I have a summer shirt that says "Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti." I wear it often because sprinkling (or throwing) kindness is something I've tried to do since I was a young girl. It's a way of life I learned from my beloved grandma. But, while I try to make kindness to others a part of my daily life, I rarely extend that kindness to myself. I'm sure many of you can relate. This summer that changes.
It's been a difficult year for all of us. Our plans are on hold, or cancelled, our futures uncertain. You may have a friend or loved one who has battled COVID or be mourning their loss. My heart and prayers are with you if that's the case.
Summer, with the fun and adventure it usually brings, has been turned on its head. Vacations, concerts, book conferences, neighborhood parties, and more have all been cancelled. Am I disappointed? Yes, but I'm okay with that. I'd rather be safe, and keep others safe, by staying home, social distancing, and wearing a mask when I do need to venture out. Plus, more time to read books, yes? Have to look for that silver lining.
I may not be able to visit my family overseas (but we have FaceTime), entertain friends (but ZOOM parties help), or attend the events I had planned for this summer but I can still find ways to brighten my days. Last month, I noticed the fresh cut flower arrangements at the grocery and thought about how much they always make me smile. Then I thought about the fact that I never buy flowers for myself. Why don't I buy flowers for myself? They aren't that expensive and if they make me smile while at the store, think about how much they would make me smile in my home? So, for the past few weeks, I've started giving myself a bouquet of flowers once a week. They lift my spirits and make me feel good about each day ahead. They make me happy and, you know what? I deserve that. And, so do you.
In these difficult times, especially, we should all make it a practice to extend kindness to others but don't forget to save some for yourself too.
Do you ever cut fresh flowers from your garden to grace your home? Or bring home a fresh bouquet from the store?
Pick up a quart of your favorite ice cream, just because?
Turn off the news and dance to tunes that make you hum, or sing along? (For me, it's the Beach Boys. Never fails!)
Ditch the list of chores and lose yourself in a romance happily ever after?
Tell me how you're being kind to yourself this summer.
Three people who comment will receive a package of books from my stash. And maybe, once you've read them, you can extend a kindness to another reader by passing some of them on to new homes and brightening someone else's day.
*Must be 18
*U.S. addresses only
*Giveaway ends 11:00 PM, July 11