My morning? I began by sweeping up debris from recent flooding in our town. I am paying for it physically because I am still recovering from two different spinal surgeries last year, the latter of which was in December. After all, I do have to push myself so that I can get back to being me. Today, it was one sweep at a time. We are lucky if we wake up each morning, but why would I call this a morning to wake up? I think because today there was a bit of a wake up call.
My bonus this morning was that I got to spend it sending out gifts to other people. I granted two wishes last week and a third this week. Two of the ladies were ecstatic that someone had craft supplies to share and send their way. One of the wishes I granted was to a friend who ended up granting me a wish (although she may have not realized it) because I now get to have one of her gorgeous journals that she makes. She was happy that I could sent some things her way (in Canada) for future projects. Another friend sent me a gift, and I now have time and, thanks to her, the materials to try out a new hobby. So, on top of sending her some things that she had been looking for today, and the wish granted from this week, a friend collaborated with me on ideas for a giveaway and a secret gift that we planner gals call RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness). I do hope that the RAK recipient is pleasantly surprised and I can bring a smile to her day when she receives it. In those situations, whether known or unknown, we call it “happy mail.” But other than talking about what we planner gals call packages that we send to each other, what is the purpose of this post?
Sometimes we get lost in our lives, and goodness knows that people can lose connection with the “good” in the world. We can become overwhelmed with obligations and life. I just wanted to say that we need to really “wake up.” It doesn’t take much to make someone else smile. Truly! It does not have to be extremely expensive or be a big production. I don’t think people should do things for others for the praise of the objects that they have given to others; rather, it should be about the thought and the time taken to just share a little with someone else. It can just be words. Words can move mountains and brighten the dreariest of days. So, I hope that when you can (if you can), share a kind word, spread some happiness, invest some time in someone, and brighten someone’s day. It does feel great when we do. We are inherently made to love one another and find the good in people. Is it always going to be appreciated? Probably not. However, what are you risking? … A chance to make someone smile and change their entire day? A chance to connect with someone you don’t know and perhaps make a new friend? It’s truly the smallest of things that can make the greatest difference. After all, we read about these things all of the time…don’t we? Whether large or small, I ask you to take the time today to do something for someone else. Leave that extra tip, send a card, share a kind word, send a message to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while (or better yet, make a call), and make sure that the people you love KNOW you love them.
While I have known for quite some time that this is what makes me happy and makes me feel full in my life, it is when I am in the process of doing a kindness that the joy hits me and can inspire me to do more. Yes, there are negative people in the world and there are also takers, but until we are willing to let go of the anger and disappointment from what has happened in the past, or a time when someone took advantage of our kindness, we will never truly make a difference. I would willingly take 5 minutes of happiness in making someone’s day over a lonely life that is filled with selfishness. If all we spend our lives thinking about and doing is trying to get the latest and greatest possession, we will never truly be happy. WHY? Because as soon as we obtain that object we have been trying to get, there will be another that is better to chase after.
This brings me back to the beginning of what got me started on sending out these packages and granting wishes. Yes, these are material items that I am sending to others; however, they are not costly because I already own them or have found something to give someone that was not terribly expensive. There is a story behind that, a rather ironic twist that as a planner gal, I must share. What brought me into the planner/crafting community last year, which is huge and extends across the world, was a gift from my oldest daughter. It has not been quite a year yet, but I’m almost there. During that time, I’ve met so many people and, for a time, I thought it was a huge obligation to swap, send, buddy up and shop away to get the things that everyone requested or was talking about. I got burned a few times in sending expensive packages to people who did not send one back as promised (this happens in the planner/crafting community just as it would anywhere). I was exposed to groups that had expectations where you were required to participate in everything under the sun to be an active member of the group. If you were inactive, you were not eligible for certain things that the group did or you would be removed from the group. I also learned that there can be a lot of drama on a very large scale if someone steps on the wrong toes. Additionally, I learned that there are people who are solely concerned with what they receive or can get from others. Now…it sounds like it could be a horrible experience and not worth your time if that is all these people do. The fact is that this is not at all how the entire community is. The planner/crafting community is actually much more than that.
In the planner community, there are amazing women who create and share things with others for free. There are women who have groups put together just so that they can share their work with others who want to plan and cannot afford to buy expensive stickers each week or obtain the most expensive sticker collections that some are truly blessed to be able to afford such collections without a blink. The women who do these things have created a way for women who want to plan and craft can do so afford-ably. It allows women to plan or craft at the cost of a planner, printer ink, a pen, paper, glue, or sticker paper. There are people who start amazing projects that people love and look forward to each month and all it really takes is pen and paper, or again, their planner, a printer, a pen, paper, and some glue. These people have followings that are amazing because they are truly talented, AND there is no discrimination between whether someone can or cannot afford something or what products they are using to take part in the groups. Now, what is to gain from being in a group like this if you are giving and not always receiving? That’s the best part.
I can say that I made an amazing friend in another part of the world that I would have never made had I not offered to send her a small sample of some washi that I had (I’ll leave the wonder of washi for another day). In one small sample of washi, I received a very big gift of friendship. This is what I love most about being a planner girl and sending out RAKs and “happy mail.” I get to brighten someone’s day and feel good that I was able to share something small, while in return, I have made some wonderful friends who are genuine and have the greatest hearts.
So, in the end, through being a planner/crafting girl, there are things that we do that most people wouldn’t do on a normal day. We don’t have to own a business to host a giveaway. We share what our weeks look like with each other, sometimes before as well as after. We take time to send something to someone who has been looking for something that we might have and no longer be using. I have literally had a planner girl help me find bags for my daughter’s bridesmaids’ gifts, for her wedding day later this year, from another state because she and I could not find them. A simple birthday card from everyone in a group can fill up one gal’s mailbox and fill her birthday with amazing joy. On the other hand, it could be recovery from surgery and you find that mail keeps coming from the most unexpected people because you just met them (I will never forget that). We are planner nerds and we love crafts. We grant wishes and we send Secret Santa swaps. We have friends that we skype with for hours even though they are in another country and we plan online with hundreds of women once a month because it is fun and you get to have fun with people who share your love of stationary. We compliment each other on decorations and creations, and we fangirl like crazy. We are old. We are young. We know that there is something special each day that we can do when we wake up.