Bit of a slow day today, spent a lot of time researching a new project and doing some grocery shopping - nothing too exciting! Made sure I let someone know a kind thing someone said about their DIY project which I probably wouldn't have done before, but it made them happy and they offered to help me do some more bits around the house as a result which was great! Then I made contact with a mum from school and made sure she knew the kids aren't back until Tuesday, just in case she (like me!) had forgotten this slightly important fact! I also made an effort to make a nice dinner for little legs and read him part of his favourite story at bedtime, even though I was so exhausted I could barely move. It's the little things that count :)
Today was a real no-brainer day - it was our house inspection so I spent the day making sure it was all sparkly and clean for our landlady. It felt really good to declutter and fill another bag with bits and bobs destined for the charity shop. When the little one is back at school this week I'll definitely be looking out old toys and things to bag up and take down. My only problem is which shop to take everything to! I've decided on an animal shelter thrift shop and a heart charity, both of which I know do really good things so I feel happy that they're going to great new homes. I'm actually really excited about it! I've always had a slight issue with throwing things away, "stuff" is a bit of a comfort blanket for me, but I feel like I'm slowly getting away from that state of mind... new year, new leaf, new me! With the declutter I spent time just chatting to the landlady and making her feel comfortable - neither of us have wanted to intrude on each other's time or space so I made sure she was happy with us being there and with extending our lease (quite important!).
Busy busy day! Spent almost the whole day with my friend and her kiddies, which was really lovely. I'm painfully shy most of the time but finally feel like I'm coming out of my shell more with her and feeling really comfortable and relaxed which is a really liberating feeling. Our kids get on great too which really helps, although you can definitely tell that mine is an only child as he needs/wants far more adult interaction! It's great to see him enjoying himself with other kids though and her girls are so lovely with him it melts my heart! Spending time with them all made me really happy and (thankfully!) they seemed to as well. My RAOK was buying my little one dinner as a thank you for being so good and polite and well behaved. Not much, but it made him smile :)

On a side note, I experienced a RAOK earlier today when some builders working on the house next door came to my friend's house to tell me I had a flat tyre. They even offered to jack the car up and put on a new one for me - a really lovely gesture. Thankfully I had a compressor to fix it myself but I'm so grateful for their kindness :)  Also, while I remember, the little person also experienced a RAOK today too! His friend from school gave him a three-day subscription to his favourite website (this, after saying she would keep them all for herself!). I thought that was a really kind gesture and said a lot for her as a person. Warmed my heart!
Today was a tricky day for a big RAOK, but determined to challenge myself, I found I was actively LOOKING for ways to help someone. I love that! I feel excited about doing something (however small) that could make someone's day that little bit happier. Having suffered massively from depression during 2012 (so much so I was hospitalised for it only six weeks ago), I already feel better. It's almost as though I now have a break from thinking about myself and my own worries - I'm allowing myself to put that in a box for a time to focus on someone else. I'm loving this feeling and its only day three! Imagine the feeling on day 365! Or even 1365!!
Back to the point in hand. I spent a lot of the day meeting with a friend whilst our kids played. Which was lovely in itself as I, as a single parent, got some proper adult conversation! Woohoo! As I was leaving the car park I stopped to let a, rather stressed looking, lady cross the street in front of my car. I figured she looked like she needed a break today. Wish I could have done more! Then I decluttered a good chunk of the house! Which may not seem like a RAOK but in the process I filled three giant bags for our local charity shop - everything from bedding, toys, clothing and books we no longer need. I hope someone else gets some enjoyment out of the items and that the charity also benefits. After all that I did a RAOK for myself, which I think can be just as important - particularly if you rarely take care of yourself (which I'm guilty of since the depression really took hold). I sat down and had one of those fantastic peel-off face masks... Bliss!!
Today I've mostly been decluttering my abode and doing lots of laundry (quite exciting when mine broke down in August! Santa was kind enough to gift me a new one, hooray!). I was struggling to think of my RAOK would be today as many on my list involve actually leaving my house! By chance I was speaking to a friend on the phone who asked whether I could meet her and her kids tomorrow so that she could have a bit of 'grown up' time whilst they played. Of course I said yes and whilst it may not be the biggest or most inventive RAOK, it's good enough for my day two!
Today marks the first day of my goal to complete one Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) a day for a whole year - 365 days to change the world :) To make it slightly more difficult I want to do a different RAOK every day and to do something I wouldn't ordinarily do (so holding a door open or thanking someone for a service can't count!). I want to really challenge myself and I'm actually really excited to get started!

I decided that my first RAOK was to send a letter of gratitude to the staff at my local grocery store. A few days ago I suddenly became very unwell whilst shopping and the staff went above and beyond to help me and make sure I got home safely. Whilst I of course thanked them at the time, I want their manager to know and recognise how wonderful they are and to give them the commendation they deserve. So I've written it on a cute notecard and its odd in the post tomorrow. I hope they get to read it, or at least to hear that they are appreciated :)
    "No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves" - Amelia Earhart


    January 2013