The Thumper Rule

I was always told, Remember the Thumper Rule! “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all!”  (Sorry about the double negative, I’m quoting.) These days, kindness seems to be passed off as old fashioned, passĂ©, and not very popular. (Are you listening, Trump?) “You won’t get very far in this world on kindness.” (Yeah, right! I say sarcastically.) Kindness is the true measure of decent, mature person. The true sign of maturity (in my book) is knowing when to shut up. Knowing what “not” to say.

The rehab home where I’m staying admitted a new patient. She’s uber onery. (She is more onery than a multitasking mom with a migraine!) She’s driving the staff mad. (Referring to it both ways. Mad “grrrrr” and mad crazy.) This lady is verbally abusive to the max, and they all dread going in to help her. They’ve thanked me for being incredibly kind and understanding. I always say “Thank you,” and try to make their jobs easier. (Like day and night.)

Really? Do we need to force other’s lives as to be as miserable as (we think) our own is? I’ll bet if she attempted interaction with people the opposite way and made a concerted effort to be kind. She would be happier, and it would additionally brighten the other person’s day. Let’s at least start with civil and work up from there. (Here I go being all positive again. It must be my thing!)

My thoughts rush back to high school. (Fade to backstory with weird music.) I was attending to perform in an evening choir concert. All the choir members were required to wear our finest. One girl, who was low in the self esteem department, was looking exceptionally nice. I felt compelled to compliment her. So I did ecstatically. Her countenance changed from shy and uncertain to a big smile and looking rather proud of herself. I noticed her. I swear there were beams of light shooting from her body! (Seriously beaming!) All it took was a few kind words. (I bet I made her year! If I do say so myself.) I felt great, and I am certain she did, too. (Like I say, win win.) It left me with such an impact, I remember that experience from over thirty years ago!

(Return to the present.) My tween girls are always bickering and placing blame. (Yeah, you guys!) Oh, how much calmer, pleasant, and quiet our home would be without the incessant arguing! (Serenity now!) I need to constantly place a picture of Bambi’s Thumper in their faces (or tattoo it to their corneas) to remind them about the urgent and necessary need for kindness. (Sometimes it’s a relief to go back to the rehab home! I didn’t say that.) They need to forget their pride and me, me, me attitudes and think of the other. Remember: Kindness begins with me!” We seem to be the worst with our siblings. (I’m sure there’s some psychological reason.) That’s too bad, because your brothers and sisters do become your best friends. (True story.)

Let’s play Truth (and) or Dare. 

Truth? Tell me how an act of kindness changed your day. 

Dare? Go perform an intentional (way out of your way) act of kindness for anyone, and see how you feel. Tell me about it. (I really want to hear about it!)

Next time you have a choice, choose kindness. See how that works out for you! (I dare ya!)

The Monotony Funk – Feelings Friday 5/26/17

Times present themselves when the same-old monotonous days of your life become extremely tedious. You’re looped in a continuous funk. Drearily you think, “I can’t take much more of this.” Wondering to yourself, “How will I survive?” Each humdrum day runs into the next. I am neck-deep into that feeling right now. 

Here at Sunshine Terrace Rest Home, they excel at keeping to a schedule. Meals at the same time, meds at the same time, everything at the same time! They do offer activities, but the framework is pretty simple, catering to the predominant population. I am so past that. Last time I attended, I ended up babysitting one of the residents. (Glad I could help!) My day is filled with TV, iPad, therapy, eating, and showering. Rinse and repeat. (Pun intended.) Darin does give me a jailbreak occasionally. We get in the car and purchase a Woot Woot or Dracula (my favorite drinks,) and wander for a drive, or do needed grocery shopping with those driving carts. (Not the greatest, but it’s got to be done.) I am getting out! (So that’s good.) 

But… the next morning it starts all over again. Do you ever feel this way? I know you do. It feels like an insane copy machine gone wild. (Or like you are in Groundhog Day, the movie.)

The question is: What is the solution? Well, a vacation is the obvious choice. But only a ‘lucky few’ can actually get away. If you’re one of the ‘lucky few,’ good-on-ya! (An Australia congratulation.)

