I'm dusting of this neglected site to tell you a little story. On January 2nd of this year, I resolved that the year would be one of doing for others. Each day, I decided, I would do something for someone. That simple. Large or small gesture, small or large effort. A favor, an exercise, a hand, a connection.
I did not meet my goal.
But I did try. And that made a big difference, to me. When I set out with the resolution in mind, the first few weeks were a bit electric for me because I was focused, looking out for an opportunity, charged with my mission. But January gives way to February and time moves deeper into the new year and resolutions and fresh starts can fade as the ever-present demands of the mundane creep into the day. Still, I found that after my intense focus, I had developed a habit of sorts of seeing the opportunity, recognizing it, rather than searching for it. I've read that it takes 30 days to break or create a habit, and I think that, give or take a few days, this is true.
What I found is that holding a door open or retrieving something from a high shelf for an elderly grocery shopper, or waving someone ahead of me in traffic, are all tiny things, almost effortless really, but the feeling inside is not tiny. The feeling inside is one of warmth from being connected. I didn't expect that. I found that in giving of myself, I was opening up to the world around me, involving myself in its rhythm and feeling less alone and move alive through these tiny connections. I found that I smile more, have healthier thoughts and a bit of wonder back in me. What will it be that I can do today? What will I discover in my path?
I'd like to think that these little gestures add a bit of sparkle to the world, just the tiniest bit. They definitely add that to my world. So much so that I'm keeping the goal through the new year. I like where it takes me. I like the smiles.