Happy Saturday! You made it to the weekend! This post is my 100th blog post since resuming blogging a couple months while in shelter-in-home pandemic orders. It’s been incredible to go back through my travel journal and blog about so many of my experiences living abroad (and traveling elsewhere while living in Ireland), and there are so many more memories and blog posts to come that it’s clear to me that I’ve barely scratched the surface - even after 100 posts.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “Yamamori: the best Japanese food in Dublin” - you can click here to read about amazing food that helped a goodbye dinner feel more like “goodbye for now.” Before that post was “youtube, a chalk horse, and stonehenge," which was about how I spent my 30th birthday weekend in England last year, watching youtube and soccer and seeing several UNESCO World Heritage Sites with my friends from Villanova! If you’re all caught up, we’ll be doing something a bit different today.
I’m sure I don’t need to harp on the fact that the world is in an interesting place with everything going on right now, which is why today’s post will be another list. I did “31 lessons for 31 years” the other day in honor of my 31st birthday, but today I’m going to be providing another list - 100 small kindnesses to help pay kindness forward. You never know how large an impact a small kindness can have on someone else’s life. Now, some of these may not be possible right now due to current social distancing etiquette, but this is a list that’s important regardless of whether or not the world is in the midst of a global pandemic.
100 Small Kindnesses to Help You Pay It Forward!
Hold a door open for someone entering or exiting the same building as you.
Smile at a stranger. Even though we’re wearing masks, you can still see it in someone’s eyes. If smiling feels insufficient, offer a wave and a nice ‘how are ya?’
Pop some spare change into a vending machine. You never know who might be a nickel short and appreciate your help to get that drink or snack.
Pay for someone’s coffee behind you in line.
Help out a local teacher pay for classroom supplies or additional masks.
Let someone go ahead of you in line.
Do a chore for someone in your life without them knowing.
Send a hand-written letter to a friend, veteran, or nursing home occupant. There have been some viral social media campaigns offering small tidbits of information about some people wanting letters in nursing homes. Their family members can’t visit right now because of Covid-19, so help make their worlds a little less lonely.
Toss some coins in a meter running low. Parking tickets are the worst!
Give your loved one a back massage.
Thank those on the frontline for doing jobs most of us take for granted.
Donate the things you’re no longer using or no longer need. There is always someone worse off than you who needs it more.
See a face-down penny on the sidewalk? Set it heads-up for someone to find.
Mail a book you love to someone you know who you think would enjoy it.
Bake some cookies for the local fire department.
Tell someone how much you love them/the impact they’ve had on your life.
Say thank you to someone for all the small things they do.
Ask your neighbors how they’re dealing with everything, and attentively listen.
Give an unexpected, genuine compliment.
Let someone else pick what to watch on TV.
Spread some encouragement and positivity online.
Take time to appreciate a sunrise and/or sunset and share the experience with someone.
Hold space for someone’s negative feelings without trying to fix the situation.
Send coloring books to kids in the hospital.
Tip your waiter/delivery driver a little extra.
Make someone a homemade gift.
Save your pop tabs from your cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.
Volunteer at your local food bank… alternatively, donate if you’re not able to physically volunteer.
Make a deal with a friend where you pick one day to not complain about anything.
Write a list of a friend’s best qualities and the things you admire about them, and mail it to that friend.
Help carry groceries for someone who is struggling.
Make breakfast in bed for someone.
Don’t honk when someone cuts you off in traffic. Let it go.
Buy a movie ticket/rent a movie for someone else.
Do a 5K (or some type of athletic endeavor) for a good cause.
Buy lunch for the homeless.
Make dinner for a family in need. Many are struggling, especially right now.
Participate in a fundraiser.
Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
Offer a night of free babysitting to parents who need a break.
Plant a tree in your neighborhood.
Do a favor for someone without asking for anything in return.
Take someone who hasn’t seen your neighborhood before on a personalized tour.
Give a couple extra dollars to the local ice cream shop or ice cream truck so they can treat a kid to a free ice cream.
Pay for a stranger’s overdue library fees.
Send some valentine’s cards - sure, it’s not Valentine’s Day right now, but that makes it even more fun.