The next answer would be celebrating with an upcoming party, holiday, or special event. (Birthday, Christmas, or celebrated occasion.) Exciting days that you can look towards, create a life less boring. 

But there is one more conclusion. Do something nice for someone else! It could be big or small. Look outside yourself. Serving can get your endorphins pumping (because it feels so good,) thus your emotional state improves. Making someone elses day better, makes your own day better. Thus, it breaks the monotony and lets you survive another day. You aren’t expected to make a big production. Shopping is my therapy. (Yay, Amazon Prime!) But shopping for others needs can be even more fun. (If you can afford it!) Although, kindness doesn’t have to cost a dime. Make it a goal to compliment a complete stranger daily. (Easy peasy and such a warm fuzzy!) 

Just do something nice today! (I guarantee it’s a boredom buster.)

Lucky Blessing #8 – Smile


Lucky Blessing Challenge #8- A Lucky Blessing is a Smile.

I’ve been thinking about it, and a smile is our God-given way to share kindness without saying a word. When I drive my wheelchair down the hall, well, my good hand is busy driving. But I can give a smile to make someone’s day. My smile is a bit crooked at this time since my right side is a somewhat “frozen,” but its still a smile. A smile can change someones mood, wow, somebody cares and it can melt a heart! Think about a world without smiling. It really is a blessing. Cheese!

Lucky Blessing #27 – Wonderful Neighbors

Lucky Blessing Challenge #27- A Lucky Blessing is Wonderful Neighbors and Ward Family. 

I went to my home ward church today. It’s been over 7 months since I’ve been there. I thought I would cry a lot (cause that’s what I do) but I never expected this… I was immediately welcomed from the pulpit by an emotional bishop who made a point that it was a miracle that I was here, and their collective prayers were answered. Then everyone turned to look! (Man, that was so nice and awkward at the same time.) I wanted to crawl in a hole, but I knew that these were all my friends who genuinely love me! (Tears were shed.) I looked around at their loving faces, and I knew they were all on my side. These are the fabulous people who included me in their prayers (and I know there were and are many more!) These were the angels who fed my family and support us in countless ways. Many cards of love have been written and visits to me even when I was far away. Today I was hugged and greeted with sincere love countless times. It was surreal to hear my name in the prayers. (What an honor!) I could not ask for more! My neighbor friends have rallied to buoy up me and my family through this trial in the most Christlike of ways! (Doing what was taught.) I am so blessed for each and every one of their friendships to us. I could be so lucky!

Lucky Blessing #30 -Kindness 

Lucky Blessing Challenge #30- A Lucky Blessing is Kindness. 

Elder Oakes ( a church leader) gave a landmark talk nine and half years ago (has it been that long?) about choosing good, better or best. That really made a difference in my busy, hectic life. I’ve been thinking of it in respect to kindness. Good, is a smile; Better is a “thank you” or “I’m doing fine” (what we say when we don’t really want to elaborate;) then there’s Best, when we really get where the other person is coming from and sincerely care and show patience. Here in the “rehabilitation home” we deal with people (staff or residents) who come from different places and are dealing with complex situations we don’t know about. My response to them is I can be good- a smile, better- a thank you, or best- understand where they are coming from and react with sincere kindness. (That’s why I’m the favorite!) It all boils down to what kind of person you want to be. (We can be eh or great!) We are naturally attracted and want to be around people who genuinely care. What’s the use in being mean or ornery? When we are driving, are we the person who reacts with road rage to someone’s stupid move, (it can happen easily,) or are we best and think that maybe they are having a bad day. We just don’t know what trial they are facing. How do we feel when someone shows us random kindness when we need it most? Someone I didn’t know once gave me their umbrella as I was waiting outside in the pouring rain. Then they just drove off less one umbrella! I always intended to buy a bunch of umbrellas to give away. Let’s be better. (I mean best!) Think as you rush through the day: What could that person be dealing with? Choose the best when it comes to kindness. “Kindness begins with me!” Aren’t we all grateful for kindness at it’s best?