I have a new plan in my days. I am trying hard to do one thing for myself, something special, and one thing for someone else—every day. Some days I pull it off and some I don’t. I have come to the conclusion that not only does it make me feel better, but just maybe I can make someone else feel better. This really isn’t self-serving, just living.
Recently a family member was in the hospital. I spent lots of hours working, reading, catching up on email as I waited for test results and so on. I had a lovely conversation with the woman who mopped the floors. We ended up hugging. My day was dramatically improved and I hope hers was too.
I was on the phone last week with our pharmacy trying to solve a confusion. The woman who answered has been helping our family for 15 years. The week before I had been in picking up a few things and overheard her helping a very debilitated man who probably shouldn’t have been in there alone. She was patient, kind, and wonderful. I didn’t say anything at that moment—too many people around. But when I called last week and she was the one to answer, I had to tell her how impressed I was. She began to cry. “No one ever tells you when you’ve done it well.”
My daughter, the doctor, called last night. They had delivered a baby the day before who is addicted to crack. The mother literally delivered the baby and left. This child had no name, no parents, no clothes no anything. My child ended up naming the new child. His name is Will. I said his name should be Will to Live. My daughter spent the day holding him and then passing Will around so he would never be left in a crib, constantly held skin to skin as he withdrew from his drug addiction.
These are gifts to ourselves as much as they are to others. Then, I confess, I plan ones that only have significance to me. I cleaned a closet and felt great pleasure. I edited extra pages and ignored the phone. I took a nap. I visited my dog who just had puppies and is staying with the breeder. I had my nails done.
But as I do these small silly things for me, I find more energy to meet my goal of making sure in each day there is something I do for others. All this sounds a bit self-serving and a bit preachy. I don’t mean it that way. Not at all. Rather, I am trying to find the balance that is difficult in this nutty rushed world we all live in. Gifts—they are the balance.
May your day have gifts for both you and for others.