my first day moving into my dorm room, the two-hour drive that I endured from our hometown to the new ‘big city’ of Pittsburgh or the way that it felt to walk a college campus on the first day as a real college student. Instead, I felt old. I still feel old. Boo. These memories are not something that I easily conjured up like it was for me when my brother embarked on his first year of college four years ago.

I was, however, reminded of how I actually chose which school to attend. You see, I was an oddball. I had NO IDEA where I wanted to go to college – all I knew was that I needed to escape Ohio. I applied ALL OVER the place – New York City, South Carolina, Kentucky, Clarkson University (just google that one)… in basic words, I was a hot mess. I remember my dad, who was most likely scared shii-less of my college ADD-ness, asked how I was going to choose which school to attend when my options were all scattered. How would I decide on the criteria and decision-making factors when every school was so unique and non-comparable?

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Hmm… good question, dad. I remember pondering it for a while before declaring… “well, isn’t college just what you make it?!!” Sure, I could frolic around the Big Apple with the social elites, sip on moonshine in the south or freeze my bootay off in a place where hockey overrules football as the official sport, but really, when it comes down to it, I would be the one to ‘make’ my college career. I would decide how much energy to apply to school work, internships and friends within the environment that contains it all.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how mature of a statement this was to declare at the age of 18. I’m sure that I am not the only one who feels this way. There are plenty of young adults and people who have similar realizations, including my very own sister. However, I’ve been surprised by how many other people in the world do not have these similar viewpoints. The universe is full of people who blame their circumstances; coworkers who blame the company and others who blame their establishments.

What is it about life that causes people to continually explore their options? Between jobs, hobbies, significant others, even places where we work out and where we live, it is as if everyone is living their own version of Goldilocks. It’s too easy, too hard, too hot, too cold, not the right fit, etc.

I guess ultimately my point is that I’ve always lived my life with the attitude that life is what you make it. I hope that I don’t come across as egotistical or boastful. I’m just saying that this attitude has always worked for me. Whether it is my college choice, my career or the basic decisions in my life, I tend to give things my all in the hopes that the ‘all’ will make those things great. So, the next time you think about exploring all the options, perhaps try driving your energy into one thing; it finally might be the one that’s “just right.”