Random Schmandom

What will you do for someone else today?

We watched Evan Almighty the other day. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I have one issue. They used the acronym ARK for Acts of Random Kindness, or Random Acts of Kindness as, I believe, it was originally ordered. Humorist Danny Wallace published a book with this title. Being someone who is always searching for the right word, I think pairing “random” with “acts of kindness” is a mistake.kindnessfeet-1868670_1280

Good ole’ Webster defines random as, “lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern– made, done, or chosen at random.” I know random. It’s how I live my life. When I have a day to myself, I prefer to go off on a whim. I do make lists, but it’s a rare treat when I cross something out and usually I’ve scribbled my loose intentions in a slant on a napkin or a grocery receipt which I stuff somewhere. Occasionally, I find a nest of scraps and they’re only marginally comprehensible. It’s a challenge for me to put out persistent, concerted effort to acquire a skill of any kind. Putting my keys in the same place twice is a major accomplishment. Routine is not on my non-existent agenda. At a certain point in our family life, my husband stated that we would each have our own particular seat at the dinner table. I bulked. I already felt organized. I told him I wasn’t in kindergarten anymore. Left on my own, I wouldn’t even eat at set times, but forage throughout the day, nibbling on bits of whatever it is I’m craving at the moment. My kids love this about me. Once when my husband was working late, my youngest daughter walked by and asked, “what’s for supper” as children often do. Without looking up, I said, “Halloween candy.” Later, that same daughter pranced past with chocolate smeared all over her beaming face. “This is the best day ever,” she cried.

Have you ever lived with a random person? Did you find them charming or exasperating? If you asked my husband, he wouldn’t describe my randomness as a kindnesschild-3858368_1280positive attribute. Can he rely on me? Yes and no. Can he predict my behavior? He’s given that up for health reasons. Does he find me interesting, amusing, or exciting, like an obscure, odd, colorful bird? An Emphatic Yes. So, random can be eye-opening and curious, but mostly it’s sporadic (“no plan, purpose or pattern”). I’m not saying it isn’t important for us to watch for those one-time opportunities to meet the small needs of people we encounter as we go about our day, but what if nothing presents itself? Am I off the hook? How many random acts of kindness do I need to accumulate in a day to really feel good about myself? I don’t want to make it a habit, do I?

Yes, I do. Kindness is not simply an act, but a way of being. It overflows from a loving, thankful heart. It often requires a sacrifice and it should be performed gladly without expectation. It’s not to be kept inside and doled out in a miserly fashion whenever it’s convenient or we feel up to it. It’s not enough to only show kindness one designated day kindnesstrabi-328402_1280or week of the year. The expression of kindness shouldn’t be limited to strangers or old people or street folk, but it should be given freely and lavishly. Spontaneous is good, but deliberate and thoughtful is better. Write a well-crafted love letter. Throw an elegant birthday party. Volunteer to be a Stem Cell donor. Use your skills to enrich the lives of others. Commit intentional, regular, meaningful acts of kindness. Become an expert and you will alter the world one kindness at a time.

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Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: @penelopepantaloons and don’t forget to mention that you’re a reader. It’s a private account. Thanks so much for your time and attention. 🙂

 

 

 

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It Snot What you Puke

I don’t like being sick. I suspect most of you are with me on this one. I like to relax, but only when it’s my choice. Bed rest when you feel like death on dung is not near as fun.
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Sleep Becomes Her

We play a game in our house called “What’s Your Favourite”? We ask each other, “What’s your favourite color or animal or whatever?” Once my son asked me, “Mommy, what’s your favourite thing to do?” “Sleep”, I said.
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Hit the Suds, Kids!

I recently experienced the death of a loved one. My dishwasher bit the suds. I knew it was coming. It started to hesitate, buzzing and stalling. For awhile, I was able to coax it to continue on. Then, one sad day, there was no response. I was devastated. She was so disheswashing-machine-1772579_12802dependable, always willing to take on whatever messes I stacked in her. A real wash horse, that one. She was quiet. She kept to herself while she worked. She was even willing to store that food-encrusted stink until she had a full load. No complaints, no rank belching. I loved her. I was thankful for her everyday. I was thankful when I loaded her and thankful when I unloaded her. You’d think all the thankfulness I lavished on her would have had a life-giving effect. I know plenty of people who take their dishwashers for granted. They don’t give them a thought until they break down and then they pelt them with verbal abuse. I was good to my dishwasher. Why me?
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Polly Does Dopey : A Chronological List of the Dopey Things I’ve Done that Amuse Me

  1. When I was 16, my youth group held a wet n’ wild event where I proceeded to get wildly wet. At the close of the evening, I climbed into the back seat of my friend’s dopeyrefreshment-438399_12802car, my shorts drenched, and I was immediately sitting in a puddle. I did have a semi-dry towel which I used as a screen to remove my Sham Wows. I wrapped the towel around my waist covering my near nakedness. We stopped at a light and my most supportive friend yelled, “Chinese Fire Drill”. Do I have to continue?
  2. Continue reading “Polly Does Dopey : A Chronological List of the Dopey Things I’ve Done that Amuse Me”

