Monday Motivation – Random Acts of Kindness

So today started off as a rocky last night – I was having terrible panic attacks and slept terribly due to the amount of pain I was in along with having steroid withdrawal which resulted in repeated nightmares that woke me from my rare moments of sound sleep. I finally dragged my butt out of bed around 5AM (being unable to sleep, I thought I would try to get some work done); I ended up taking a walk that was supposed to be about 30 minutes but ended up being almost 90 minutes. I came back inside and checked my bank account balances (as I do every morning) and THOUGHT I was going to incur an overdraft on one of my accounts – I quickly got myself together and drove back to Nazareth (I had a package to deliver as well and there is a grocery store close to my bank there and since I knew where all these places were in Nazareth and I have yet to find them in my new location, I just headed that way); of course, halfway through my trip, stuck in a long line of cars due to “Road Work,” I realized that I was NOWHERE NEAR an overdraft – I had miscalculated by quite a bit of money. I figured it was better to be safe than sorry, at any rate, and drove to the store – of course the parking lot there was literally 3/4 blocked off due to “re-paving” so I had to park very far away with the severe pain of the day exacerbated by the long walk earlier. I went in, found something that looked quasi-palatable (the pain makes me feel incredibly nauseated and ruins my appetite), purchased it, got my “cash back,” and headed to the bank. After those errands were run, I went to the Post Office, delivered my package, and made the 30ish-minute-long drive back (thanks much, “Road Work!”). As soon as I got out of my car I heard a dog BARKING INCREDIBLY LOUDLY; I was on the phone with my mother at the time just to let her know I had gotten “home” safely and she thought the dog was outside with me – I knew it was inside and went in the front door to be greeted by an INSANELY loud white terrier. Needless to say, between my night, morning, and anxiety (both in general and caused by noise thanks to the TERRIBLE apartment experiences I have had in recent months), I got in the door, and sat down just shaking. To make matters “worse,” the old lady in the adjacent condo had what sounded like her radio blasting so loudly I could hear every word being said – the combination of the dog continually barking (and other dogs joining in!) and the radio just threw me over the edge. I had planned on lying down in bed to try to take a nap since I didn’t sleep more than a few hours last night, but that was off the table. I decided to do my “weekly” subcutaneous immunoglobulin infusion (I have missed it for the past three weeks and often I will notice if I don’t do it frequently enough I start to sleep very poorly – if you have an immune deficiency of any kind and experience this kind of thing, I would love to hear about it!). I sat down in my living room – the room adjacent to the radio-blasting old lady’s unit – and just went about setting everything up, getting the needles in, &c. I got up after the hour or so it took to complete the “getting the needles in / starting the infusion” and decided to take a walk down the street just to escape the noise for a bit.

There is a vegan bakery somewhat nearby, so I hobbled down that way (me in my back brace and 4 needles pumping immunoglobulin in my legs – I tape the lines down onto my pants so they don’t “catch” on anything and rip the needles out of my skin!) – I thought I would walk in and see what they had that day. The day staff was much kinder than the typical evening staff I have seen there on the few occasions I have been there at night (of course the place is always PACKED at night, so I would probably not be the friendliest cashier either!) – it was nice and cool inside and there was only one other woman ahead of me. She started talking with me, saying she can never decide what to get because everything looks so good – I agreed! She began to order; and she ORDERED! She must have bought about a dozen or more items (for reference, a “cupacke” is $7.95); she checked about each one, inquiring if they contained peanuts – if they didn’t, she ordered one! She complimented the cashier’s hair and told her she likes to get one for herself and then give the others away to other people – I thought she meant she gave them to her friends and family. She went out to her car to get money while the cashier packaged her items. I went to the window and asked about several flavors including a Chocolate Raspberry cupcake (one I was going to try before but never got around to try – $7.95 for a cupcake is an extravagant purchase in my book!); by this time, the woman ahead of me had returned and started talking with me – “So, did you decide which one looks good to you?” she asked me. “I’m thinking the Chocolate Raspberry … have you had that one?” “IT IS SO DELICIOUS!” she replied. And then, out of nowhere, she told the cashier that she would buy “that lady” (i.e., me) a Chocolate Raspberry cupcake. I was in shock! Everyone I have encountered at my couple of times in that bakery seemed less “friendly” than “normal;” in fact, the last time I went (I had ordered a Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake – oh my goodness it was A+ DEEEEELICIOUS! That is saying something because hands down I make THE BEST vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes – so good you would NEVER know they were vegan – and this cupcake was a close second!) I left, also on the phone with my mother, telling her how the “clientele seemed particularly unfriendly” at this vegan bakery. At any rate! I said “Oh, you don’t have to buy that for me!” and she said “Oh, don’t worry about it hon, just enjoy!” and after about four likely overly gratuitous iterations of “THANK YOU!” I took my neatly packaged Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake and left, waddling out the door, again, with my needles precariously lodged in my legs and my back brace.

That was an incredibly long post for what I want to say today for “Motivation Monday.” I just want to point out the fact that this woman (she seemed like she was my age, more or less) just did this as a kind gesture – and I would assume the cupcakes she bought “for others” were just to give away like she had done for me. I know not all of us can spend that kind of $$$ on something like expensive vegan cupcakes, but there are ALWAYS kindnesses you can show or give to others. This goes back to my point that YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING THROUGH. I highly doubt this woman was a trained medical professional who knew I had immunoglobulin pumping into 4 needles in my legs and that the thing on my back was to try to hold my spinal compression fractures in place to fully heal (and to prevent more fractures); she was just being kind. There was no way she could have known I barely slept last night due to extreme pain and terrible anxiety; there was no way she could have known what a hectic morning I had had and the terrible panic attacks that ensued. But she just did a simple kind act – one that she COULD DO. You don’t have to go buy random people things, but you can always make someone else’s day in some way – you might not even know you are doing so! If you are as kind as you can be to others – holding doors, offering to pay for a friend’s ice cream, calling a friend you haven’t talked to in a while to check on how he or she is doing, saying “Hello!” cheerfully to people on the street – you don’t have to be healthy or wealthy to do any of these things. But the takeaway with all of this comes right back to “you NEVER KNOW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING THROUGH” and consequently, you never know what seemingly minor action might turn someone’s bad day or week or month into a good day or week or month. There are so many times in life we just don’t notice the people we encounter due to how busy we are and how preoccupied we are with our own lives. Today, for “Motivation Monday,” I just want you to do something kind for someone else for absolutely no reason other than being kind. I promise you the feeling you will get from just small, random acts of kindness like that I experienced today can make a world of difference for someone else – AND it propels you forward (“MOTIVATION!”) because it gives you that “happy,” “contented,” “I have done something good!” “proud” feeling. There are few better “things” in life than the simple pleasure that arises from knowing you turned someone’s bad day into a good one.

And with that, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world! Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post and I will be back again very soon! Have a great one, everyone!!

❤ Always, Beth


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