Life has a natural ebb and flow of the good and the bad. Sometimes when it rains it pours while at other times life is beautiful and so good. If you look close enough, you’ll take notice that the world is rooting for you. We just need to pay attention.
Let’s get slightly philosophical for a moment. My absolute favorite thing about life in general is spontaneity. So much of our day to day is controlled by one thing or another, so when something is out of order, or different, it feels exciting. My second favorite thing about life is good, nice, people. So what do you get when you put these two things together? Something as good as a delicious fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie: impromptu goodness.
In the last few weeks, I was the lucky recipient of some impromptu goodness. There’s a chance that you were too, but may be you just haven’t thought about it in this way. Lately, when I have had trouble sleeping, I have deep thoughts on this topic, and I know- sincerely- that Jack Handy would be jealous.
Let’s talk about it. On a random week night while running to my car after work, I had a message notification from a close friend on Facebook. I usually don’t check Facebook right before I get into the car because I get sucked in and it slows me down. It is not ideal to get sucked in because I’m always running late picking up my two boys from their schools. But for whatever reason, I pressed the little message and opened it. It was a video (GIF) of some really enthusiastic random guy with a beard telling the viewer how awesome they are over and over in different ways. Can I tell you that I felt so happy, tears of joy were running down my face? It might sound stupid or cheesy but this made my day people! Oh is it EVER the little things that count! How I needed that positive boost for my drive home, instead of the usual pit in my stomach while rushing to get to my sons’ schools to ensure I’m not charged extra for getting there late. Also, getting that kind of pick me up at the end of a crap work day is also pretty much the best medicine you can ask for!
The baffling thing is how one thoughtful gesture no matter how big or small can completely make someone’s day magic. We all have the power to do this, so why don’t we do more of it? When you feel crummy, of course you won’t be doing this. But what if someone gave you some of this goodness while you were down eh? It’s like pizza at the gym! Bad analogy, but you get it. I know you do.
Who wouldn’t want their own personal Stuart Smalley following them around telling them everyday, “Darling, you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!” We’d start to feel like the Little Engine that Could. I think I Can, I think I Can….
A few days ago I received a bouquet of flowers from my husband, when he got home from work to let me know he appreciated something I had done for him. Truly, what I had done was just an everyday wifely show of support really. It didn’t warrant flowers by any means. But again! Impromptu goodness at its finest. He flipped the script on an otherwise average day!
A day or two after that, I received a really kind and thoughtful email from a friend out of the blue. This friend was touching base and it meant very much. This email was chock full of compliments. What? Are you talkin’ to me? Who doesn’t love that? Pour it on anytime. Thank you friend.
My next door neighbor should have her picture next to the definition of this concept I’ve invented. Impromptu Goodness = Irene. She is this sweet little old lady who leaves goodies on our doorstep for the kids and sometimes for us. I often feel like a jerk because I don’t reciprocate as much as I’d like to and she always thinks to do something for every little holiday. Irene’s impromptu goodness meter is at like 110%. I know it makes her feel immensely good inside to give to others so I accept it with a smile and try to get over the guilt I have about the reciprocity because I know she’s not tallying any bananas.
When someone does something kind for you, don’t you just want to do something kind in return? It sets off this weird chain reaction. At least this is how I feel when this happens. It’s as though the universe has literally just poked me and I’m the Pillsbury doughboy giggling and making it rain with heart shaped sprinkles.
Impromptu goodness can be smiling at everyone you see, even if you’re not feeling it. I tried it out the other day and it felt great. You never know what someone’s going through; engaging them in friendly conversation or giving them a compliment could really give their mood the lift it needs to get beyond the obstacle their dealing with at the moment. Or you can always just walk by them with a pouty face if they are a nasty mean person.
One of my favorite things to do is compliment a stranger. I think it’s the Midwesterner in me. Doing this puts good mojo out into the world and it will surely come back in some way, shape, or form.
Try out some impromptu goodness today and let me know how it goes. Share someone’s post, text an old friend to tell them you’re thinking of them, send an old picture of a hilarious memory, call someone you miss dearly, make a date with friends you love, surprise your significant other, get down to your kid’s eye level and tell them in a funny voice they’ve never heard before that you love them to pieces. Do things out of the ordinary- that are kind.
When it feels like the universe can’t possibly throw another lemon on the pile, and these bursts of unexpected sugar get sprinkled in, it cuts right through the bitter and makes it sweet again. We have to take notice and realize this is the beauty of spontaneity in life that is shining a light in to say- I’m here for you. None of us are alone. It will get better.