Bite My Muffin Top

I read an article the other day written by a personal trainer. I don’t have my own personal trainer ( I kinda feel like I’m talking about a pet) and I don’t believe I’ll ever have the need for one. Why did I read the article then? Because I’m obsessed with my weight and how I look, like countless others on the continent. I’ve read the diet books, the workout books, the anti-diet and anti-workout books. I’ve swallowed the latest exercisecrossfit-534615_12802infomercial’s hype and bought videos that make me feel foolish, look stupid, and want to stop. I purchased one plastic contraption where the only exercise I got out of it was kicking it to the curb on garbage day. I’ve done the dusty stationary bike, those monotonous aerobics, the funny breathing exercises,the tedious weight lifting routines and the lie down and trim down Pilates. (I’ll admit I enjoyed the lying down part.) I wanted to see if he had anything new to say, any wisdom to impart that would inspire and motivate me to take better care of my body. What was I thinking? He’s a personal trainer. It’s in his best interest to tell us that there is no mind game, no pill that eats up fat cells like Pac-Man, no food that will release the stores of chub we’ve been self-consciously hugging. The success of his business depends on the premise that extreme physical exercise supervised by a glowing Adonis who eats hamburgers wrapped in lettuce (a travesty) is our only hope of becoming the Jennifer Aniston we were meant to be.
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The Aging Game

Wrinkles are life’s measurable outcome.

I would say my face started visibly aging when I turned 40. (My soul’s age is skipping in a groove somewhere in adolescence.) People were always telling me how young I looked. I’ll throw out a few examples:
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With Rest Like This

I recently had a visit from the relatives. I don’t know how it’s for you, but I find it exhausting. It was fun, but it’s like eating too much–after awhile you start to feel sick. They left on Monday. It’s Thursday and I’m still recovering. There’s something wrong when a person has to recover from a holiday. We took our kids to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo this year. We did it in seven days. It was busy. All along the way, we were dazzled by creativity and enchanted by the magic of rest2make believe. We made some happy memories and I’m glad we took the trip, but I noticed the attractions begin to repel quickly. The noise-level, flashing lights, bright colors, and crowds of sweaty tourists are over-stimulating and that’s an understatement. There’s a lot of standing in line, straining to see, listening to whining and crying (I couldn’t help myself), interspersed with snippets of glee, spontaneous “oohs” and “ahhs”, and a year’s supply of french fries. We waited two hours to find Nemo and my daughter said when she found him, she would slap him. The cheery attendant standing nearby was horrified. Three days at the Magic Kingdom and we were sprinting for the drawbridge. We started using it as a disciplinary tool.

“I told you to stop it. Don’t make me take you back there.”
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To Clean or not to Clean

A messy person spends countless hours swearing, searching for her keys, glasses, important papers, etc.cleaningswearing-294391__480
A clean person puts things in the same place every time. Therefore, she always knows where things are and has more free time to color code her sock drawer.
A messy person wears whatever crawls up to her bed in the morning.
A clean person’s clothes are always freshly laundered, pressed, and laid out neatly the night before. A wrinkle or stain can cause psychosis.
A messy person eats fruit over the sink, cold pizza straight from the fridge, and TV dinners in front of the tube.cleaningelegant-tableware-1431790__480
A clean person will only eat at the table with a full place setting, decorative table linens, and music to aid digestion.
A messy person lounges in the living room eating and drinking. Her couch has the equivalent of a bag of chips and three day’s bus fare under the cushions.
A clean person covers her couch with a tasteful throw and no one, and I mean NO ONE, is allowed to sit on it.
A messy person hacks and coughs, as she writes love notes and funny sayings in the dust on her furniture.
A clean person polishes her furniture until it shines and she can stare at her perfectly coiffed reflection from across the room.
A messy person’s bed looks exactly the way it did when she rolled out of it.cleaningunmadebed3330870850_39bd7af674_z
A clean person’s bed looks like a catalogue advertisement
A messy person moves her piles around to accommodate guests.
A clean person has a guestroom complete with scented candles, designer bedding, and travel-sized toiletries, all the comforts of Martha Stewart’s home.
A messy person looks out the window and notices the sunshine, the blue sky, and the birds flitting from tree to tree. She winds up wondering why everything looks so blurry.
A clean person never gets past the smudges and streaks on the window. After conducting IMG_7444_Fotora thorough cleaning, she steps back to survey her handiwork and notices the drapes need to be vacuumed.
A messy person’s pad smells like Parmesan cheese, dirty socks, and flatulence.
A clean person’s living quarter’s smells like fresh lemons, ocean breezes, or country meadows, depending on her mood and chemical preference that day.
A messy person is spontaneous, carefree, and relaxed. She makes the world more fun.
A clean person is organized, careful, and accomplished. She makes the world more beautiful.
Which one are you?
The world needs us both. 🙂

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Mushy, Gushy Spider

I don’t like spiders. I don’t care that they eat mosquitoes. I can kill my own mosquitoes. spider-452489_1280It’s their appearance that makes me half close an eye and shudder. I can’t even look at pictures without convulsing. They’re hideous from afar. Their supreme ugliness is comparable to the most beautiful flower. I don’t discriminate either; the hairy, hand-like Tarantula, the gawky Daddy Long Legs, the infamous, poisonous, big-bellied Black Widow, the nameless house spider with the chunky body and appendages that looks like it does steroids, the little one that jumps at you when you go in for the kill, I hate them all.
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