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33 random acts of kindness, a.k.a. happy birthday to me!

Hi Reader (readers? is there more than one of you?),

Guess what!? Today is my birthday! In celebration, I’ve decided to take the day off work* and try to accomplish 33 acts of kindness. I’m going to blog about all of them in this post (hopefully updated throughout the day) so you can check back here to hold me accountable for completing all 33.

I have a list of about 25 acts of kindness that I’m hoping to complete today, and the rest will be truly random acts of kindness that I’m relying on the universe to present to me. Here’s hoping I don’t get to number 20 and decide to throw in the towel and get a margarita.

Time’s a wastin’, so I’m running out the door now to knock out my first act of kindness. If you want to help me celebrate my birthday, you can complete your own act of kindness today. Leave a note in the comments if you do!!

*decidedly not an act of kindness towards my coworkers, who will have to pick up my slack

1. There is a longer story behind this, but the man who lives I this apartment has to crawl on all fours to get his paper in the morning (unfortunately I’ve witnessed it while on a run – he lives about 4 miles away). Today I tucked the paper inside his door so he doesn’t have to bend (crawl) to get it.

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2. Picked up donuts on the way home and left the nugget behind the counter a nice tip.

3. Dropped off said donuts at the firehouse near my house.

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4. Took the neighbor’s dog for a walk. I know, this dog is so fat that it’s actually an act of cruelty that I don’t walk it every day.

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5. Raked the neighbor’s leaves.

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6. Picked up all of the trash (read: Halloween candy) from the block.

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7. Went to my fave coffee shop. Left a note on the mirror in the bathroom Operation Beautiful style.

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8. I got my favorite barista at the coffee shop! yay! I ordered my latte, then told him I wanted to pay for the next person who came in too. While I was waiting for my latte, a girl came in and ordered. The barista told her that her coffee was on me. She just looked at him and said “what do you mean by that?” it was hilarious and adorable.

9. Left a large tip for my fave barista, and told him he had to keep it because it’s my birthday, and traditionally I get whatever I want on my birthday.

10. Mini tune-up for the bikes parked at the nearby high school: pumped up tires that were low and greased all the chains. (Ruby helped)

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11. Wrote and mailed a note to a family friend in the armed service.

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12. I finally got a Yelp account and gave 5 star reviews to my favorite neighborhood places!

13. I sent flowers to my mom, with a note thanking her for pushin’ me out 33 years ago today. Oh, and some other pain I might have caused her (more or less every day during the years 14-17). Love you, mom!

14. DR-Dad just called to remind me that “kindness starts at home” (I know, what would I do without him, right?). All joking aside, I’m not quite sure what I would do without him, so I called up Great Harvest and had some of his favorite cookies delivered. That should keep him quiet for a while.

15. I donated to WBEZ. I’m already a member, but I listen so much that I probably still owe them more :)

16. Refilled the poop bag holder at the dog park.

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17. Dropped off some fresh new tennis balls at the dog park. This was the best – the dogs went wild!

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18. Found the first person in line at Bed Bath & Beyond without a coupon and gave them mine.

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19. Donated my retired running shoes to the Back On My Feet drop center at Fleet Feet.

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20. Handed out water to runners on the lakefront. This was much more popular than I expected.

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21. Went to Watertower and took pictures for tourists. This was like taking candy from a baby, there were so many tourists. I could have been there all day!

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22. Went to the Chicago red line stop and have directions to tourists. Again, candy from a baby. I think I gave 4 people directions to the Sears Willis tower.

23. Waited for people at the el stop to use the CTA card vending machine and offered to pay for their ride. While I was waiting, my friend Emily showed up on her way to the dentist! She had forgotten her card so I was able to pay for her ride too!!!

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24. Went to the Jewel. Returned carts for old ladies.

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25. Again at the Jewel. Handed out two coupons, and complimented my cashier to the manager.

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26. Donated Ruby’s old crate and several other items on Chicago Canine Rescue’s request list (we adopted Ruby from here!)

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27. Walked a dog that is up for adoption. This is Reinhart. Super sweet, but I wouldn’t say he has the best leash skills ever.

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28. Food donation to Lakeview Pantry.

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29. Produce and food donation sorting at Lakeview Pantry. This took about 3 hours, which is why you didn’t hear from me for a while!

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30. Filled the Huz’s gas tank.

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31. Volunteered at Bethel New Life to teach a cooking class to 3rd graders. Best 2 hours ever. We made veggie pizzas. Coincidentally, it was another girl’s birthday as well. I asked her how old she was, and she said 9. Then she asked me how old I was, and I told her 33. She said, “Oh, you are young. My mom is older than you.” Then I kissed her. (For now let’s ignore the fact that when asked what her favorite vegetable was, this girl shouted out “Chicken!”)

32. Gave rides home to two other volunteers from the cooking class. <fist bumbs with universe>

33. Huz took me out to dinner at Handlebar (yay!). My very last act was to buy a round of drinks for some adorbs hipsters sitting at the bar discussing the meaning of life. Because these discussions should always be encouraged, especially with alcohol. Cheers!

Thanks to all of my amazing friends and family for their encouragement – it was a long day but really fun knowing I had people cheering me on :) XOXO

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Save the date

Chicago friends,
If any of you are headed to the Ravenswood Art Walk in 2 weeks, you are invited to a show that includes some of my photos. Note: if you read this blog, there isn’t much to see in terms of my photos. But what you should come to see is my friend Jette’s photos of abandoned buildings in Gary (and ask her if you can see the one she took a few days before they knocked down Cabrini Green). Or Nelson’s photos that show a side of 1970s Afghanistan that I can guarantee you have never seen before. Or the picture Khabrim took the day after the big Chicago snow storm last year. That one took my breath away the first time I saw it.

I’ll be there all weekend, standing next to some lame pictures of food.

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