When I was a kid, the most important thing about celebrating my birthday was all the Hoopla. You know…the cake, candles, gifts…basically, the whole shebang! However, as I became an adult, my outlook started to change. I grew out of the whole birthday party scene. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating with my friends and family. I guess I outgrew the need for the spotlight. So this year, for my birthday I am having a party! Say What?!! Didn’t I just say I outgrew the whole birthday party routine? Yes, I did. Before you point out the hypocrisy of this situation. Let me explain…
My motto in life is to “Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin'”. Many people know me for my motto and my smile. However, my life has not been all smiles. Life has thrown me curve balls…cerebral palsy, scoliosis, surgeries, visual deficits, pain, limited income, etc… My approaching birthday has made me reflect back on my life, curve balls, smiles and everything in between.
I have never gone to bed hungry. Despite my limited income, I have always had plenty of food. In fact, the beef fairy (aka my dad) recently filled my freezer. My mom diligently shops for me to make sure I get the best deals. I even have enough to budget monthly for a pizza delivery or a meal out.
I have never lacked proper clothing. My CP definitely helps with that in several ways, especially when it comes to shoes. Think of it this way, wheeling is a lot easier on clothes and shoes than walking is! Additionally, many people buy me clothes as a gift, especially fun t-shirts. It has kind of become one of my trademarks! So as long as I don’t shrink or grow, I am golden in the clothing department!
I may not have a mansion. However, I have a nice, quiet apartment. Additionally, I have great neighbors and even a place to plant a small garden outside. My building is more than just a group of people co-existing under the same roof. We all look out for each other. We are a small community within a community. I have never in my life had to worry about where I was going to lay my head down at night. My parents always made sure my brother and I had a nice home to live in. When I entered adulthood, I moved into my current apartment building. My mom and caregivers make sure it stays nice and clean for me.
Even though I was without a vehicle for a bit, I have always been able to go places. A group of friends got together to raise money for a safe vehicle for me to get around in. My friends, family and community were all responsible for making that happen by attending and helping with the fundraiser. A family I had never met reduced the price of their vehicle to make it affordable for me. However, even without a vehicle I have access to the public transportation system in my town. If I can find someone to power walk with me I can pretty much buzz anywhere.
Although I am lonely from time to time and desire a partner, I am not alone. I have an incredible support system of friends and family. My blog has expanded this support via the internet. Over the past few years, I have met some incredible and inspiring people. I know that in a time of crisis, I have numerous others who I can call on. Because of the support from my mom and caregivers, I am able to live an active, independent life.
So basically, I am one lucky man! I may not have tons of material things, but those things aren’t important to me. Well…except for my PS4, TV and my computer for my blog. Other than that, my wants are few.
You may be asking “What is the point of this blog?” Well, I am about to tell you. I want my birthday celebration to be about those who are not as fortunate as I am. I want my birthday to be about community and random acts of kindness. So I have asked my friends and family to bring a donation of food or a gift card to my birthday celebration. I will then hand them out to my neighbors. You see, my neighbors are not as lucky as I am. Many struggle and do not have the support system I have. I get to have a kickass time laughing and spending time with those who enrich my life and I also get to give to those who need a bit of light in their lives.
So I am going to ask for one more thing for my birthday. I am asking all my readers to do a random act of kindness for a loved one, friend, stranger or themselves. If possible, take a photo of the act of kindness or simply summarize it. Please email the photo or summary to me at email@example.com. I want to compile all the acts for a blog/video in the near future so it will prompt others far and wide to start a chain reaction of smiles and kindness.
Here are a few ideas of random acts of kindness:
Leave a surprise in a library book: a dollar bill, a positive message or a drawing.
Send a postcard. You can even do this on-line with Touch Note. This would put a smile on anyone’s face!
Send a handwritten letter to someone you have not connected with in a while.
Leave a generous tip with a nice note. Servers have to deal with so much on a daily basis. Be a stand out person in their day.
Pick up trash around town. With the snow melting, more trash is visible. Leave a place better than you found it!
Ask a senior citizen about their past.
Tell a stranger a joke.
Pay for someone’s meal.
Leave a positive comment on a sticky note and place it on your co-worker’s desk.
Leave quarters at the laundromat or give your quarter to someone at Aldi’s.
Bake someone a cake.
Cheer on a teammate.
Give a local business a good review on-line.
Send someone a Good Morning or Good Night text.
Give a gift card to a friend “just because”.
Visit a nursing home. Read or sing to a resident.
Let someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store.
Compliment a parent about how well-behaved their child is.
Call or text everyone you know and tell them you love them.
Send a care package.
Listen when no one else wants to.
Give someone a shoutout on social media.
Buy a box of chocolate bars and hand them out to fellow shoppers.
Tell someone they are beautiful.
Thank you and I look forward to opening my email in the upcoming days!
Until next time, Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’!!
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