Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Week

I have so much to tell you guys! This week I have hit some major milestones in my debt repayment process and I am so overjoyed that I may actually wet my snuggy as I write this! Before I get to all my amazing achievements, I want to take a moment to talk about a special project that I have been up to this week. I received a cool calendar from my friend Angie, and in that calendar this week is marked off as “Random Acts of Kindness Week”. Now I don’t know if this is strictly an American thing or what, but I still thought it would be a good opportunity to stop being such a selfish a$$hole and start reconnecting with my fellow man. February has always been a rough month for me and this one has been no different so I decided to change my misfortune and spread some positivity throughout the week instead.

I guess you’re wondering why February is a rough month for me. Well, it’s mainly because I get to thinking about loved ones that I have lost who have a connection to this month. My Grandmother, who was born on Valentines Day, passed away a couple years ago, so when I see the 14th on my calendar, it always makes me think about my family. The day serves as a reminder to my roots and where I came from, and I can’t forget how my Grandparents worked so hard to make a better life for all of us. Now we have a family full of successful and talented people who are doing amazing things all across the country. My Grandfather (on the other side of the family) passed away a couple days after Valentines Day. He didn’t have everything handed to him either. I know that he worked incredibly hard up until his retirement and made sure to be able to leave this world knowing that my Grandmother would be taken care of financially. My grandparents were great examples of how to live within your means and they have certainly inspired me to strive to have their kind of comfort when I retire.

I really feel that through kindness week I could share the love that my grandparents gave me with others and at the same time, leave me with feelings of happiness and not those so-called “winter blues”. To start out my kindness week, I spent my Saturday perusing through thrift stores and stopping by an art gallery to look into acquiring some artwork and afterward I stopped by my partner’s job to visit him at the end of his shift at the diner. I saw that he had one table left in his section so I asked my partner to give me their bill so that I could pay it. He asked me if I knew the people, but I had no clue who they were, after all, it wouldn’t be “random” if I did, now would it? I also told my partner that he couldn’t tell them that I paid for it. It was incredibly heartwarming to see their smiles when they were told that their meal was paid for. Not only were they smiling, but the staff at the restaurant were so happy to see that someone would just randomly do something like that for their fellow man without expecting anything in return.

Fight hobophobia!
I really wanted to continue on with the kindness week so on Monday I decided that I would do give some money to a homeless person (which is something I don’t ever do because I don’t believe it solves anything etc. etc.). Yes, it seems super cliché but I decided that I would give some money with a bit of a twist. I told myself that the person had to ask me for change and if they did, I would give, sort of. On my way to the grocery store, I saw a man asking for change and I decided that he would be the next random person that would receive another random act of kindness. When he asked me for some change I stopped and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any change, so I hope that this works instead” and I dropped a $20 bill in his cup. He had an expression of shock on his face as I walked away and heard him shout out “thank you” as I continued down the street. I don’t care how he spent the money; I just know that that would be enough for him to really enjoy his evening which is something that so few of us do for $20.

Yesterday I wanted to do something kind for my coworkers. Most of them are single and hate the idea of Valentines Day (rightfully so because it’s kind of a bull$hit commercial spendathon) so I wanted to lift their spirits. I decided that the best way to do that would be to buy some gourmet cupcakes and share them with my coworkers. The cupcakes were so incredibly delicious and the smiles and thank-yous I got from my coworkers made me feel like a million bucks.

Tonight I am going to write an email to someone who inspired me in my life as a way to say thank you for the impact that they had on my life today. I hope that my random email really lifts their spirits knowing what a profound impact they have had on me!

What I really am beginning to remember again is that it doesn’t take much to make someone smile and make a difference in someone’s life. Money can’t really buy happiness, but it can certainly be used to create magic little moments in someone’s life. There are still a few days left in this “Random Acts of Kindness Week” so see if you can come up with something to help your fellow man. As an added bonus, since I am feeling so kind, I would be happy to sit down with anyone of you to help you with your debt management, just give me a shout!

Ok, now to end on a super, awesome note. Today I finished paying off my MasterCard! I am so freaking excited about it! I cannot believe that in a little as 1 year and 4 months that I have paid this off! I remember feeling so overwhelmed by how much debt I had on that card so to get this back down to zero feels amazing. So what happens now that I have it all paid off? Well if you follow the rule of Gail, you start paying the debt with the next highest interest rate which is my regular line of credit, and it only has $3,400 left on it! It pales in comparison to the beast that my MasterCard was!
But wait, there’s more! I have now paid off more that 50% of my debt!!! Isn’t that nucking futs!? That means that if I can keep going at this pace, I will be debt free well before 3 years have passed! It’s time to crack open the booze and celebrate the best February I’ve had in a very long time! I think my Grandparents are definitely looking down and smiling on me this month. 

1 comment:

  1. John I am so proud of you! This is such an accomplishment. It's also very inspiring! Please have drink for me to celebrate. Happy February, bro! xo