Kindness in a drive-thru

wp-1482785284567.jpgToday, I found kindness in a drive-thru, at our local Hardee’s in Emporia, Kansas.

Today, after being off work and grad school for a week, I found myself stressed out as I was trying to wrap up a couple of projects that are due right after returning to work and class this week.

As I pulled up to the drive-thru I was distracted, cranky and feeling stressed, my to-do list running rampant and un-checked in my mind. I ordered my Diet Dr. Pepper and was greeted by a kind, upbeat voice. She thanked me and I pulled around to the window, where I was again greeted by the kind crew member, who again thanked me and told me to have a nice day.

Her positive, upbeat attitude made a huge difference in mine and it really stuck with me all the way to my office, where I caught up on my homework for this week. It’s funny how that simple act of kindness helped me re-focus.

I just finished writing a thank-you note to the restaurant and included my original receipt — just hoping she gets the recognition at work that she deserves. Kindness is especially rare these days, and when you find it, it is certainly worth recognizing.

My closing thought: don’t underestimate kindness. Don’t underestimate the impact you’ll have on someone just by being that kind person. It doesn’t take much and can be as simple as a thank-you and a smile.

Been a while … still going strong

cropped-image1.jpegIts been a long while since I’ve posted on this blog. Life, grad school and my wonderful job have all taken my time.

Much of the gratitude postings I do now are either on my Facebook page or through hand-written notes (which are still being mailed out quite frequently).

This is a quick check-in. Life is going well. I’m very blessed on so many levels.

I hope this finds every reader well and happy. I am grateful for you!

 

So many blessings

wp-1482785284567.jpgOne of the greatest blessings in my life is gratitude. My project, 1,000 thank you notes, is going nicely. With that said, here is a bit of an update.

I spent the holiday weekend with my grandmother and visiting family. I kept a running list of who I needed to thank for various things over the weekend. The list kept growing from family members who hosted the gatherings, to gift-givers and to random kind strangers.

One young man from the local pizza parlor in Parsons drove to my grandmother’s home to return her checkbook she left there.

On Christmas Eve I woke up with vertigo that ended up being the result of a sinus infection and fluid in my ears. The staff at the local urgent care clinic was kind and I was able to enjoy the holiday with some antibiotics on board.

The day I left to go home, my grandma and I ate at a local diner. Food was good and the staff was very kind. Grandma says she’ll frequent that place now.

So many of my family members cooked amazing food over the holiday and gave so much to each other.

I went through an entire packet of thank-you cards today and almost an entire book of stamps. I wrote each note feeling a wealth of gratitude. When you get to go through an entire packet of notes in one sitting, you know you are richly blessed.

 

1,000 thank you notes update

wp-1478367299645.jpgThis week the first several thank-you notes have gone out for the 1,000 thank you notes project.

Each time I head to the mailbox and drop that thank-you card in it, I feel my own heart expanding in joy and gratitude. I know how much it means to receive a thank-you note — much more than the sender realizes.

I’m thanking people for big things, for small things, for everyday things, for extraordinary things. And everything in between.

As I go about each day I think of things I’m grateful for — and who to add to my thank-you list. In the past couple of weeks that I’ve been compiling my list, I am constantly looking for opportunities for gratitude. There are so many people to thank for so many reasons. And just by simply thinking in those terms and making that list, I am already amazed how much of a difference it makes in my thought process.

As always, thank you to everyone who is supportive of me and this project. I’m excited to be on this journey and to bring joy to others, one thank-you note at a time.

With gratitude,

B.

 

 

 

1,000 days of thankfuls

imageToday I hit my 1,000th day of posting what I’m grateful for on Facebook. And on Thanksgiving too!

One. Thousand. Days.

That’s a huge number — over three years of gratitude posting. See this post for an explanation of the project.

My journey began on Nov. 1, 2013, when I decided to start posting what I was grateful for during the month of November. One thousand posts later — I have no intention of stopping.

As I sit here reflecting on the past 1,000-plus days of my life, I feel a mixture of emotions. I feel joy, happiness, gratefulness and also some sadness. Three years is a lot of living and a lot of change.

It’s difficult to quantify the last 1,000 days of my life — so I’ll simply say this. I am so grateful I chose to keep going with this. I am thankful for each and every person who has read the posts. And I’m thankful for the project that I will now embark on — 1,000 thank-you notes. 

