26 Acts- The Journey
It took a little over a month, but I finally completed it. I will not claim to have been the most inventive or original, but the journey to complete my 26 Acts has taken me to some fun and unexpected places. Some acts were for total strangers, some for close friends, some for people I never have or will see, but the reward was priceless. That feeling of doing something nice for others is one I want to keep going throughout the year. I chronicled my journey on Instagram (@minkflamingos), but here's a compilation with some reflections on the project overall.
Acts 1 & 2- Amazon Ninja
When I first heard about and decided to take on the 26 Acts project, I was at work. Hmm, what could I do at work? So I hopped onto Amazon.com and went on a hunt through public wishlists. First I looked for somebody who shared my last name and I found him. He lives in Boston and he had a public wishlist asking for a book about punching sharks in the face. How could I deny him this book? So I bought it for him. Then I started looking through baby registries. I finally found a woman who was expecting in just a few short months and had a registry that almost mirrored mine, complete with Star Trek Onesies. I knew I had to get her something from her registry, and I did. I have not heard anything from either of these people, but I hope they got their books and smiled.
I was at Target later that same day. I snagged a gift card at checkout then wandered out to the parking lot. I found a car with a Full Sail parking tag. Done.
This one was so fun. I was enjoying lunch at my favorite restaurant, sitting at the bar. The two businessmen sitting next to me were enjoying some beers with their lunch, so I asked the bartender to put one of their drinks on my tab and I handed them this note on my way out. The guy smiled and thanked me.
Acts 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20 & 23 were the standby and always fun giant tip. I frequently did this with 100% tip at the new breakfast diner by my house. A good server works hard for the money, and seeing how happy a tip like this can make one is priceless.
While wandering around Barnes N Noble doing some last minute shopping, I saw a pregnant woman wandering around the baby books with her husband. I grabbed one of my favorite childhood books and bought it for her and gave her this note on my way out the door. Her smile was definitely one of my favorite moments on this journey.
We had a sudden cold snap in December, and I had a close friend who was still out on maternity leave with her new baby. I had a sneaking suspicion that she, like me, would be disastrously low on cold weather baby clothes. So while I frantically stocked up on long sleeve onesies, I grabbed a cute fuzzy coat and took it to her on my way home.
My coworkers got to be the recipients of several acts. We have lots of meetings, so I brought cookies and snacks to a couple of them for people to share. I took my department out for our semiannual meeting/lunch. I gave the lovely gift of caffeine to my work husband/coworker Drew on numerous occasions. Starbucks, I tell ya, they are definitely reaping the benefits of 26 Acts. In addition to these three coffees I also did the whole drive through "buy the car's drinks behind me" trick (not pictured, instagram wasn't cooperating, but I think it was around Act 17 or so).
I'd seen other people doing this on their 26 Acts so I figured it would be something nice I could do as well. I grabbed some fruit platters (figured they get enough cookies) and some hot cocoa mix (it was chilly) and drove down to my local fire station to say thanks to some very important public servants. As an unexpected bonus, my local firehouse appears to be staffed by the supermodel contingent of firefighters. Helloooooooo Nurse.
My husband was having a poopy day. So I brought him the cutest cookie ever.
These two acts were the result of giant wardrobe and household purges. Epic salvation army donations.
Cake and cookies for my newest batch of students. Popped for the red velvet upgrade, oh yeahhhh.
For Act 24 I played January Santa for some of my friends who recently became or are shortly to become parents. I delivered gifts to the hostess at our favorite restaurant (due in 3 months), the owner/chefs of our favorite restaurant (recently had baby #2), and the owners of our favorite coffee shop (also due in a couple months). Finally, for my tattoo artist (a gentleman I have spent oh-so-many hours with) who recently adopted twins with his wife, I delivered custom ordered onesies with tattoo sleeves attached, so the twins can look like mommy and daddy. I also got to talk about my next tattoo project when I dropped them off.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. That's right, the jew's favorite holiday is not jewish. I can't help myself. I love that time of year. As a kid I loved the presents, of course, but what I really loved was being reunited with distant family. As an adult I absolutely love shopping for gifts for the people in my life. I think the holidays (Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, whatever you want to celebrate) should be about that spirit of giving, and I want to instill in my child the joy that can come from being generous to others. So I'm thinking every year she and I will do 12 Acts of Kindness in the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Maybe we will take toys and stuffed animals she's grown tired of to a children's hospital, maybe when she's older we will go work at a soup kitchen together. Maybe we'll just do some of the little things I did on my own journey to accomplish these first 26 Acts. Either way I can't wait to get started.