Monday, December 30, 2019

Week 19: Happy (Hectic) Holidays

I am not someone who usually leaves things until the last minute; I prefer to work ahead whenever possible to free up time for unexpected fun opportunities. 

But even the best intentions don't always pave a smooth path. For example, sometimes the flu hits you like a ton of bricks and you find yourself in bed for a week just before Christmas. 

This is not a hypothetical situation, I know this from experience.

I found myself shopping with the last-minute masses the three days before Christmas last week. I visited the mall, I drove a few town over to large collection of big box stores, and I hit up some small shops in my town (one of them is the cute toy store in the photo above!). Each store was crazy busy, full of frustrated people waiting in lines, trying to cross off the last few items on their shopping lists. 

Every morning, just before I headed out, I'd jokingly say to my family "I hope you don't see me on the news!" and then I'd enter the chaos, wearing a smile like armor against the overcrowded crabbiness.

I set out determined to hold open every door a bit longer, chit-chat and compliment each store employee I saw, give extra smiles to parents with young children, and spend a few extra minutes talking with elderly patrons. 

And guess what! It worked!

My experiences those few days, despite still being a bit worn down from my illness, were positive and I returned home each afternoon feeling happy and grateful. Not because I didn't experience unfortunate situations and encounter rude people, but because I was intentional with my attitude and stubborn to spread some cheer. (And oh boy can I ever be stubborn ;)

One of my goals for the new year is to carry this attitude into the new year, to choose kindness each day, and to set out to spread it wherever I go. 

Happy New Year, everyone!

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