In a sense it feels like I’m starting over as I enter the four-digit mark for thankfuls. Embarking on another three years.

To my family and friends, thank you. You encouraged me to keep going and keep pushing toward this day. In posting about gratitude, I found a new way of thinking — taking even the most painful aspects of my life and finding gratitude. image

The following quote says it best:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

 

1,000 thank you notes

wp-1478367299645.jpgFor the past few months, I’ve been working on how to move my gratitude project forward, thus the transformation of my blog and blog Facebook page to “The Wandering Pigeon: Gratitude.”

As day 1,000 of my daily gratitude postings rapidly approaches, I have decided to reveal my next step: 1,000 thank you notes. And right now, especially in the election aftermath, the world needs this more than ever. (See this post for an explanation of my daily gratitude postings.)

A few months ago I had business cards printed and postcards with a simple gratitude message along with information about my Facebook page, encouraging others to post what they’re grateful for. A thanks and a call to action.

Again, the world needs simple, kind acts right now.

My mission is to get 1,000 handwritten thank-you notes out in the world — a project that will reach more people than residing in most small rural towns. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about.

I’ll post some of the stories behind the notes on my blog. I hope that others will be inspired to sit down and write a simple note of gratitude to someone as well.

I recently read the book “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Gratitude Changed my life.” The author really gets it. I found it interesting that when I was considering this project (before I even knew this book existed) I found this book, reaffirming why I am doing this. You may purchase the book here. I highly recommend it.

Whether this project takes me a year or five years, I’m committing to it. I’m committing to thanking the kind people in this world for big things, for little things and for everything in between.

If you’d like to help, send me a message on my Facebook page. I’d be happy to send you some of the business cards to include in your thank-you note.

 

Chasing gratitude

imageToday I woke up on the wrong side of the universe and it just kept going.

I didn’t want to get out of bed. I couldn’t find my socks. The dogs wouldn’t eat — and one of them is really sick and I’m afraid he will slip away soon. Then the dogs made a mess. I spilled my shampoo. My hair wouldn’t cooperate.

Then my car wouldn’t unlock. There was a traffic back-up on my road, which was due to an accident on another highway (I didn’t know at the time).

By the time I pulled into my parking space at work, I wanted to throw in the towel and just go back home, sit on the couch and forget Monday existed — all for a bunch of small things.

On days like these where nothing seems to be going right, gratitude isn’t easy. On days where a bunch of little things add up into one giant pile of frustration, gratitude is far from my mind.

As I settled into work and got a few things done, the frustration I was feeling slowly lifted and I realized a few things. In my frustration I missed out on an entire beautiful Halloween morning. The air was cool and wet this morning with low-hanging fog. My dogs probably didn’t eat well because they knew I was frustrated. And I missed my few precious moments with them this morning — because of my frustration.wpid-20150525_140935.jpg

I didn’t enjoy my cool car ride with my windows and sunroof back. I didn’t even look at the campus as I walked to my office.

I wasn’t feeling grateful for much of anything. And now I’m wishing for a do-over.

What these nearly 1,000 days of writing daily gratitude posts on my Facebook page have taught me is that gratitude works. When I allow myself to move away from gratitude and get caught up in frustrations, I lose my perspective. This morning’s frustrations were all small things. VERY small things.

As I type this, I’m so grateful for perspective. I’m so grateful that I was able to pull myself back into gratitude and gain that perspective again. I can’t get a do-over of my morning, but I can move forward with gratitude — which truly changed and transformed my life over these past few years.

Stay tuned. Wonderful things are coming.

B.

Gratitude in a snore

*** Disclaimer: tear-jerker post about aging pets/pet loss.

060b3-img00296

The crew. Chewie, Mayiah and PJ

Very early this morning when the sun was still well on the other side of the world and the house was still, I was awake, the sound of snoring in my right ear. That sound used to keep me awake for hours and it used to drive me crazy.

Now, I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for the soft snores. The loud snores. The wake-me-up snores. I’m grateful for all of them. Even if I lose sleep.

