Friday, August 5, 2011

Changing the World Progress Report

It's Friday, the end of my first week of  my changing the world experiment, and I owe you a report on my progress. 

Saturday, I challenged myself to make a fuss over someone in a good way, to make them happy.  I took my girls to a local bagel place.  As we sat and ate, a couple with a little boy about 3 came in and sat across from us.  This little boy looked like he could be the ad for angels--cute, curly hair, a sweet little voice.  He was quiet and well-behaved and adorable.  I warned my girls that I was going to speak to them, and fearing embarrassment, they girls went quickly to the front door of the restaurant and pretended not to know me, even though everyone had seen me buy them breakfast not 15 minutes before.  So I walked over and I apologized for disturbing their breakfast, and told the little boy that he was the best behaved child I'd seen in a while and told him he deserved two thumbs, way up.  He grinned at me and did thumbs up back.  The parents smiled and thanked me.  I think their day was better than it would have been.  Megaphone for good, operational.

Also this week,  I had to take my daughter to our doctor's office to get a vaccination she needed for school.  When I made the appointment, I specifically told them we were bringing her in for the second vaccine of this type--that the first one was done last year in Iowa, before we moved here, and that the school had sent us a card saying she had to get the second one to enroll this year.  So we get there--a twenty minute drive from our house--and after waiting half an hour, we are told they can't give her the shot without her vaccination records, which are filed at our house because no one has told us we needed to bring them.  So here's the world-changing part--I didn't chew anyone out.  Not a single person.  Even though I had to drive twenty minutes home, and go back two hours later.  It caused me actual, physical pain to not act miffed at the inconvenience--to not tell someone that they really should warn people if they must have particular records in order to receive services, but I did it.  They apologized for the inconvenience and I said,  "I understand.  It's all right."   (!)

I allowed someone else to take a desireable parking place I was waiting for.  I waved her into the spot, backed up and took another further away.  She didn't give a thank you wave or say anything as I passed by her car on the way into the store. 

I smiled at strangers a lot.  I got a lot of puzzled looks, but also quite a few smiles back.  I made sure I told clerks in stores thank you and  to have a great day as I walked away.    They responded better than average.  I think retail clerks must be used to being treated like furniture, because many times, they would act a bit surprised to be thanked and well-wished, and thank me back.

I held a lot of doors open for people.  Most of them smiled and said thank you.

I commented on peoples' dogs a lot.  Out on my evening dog walks, rather than just say hi as other walkers passed, I began to comment on the dogs.  People really love their dogs--when you say how pretty or well-behaved someone's dog is, they ALWAYS smile big.  Gives me hope for humanity--someone who loves a dog can't be all bad.

Finally, I tried this week to just enjoy my life more.  I spent more time in the moment.  I tried to pay attention to how pretty my yard is when the sun is just coming up, how good the laundry smells when you're folding it, how tasty a cookie is, how pretty my girls' eyes are, how great it feels to get a hug from them,  and how wonderful it sounds to be called  'mama.'   

I think without my experiment, I would have considered this week to be distinctly average.   With it, I've caused a few extra smiles.  I refrained from ruining someone's day, and maybe more importantly, I slowed my mind enough to enjoy a few things that would have been there anyway, but I might have ignored. 

Changing the world, Week One:  B+

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