Saturday, November 28, 2009
"we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give"
After deciding on my blog title, I googled "Random Acts of Kindness" Twenty minutes later I was still sitting watching the quotes scroll round on their home page. Possibly THE simplest idea ever created by a human being, I love the premise - perform one act of random kindness a day.
I've seen so many examples - the traditional things like paying for the person behind you at the drive through, or for someone else's dinner in the restaurant; little things, like post-it notes on mirrors or notes in someone's pigeon hole; bigger things, like the guy who not only helped us get our suitcases on the train in Rome but who went and got a luggage trolley and actively came and found us when we got to the airport, or like the person I saw the other day scraping their next door neighbours windscreen free of ice before driving off.
Random Acts of Kindness always makes me think of one lady at my church who's ministry really could be random acts of kindness. She is ALWAYS smiling, and always so glad to see her friends and check up on them and make them smile in turn. Even her Facebook life makes people smile - her profile picture is a dancing Little Miss Sunshine, and her presence on everyone's pages - commenting on things, sharing good times and celebrating achievements - cheers people immeasurably when they see it. Little things really do mean a lot.
"The wind is real, but you can't see the wind - you can only see the leave rustling in the trees.
Pain is real, but you can't see pain, you only see tears. Happiness is real, but you can't see
happiness. You can only see the smile on someone's face"
For me, seeing that smile is enough.
Friday, November 27, 2009
This weekend just gone was another epic "first" of my life. After many trips to Weymouth, I'd never yet managed to see the lighthouse lit up after dark - we were always on the wrong side of the bay, or just plain in the wrong place. I've read Anne's House of Dreams; I've been to Montauk Point; I've been up Portland Bill each time I've visited The Drummer's parents, but in my twenty-three years, I've never seen a lighthouse lit up after dark.
After a little persuasion this weekend, The Drummer ventured out with me to the top of Portland Bill and we were greeted with the most amazing sight - in the pitch black, eight beams of light, rotating round and round, each one lighting up the hazards and shining far out to sea, warning the ships of the danger. The bill was so stormy that we couldn't even get out the car, but the sheer majesty of the lighthouse; the elegance of the beams of light; the safety is was bringing to the people out at sea - it was one of the most moving, humbling experiences I've ever had.
No matter how small or insignificant you're feeling, there's always something bigger than you out there to show you the way.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
"Wouldn't it be fun if all the castles in the air which we make could come true, and
we could live in them?"
Jo, Little Women
When I was a little girl, if I was very poorly or very sad, I was allowed to curl up on the sofa under the blue and white stripey duvet and watch videos. If I was ill for longer than a day, I would watch Little Women (the first day of any illness being taken up with Narnia) (and we're talking BBC 1980s here, none of this new film malarky) and so it has always been well up there in my favourite stories of all time ever. Depending on the time of day/wind direction/color of their dresses, I would variously want to be each of the girls, but what never changed was my love of the idea of castles in the air. Everyone has castles in the air - we all have our dreams and wants and desires, and we all want them to come true.
When I was little, I used to agree with Jo, but now I'm not so sure. I've gone through times where I've thought I've known what I wanted and been impatient for my castle to become reality. Patience is not an overly well-developed virtue of mine, but sometimes, the castles are waiting or changing for good reasons.
I'm glad that a lot of my castles haven't come true. I'm even gladder that the special ones have.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We all know that Disney films give girls unrealistic expectations about hair. And men. Whilst our hair has become an acceptedly un-winnable daily battle that will never go away, our expectations about men remain unachievably high (since they are, after all, only human)
Growing up on a diet of Disney princesses finding their prince sets the bar very high for the poor darlings that have to compete with Prince Charming on his white horse and in some way maintain that standard every day of a relationship's life. And its not just a case of competing with our childhood Disney Princes. Oh no. Right when a girl is at her most anxy and hormonal, along comes The Notebook. Love Actually. The Holiday. And all the rest of the chick flicks with perfect guys loving in perfect ways.
Now, be under no disillusion - the path to true love doesn't run smooth. We are SO aware of that. Big leaves Carrie at the alter, but we still all want a real life Big to woo us again with love letters and propose on his knees in the end. We all want a Miles to make us fetucchini and sing to us in Blockbuster. We all want to end up in the relationship where our Noah will tell us our story day after day when we're too old to remember.
And I've found it. I'm settled. I'm the luckiest girl alive to have The Drummer loving me and wanting me to be his. I don't need huge soppy displays of his love; I don't need adoring emails and txts; I don't need constant reminders of his love, because I *know* that he loves me. When it comes to it, he celebrates the good stuff, holds me until the bad stuff stops hurting, cries with me when I cry. I don't need anything more. If I'd put together all the best bits of all the films, I still couldn't have come up with a guy better that him, no matter how many times I watch Pride and Prejudice. He's my Darcy. My Big. My Prince Charming.
The love letters though...Big, that was a winner.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When I was little, I used to have an absolutely appalling habit of flicking straight to the back page of a book to see how it ends. I'm getting better at not doing that, although my gosh does it take a lot of self-control not to do that anymore!!
I was reading something the other day and went to flick to the end when the afternoon of my first date with The Drummer popped in to my mind - he'd just acquired Season 7 of Star Trek Voyager and I didn't want to work my way through the previous 6 seasons just to answer my childhood question of how they got home, so begged him to let us watch the last 2 eps. His look of horror as he asked whether I was "the sort of person who did that with books too" made me laugh (and also maybe fear a little for our long-term future**)
He had a point though - going straight to the end might give you the same result as working your way through, but with nowhere near as much knowledge and answers and reasons why. "Just because" is all very well when it comes to Star Trek questions, but I never want to only have "just because" as an answer to a question about my life because I was too busy skipping to the end to enjoy what I have
"Your life is like a book...don't jump to the end to see if its worth it. Just enjoy
life and make those pages filled with beautiful memories"
I have some spaces left. Come fill them with me.
** this fear disappeared as we were settling down in front of the finale and he asked me whether I'd read the last page of the book of "Us" and whether it was a good one *swoon*
p.s. Ten points for the first person to tell me where the title is a quote from...