Those snores belong to my elderly dog, Chewie, who for some reason has decided to sleep on the pillow, right next to my ear. I think it may have something to do with the Chillow that’s on that side of the bed (he likes to sleep on it because it’s cool). Chewie is on bought time, has heart failure and a host of other aliments. My poodle, Mayiah, who is about the same age, recently started sticking to Chewie like glue. She won’t let him out of her sight. Since I know dogs are pretty intuitive, it makes my heart ache even more. I know our time together is short. “Be still, my aching heart,” I often have to whisper to myself.”Enjoy every moment and don’t let pre-sorrow rob you.”

Yesterday I looked online for a dog paw impression kit. It’s time. It’s time to do it before he slips away and it’s too late.  It’s time to do it before the other two slip away and it’s too late. It’s time to face the fact that time is getting short. Not doing that for my other dog, Jade, before she passed, was one of my biggest regrets.

As my precious Chewie gets closer to his “Rainbow Bridge” I miss the days where his nickname was “Dammit Chewie” because as a puppy he was a classic terror who liked to chew on furniture and sleep in the clothes basket. He would jump up on tables and walk all over the computer keyboard — apparently he’s part-cat. I miss those days when he was young and I didn’t think about time being short. When time was long.

Right now he’s stable. And happy. And comfortable. That makes me happy. I’m grateful for every mess he makes right now. Every snore. Every time he squeaks a toy or shreds a newspaper. (He has an odd obsession with newspaper — he either shreds it or sleeps on it).

I’m grateful for EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. Every one. With Chewie. And Mayiah. And PJ. And while I’m at it, every other person in my life who I know time is relatively short with.

I found gratitude in a snore.

Gratefully yours,

Brandy

 

Nearly day 1,000, blog transformation

As I write this, I am less than 100 days away from Day 1,000 in my daily gratitude postings on Facebook. To see an explanation of how I got started, go to my day 800 post.

I’ve changed the name of this blog to Wandering Pigeon: Gratitude. On day 1,000 I will be changing focus a bit — reaching out beyond Facebook. A blog post will come on that day. For now, it’s a bit of a secret. image

For those who will visiting this blog and my blog page on Facebook, for the first time (and for the oldies) I have decided to keep my brand, The Wandering Pigeon. How did the  name come about you might ask? Well, funny story ….

My blog wasn’t always called The Wandering Pigeon. The name actually was born in New York City. New York City was incredible (this was my first visit to the city) — and as an avid bird lover — I noticed how many pigeons lived in the city. One of the mornings we were there, I became enamored with a group of pigeons who were feasting on some bread. I wanted a photo of one pigeon in particular because it had some unusual coloring. As I wandered off chasing after this pigeon (successfully getting a picture, I might add), I didn’t realize how far off my path I had wandered. This adventure led me to getting lost in NYC, alone. Thus, the name was born and it stuck.

I have decided to continue with my name and add the word “gratitude.” I have also decided to keep my previous posts rather than removing them as they are my history and my journey.

However, this blog will lean more toward gratitude postings from here forward. I was thinking the other day … I never was truly consistent in blogging, but I’ve kept my gratitude posts up for nearly 1,000 days. Boom. That’s where this blog needs to head … Toward the gratitude I’m so deeply passionate about.

More posts to come!

With gratitude,

Brandy

 

The plastic pigeon’s journey begins…

pigeon 2

He’s all ready to go!

Recently I had an idea compliments of the Letter Writers Alliance, which I am a member of. I had an idea to mail a plastic pigeon.

I was skeptical as to whether it would actually make it — and make it intact. So Sunday, I slapped the label to his back (he required extra tape to hold it down) and I headed to the local post office to drop it in the mail. There was only one issue at this point: the pigeon didn’t fit. So, I drove to a town about 10 miles away to see if they had a different type of mailbox and bingo! I had to squeeze him in a bit, but he fit and hit with a thud.

Since Sunday my grandma and I have been anxiously awaiting his arrival to her house. He arrived safe and sound today! Intact even!

I wasn’t sure if it was OK to mail him, but according to the Letter Writers Alliance, it doesn’t violate any rules to mail a plastic pigeon — but you can only mail it domestically as it doesn’t fit the rules for international mailing on its own.

pigeon 3

Safe at grandma’s!

So, I’m looking forward to his return and exchanging him back and forth with my grandma.

I’m so glad I decided to get creative!