Kindness. Matters.

img_2288Today, while in a restaurant that was busier than normal due to a weather-related event cancelation, I witnessed several scenes that made me realize just how much kindness matters in this world we live in.

We managed to claim a booth in the seat-yourself restaurant, which had not been cleaned up yet. The diners before us left the worst mess possible. I felt sad for the waitress as she came over looking frantic trying to make sure we had a clean place to eat. I could tell it had already been a rough breakfast shift for her and the others. It took a while to get drinks and much longer than that for food, but, I knew this was going to be the case. I didn’t mind. I took the opportunity to take a break from the cold rain, the hustle of homework and just enjoy the company I had.

At a table in front of me I witnessed a lady yell at a waitress because her food took too long. The waitress politely apologized and walked away. The lady continued to sit at the table looking angry. I turned to my own waitress, thanked her for her hard work to which she replied “thank you. It’s people like you that are understanding that make this bearable.”


Similar scenes like this continued to play out — I wondered what would happen if every table was a little more understanding. Or if the circumstances were reversed and they were the ones having to deal with people just like them.

Another scene played out at a table across from me where a customer was very loudly airing his political beliefs, making sure as many people heard him as possible, even looking around to see who might be paying attention. I won’t go into detail as I do not want to polarize my blog, but his words were very unkind, inhumane and insulting. And it made me so sad. I do not understand the need to spout hate, sending a series poisoned arrows out to see how many people you can hurt. What is the purpose of that? What kind of person do you have to be on the inside? I believe it must be a very dark head space in which to live in…But, that’s not really what I came to write about.

Moments like these remind of who I do NOT want to be — it reaffirms why I do what I do — by writing handwritten thank you notes, by leaving my gratitude cards in places like that busy restaurant and other random acts of kindness that I choose to do quietly without anyone knowing. People that I encountered and listened to today are my inspiration for spreading kindness.

I hope if you’re reading this you’ll consider performing a random act of kindness or simply saying thank you to your busy waitress or anyone else who is in the service industry. Reach out to someone who is hurting. Take chocolate to a coworker having a hard day. Send an email to a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Or a host of other kind acts.

Friday, I wrote a thank-you note to a colleague who had sent popcorn to our office. She emailed me, thanked me and said the note wasn’t necessary. To which I replied “it was TOTALLY necessary.” What I didn’t include on this email is kindness, which took the form of that thank-you note in response to her popcorn she sent, is absolutely necessary in this world.  Kindness matters. It really matters.


The power of gratitude

img_2288Thank-you note writing has become a way of life for me — therapy after a hard day, a way for me to focus on what’s good in the world. In a world that harbors so much darkness, writing a quick thank-you note for anything from the ordinary to the extraordinary is my way of spreading joy in this world.

Lately I’ve found myself overwhelmed between grad school, a full-time career and just life in general. To say things are busy is an understatement, so I haven’t been taking as much time to sit down and write my thank-you notes. And I can tell the difference.

When I stop taking time for gratitude — something that has become so integral in my life — I can tell the difference in my attitude and my outlook.

Gratitude helps me be thankful for what I have. After all, that’s what gratitude is — being thankful. Even on the horrible days, there’s always something to be thankful for.

So, tonight, I am writing thank-you notes. I’m taking a break from everything else that’s been going on and thanking some people. I can already feel the difference, I already feel lighter.

And if you’re reading this, I’m grateful for you! Thank you for being a reader!

Gratefully yours,


I see you

wpid-20150517_112813.jpgToday I wanted to focus on the people who get things done — in the background — ensuring we have things like clean floors, clean bathrooms and clean offices.

When you walk into a building and the floors are polished until they shine and the carpet is vacuumed — that doesn’t happen by itself. When you walk into your office with the trash dumped overnight — that doesn’t happen by itself either. Your fresh, clean hotel room? Nope, doesn’t happen by itself. A well-maintained building doesn’t just happen either.

To the people who work tirelessly in the background, I see you. To the person who makes sure the floors are mopped, the toilets are clean, I see you. I see you in the hallway, in the background, when everyone rushes by, not noticing the contribution you make to our lives. I see you. And I appreciate you. 

To all reading this, take time today to stop and thank the people behind the scenes. From the housekeeper to the maintenance employees. Their contribution to our daily lives is huge.


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,





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.


Changing the view

wp-1479566904201.jpgLast night I took time out for a change of pace — for a change of view. I admit I’ve had severe election fatigue as most of us in the United States do right about now. I was feeling pretty burned out.

So, a change in pace was in order. In the form of a high-rise hotel room with a view second-to-none. I’m also in the middle of National Novel Writin Month, so last night I had the perfect cozy writing spot. Since the hotel room’s walls are almost all windows, wrapping up in a cozy blanket did the trick.

As I gazed at twinkling street lights, I felt a deep sense of gratitude that there was so much beauty around me, but also that I am fortunate enough to be able to afford that one-night change of pace.

I took many photos (I’m pretty much a photo hoarder) and I realized that some of my photos were blurred — it was dark and holding the phone steady against the window wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. But I realized that even though the view was blurry, it was still there. Much like life — we have good times where the view is crystal clear and dark times, where it blurs out. But it’s always right there waiting for us to notice it again.


Same view, just blurred

I am grateful for the view last night — and for the view in my life every day. I am grateful for gratitude, it has become my core — center of my being.

When you’re feeling burned out, a change of view might help — if you can’t afford a hotel room, go to a cafe or even to the public library or drive a different route home. Anything to change up your view a bit.

As always, I’m deeply grateful you chose to read this and that you choose to read my blog.

With gratitude,


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.