Give some water (or La Croix) to your mailman and delivery drivers. They work their butts off all day and need to hydrate, too!
Offer to take a photo for a couple taking a selfie.
Send a donut delivery to your favorite coworker.
Water your neighbor’s lawn/flowers.
Give someone a gift card you don’t intend to use.
Plan a surprise for someone - whether it be a party or just dinner.
Mentor someone in your field with less experience than you.
Make time for and spend time with your older family members. Ask them about what life was like for them growing up.
Pay for someone’s dry cleaning.
Prepare someone their favorite lunch for the day.
Do the laundry even if you did it last time.
Write a kind note and leave it on a random car.
Mow the lawn for your neighbor if you’re doing yours anyway.
Give up your seat on public transport for someone who looks like they need it more than you.
Offer someone your pen if they’re looking for one.
Recommend your favorite book/movie to a friend.
Make a cup of tea for someone who appears stressed. Remind them it’s okay to slow down for a few minutes.
Take your younger siblings out to play in the rain.
Also, take them to the park!
Write someone an encouraging poem.
Celebrate your own ‘Best Friend Appreciation Day.’
Help the older people in your life figure out technology. It’s one of the only ways for them to see their loved ones right now.
Be patient with everyone. We’re all doing our best, and ‘our best’ looks different for different people.
Offer to give a friend a ride home.
Pick up the tab for you and your friend.
Pick up trash you see in the road and throw it away.
Pick up the recycling you see in the road, and recycle it.
Help homeless animals find their fur-ever homes.
Feed the birds in the park.
Leave some spare change by a fountain in case any little kids want to make a wish.
Send the hair you get cut off to a donation center.
Give your umbrella to a stranger.
Volunteer to work some overtime at your job.
Buy dessert for another table/order.
Wash a neighbor’s car for free.
Reconnect with old friends, and find out what’s new in their lives.
Hide a few dollars in random places for strangers and people in need to find.
Do the dishes without being asked.
Buy a card for a loved one just because.
Volunteer at a vet’s office or animal shelter.
Take care of someone’s pet while they take a much-needed getaway.
Write a thank you note for your mail carrier or your local grocer.
Collect money or donated items for your favorite charity.
Setup a mini give-and-take library in your neighborhood where people can leave a book and take a book.
Pay the toll for the person driving behind you.
Surprise a loved one with that thing they’ve been wanting for awhile but just won’t allow themselves to buy.
Adopt an animal online.
Give air high fives to everyone you see (this is very popular with baristas, grocery store frontline, etc.).
Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
Hand out free balloons.
Offer someone a piece of gum when you get one for yourself.
Pull out someone’s chair for them at the table or open the car door for them.
Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
100. Be kind to yourself. It all starts with you!
The world is still in a place that none of us has experienced before. We’re all learning as we go with a lot of uncertainty in the future. Number 100 on this list is super important, which is why I saved the most important thing for last. Kindness starts with you being kind to yourself. That way, when it comes time to spread kindness and pay it forward to other people, you’ll know what to do because you’ll have practiced kindness with yourself all along. This was a pretty long post, but I’m so happy you took the time out of your day to read it. Be kind to yourself and to each other.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal
72. derry dining chains
73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!
74. Spontaneity is Key
75. Dear Nana
75. blasket island centre
76. Nana's blue tin cookies
77. a dance lesson in Dublin
78. dublin to Royal Portrush
79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship
80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food
81. Irish beachy wild women
82. my Irish love, Cork
83. my Irish love, Cork: hot chocolate
84. my Irish love, Cork: knit life
85. my Irish love, Cork: English Market
86. my Irish love, Cork: Blackrock Castle
87. one year ago today
88. pastis and the French Riviera
89. French Alps swim session
90. French weddings
91. Saucisson and delicious olives
92. wine and mustard at Château Virant
93. beers, brats, and salt mine showers
94. salted white dresses and blue satin sashes
95. salt mines and bowling alleys
96. science tea and pure comedy
97. 31 lessons for 31 years
98. youtube, a chalk horse, and stonehenge
99. Yamamori: the best Japanese food in Dublin