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Monday, September 24, 2012


What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.
They are but trifles, to be sure but, scattered along life's
pathway, the good they do is inconceivable....Unknown

September is a big birthday month in my family.   Always has been.  A big portion of the Pfeiffer family celebrates in September, then I married Brian who was born 3 days before me.   We thought it was so cool to celebrate our birthdays at the same time.  Then (much, much cooler)  Joshua was born on Brian’s birthdate!

This year, I proposed a family adventure to Splash Lagoon for a short weekend trip instead of a party.  It was a little bit of work, but absolutely worth the time and money.   It was so much fun being together and exploring someplace new!

In addition to the trip, I wanted to do something different on my birthdate.  

34 years. 

34 intentional “acts of kindness”, “pay it forward”, “make someone smile” during the day.  I had an idea of what our day was going to look like (car ride, waterpark, dinner, hotel) and worked around the schedule the best that I could.

* Shaved my legs really well.  I figured this would make Brian smile since it’s such a rare occasion.  Plus, a waterpark adventure is one of the best reasons to make time for shaving.

* Donated blood at the Red Cross.  I’ve never done this, but it was a perfect fit into the theme of my day.  The nice people made a huge deal over me and I left feeling good that I gave something valuable to a person I’ll never meet.

*Read a book to a sick child.  So what if it was my own child.  Still counts.

*Passed out mini candy bars at a rest stop.  I went around saying “Today is my birthday so I’m handing out treats to people!”  Everyone smiled and wished me a happy birthday.  It felt good to connect with strangers, even for a few seconds.

*Made a stranger smile.  I had no direct involvement with this one….Brian picked up Grace and flew her Superman style through the rest stop.   Although this happens everyday at our house, I suppose it’s a little unusual.  I caught several people grinning at them, which made me smile at my awesome family.

*Put some change into a vending machine.

*Paid the toll for the car behind me.  I didn’t know how to work this with E-Z pass, so I asked the attendant to put $5 towards the toll of the car behind me.  “The one with Ohio plates?” she asked.   “Yup!  That’s the one!”  I replied.

*Picked up trash in the hotel hallway

*Left inspirational quotes in the restaurant’s bathroom mirror

*Told the manager that our waitress was doing an awesome job.  (She really was)

*Left a big tip

*Gave 2 hotel workers a candy and funny quote

* Gave the arcade worker the rest of my tokens to use on his break.

*Left a book I liked in the hotel room for someone else to enjoy.

*Complimented a stranger on her beautiful jacket.

*Passed out 20 mini candy bars and 25 quotes to random people or left in random places for people to find.   This was my back up plan to reach 34.  

Some of my favorite quotes were:

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.”

“Remember, housework, when done correctly, can kill you.”

“The moon belongs to everyone.  The best things in life are free.”

“Oh Thou who has given us so much, mercifully grant us one more, a grateful heart.”

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”

“Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life.”

It was a great birthday.  My family didn’t really get into it, but that was ok.  I was doing it for me.  Being Amy Jo.

Next year I might take the entire month of September and do 35 acts of kindness throughout the month.  I had lots of ideas that I couldn’t fit into the day.  24 hours spent in the car and a waterpark didn’t allow for much creativity.




Ronda said...

WOW, this is an awesome idea and I'm so jealous I didn't think of it for my b-day last week! I'm glad you had such a great day with your family, and strangers.
I'll have to remember your great idea for next year.

mom said...

You BEING Amy Jo delights me so very much!!! You are AWESOME!


Made by Brian Trager