Wednesday, September 29, 2010

100 Awesome People

Cheating a bit by jumping to Day 8, but this was one I was able to combine with another day so I can catch up!

Before presenting my list, I need to explain that some of the people I think are awesome are people whose names I do not know, so I’ve divided my list into two sections: first are those I named and second are those I listed by accomplishment/profession, etc. A lot of the latter are the unsung heroes of everyday life. Maybe that’s cheating, but hey, it’s my awesome!

So first, here are the names of some awesome people whose names I know:

1. Jesus Christ (I debated … God or man, God or man … but had way too much Catholic guilt to leave Him out)
2. Jackie Onassis (grace under fire – awesome!)
3. Mother Teresa
4. Abraham Lincoln
5. Capt. Sulley (pilot of Miracle on the Hudson)
6. Pope John Paul II
7. Paul Newman
8. Bill Wilson
9. George W. Bush (no hatin’ …)
10. Rudy Giuliani
11. Laura at Dr. Sharpe’s office
12. Barbara at Milford Pediatrics
13. Mrs. Harrington, my 4th grade teacher
14. Mrs. Donato, my high school English teacher who nurtured my love of writing
15. Mrs. Tolomeo, my kids’ 3rd grade teacher
16. Mrs. Moe, my daughter’s preschool teacher
17. Mrs. Swift, my daughter’s other preschool teacher – both these ladies were pretty convinced she’d be the first woman president
18. My Seaside Sisters (and Brothers)
19. Mr. Rogers
20. Jim Henson
21. Louis Armstrong
22. Martin Luther King
23. Donna D
24. Gail W
25. Bill O’Reilly (see # 9)
26. Robert Ballard (OK, he’s totally self-impressed, but he did find the Titanic)
27. John Walsh (founder of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – turning a horrible negative into a positive)
28. William Moyers, Jr.
29. Dan Fogelberg
30. Angelina Jolie
31. FDR
32. Winston Churchill
33. Ayn Rand
34. Charles Dickens
35. Andrew Lloyd Webber
36. Frank Wildhorn
37. Eleanor Roosevelt
38. Mary Todd Lincoln
39. John Lennon
40. St. Francis of Assisi
41. St. Monica (you try having St. Augustine as a kid)
42. Bill Gates (sometimes)
43. Gandhi
44. Caroline Knapp
45. Dalai Lama
46. Guy Lombardo
47. Tiger Woods’ wife (nice swing)
48. Derek Jeter
49. Albert Einstein
50. Capt. Edward Smith (Titanic)
51. Claire (my massage therapist)
52. Jill (my hairdresser)
53. Geocaching friends
54. Facebook friends
55. Louise & Sparky
56. Dara
57. Walt Disney

And now for the more generic (but no less awesome) people:

58. 9/11 emergency workers
59. Flight 93 passengers
60. Our troops and veterans
61. Milford Hospital nurses who took care of my dad
62. Apollo 11 astronauts
63. Oncology healthcare workers
64. First responders
65. Teachers
66. Mentors
67. Volunteers
68. Convenience store clerks
69. Fast-food workers
70. The guy who makes the most excellent coffee at Dunkin Donuts
71. Community event organizers
72. Flight attendants
73. American customer service reps (a dying breed)
74. Waitstaff
75. Sanitation workers (only those who do not leave my trash blowing down the street)
76. Toll takers
77. Mail carriers
78. Newspaper delivery people
79. Oil workers
80. American factory workers (another dying breed)
81. Single parents
82. People in recovery
83. Cancer survivors
84. Trauma survivors
85. Hospital workers
86. Farmers
87. Veterinarians
88. Animal rescuers
89. Anyone who was in the Resistance in WWII
90. Civil Rights activists
91. Women’s Rights activists
92. Patriots (the Revolutionary War type, not the football team)
93. Great clients
94. Little old Italian ladies at church
95. Funeral directors
96. Drivers (bus, train, cab, plane …)
97. People who have touched my life in a positive way
98. People who have touched my life in a negative way and forced me to grow
99. People who will touch my life in the future
100. And of course … MOI!

Perform 3 Random Acts of Kindness

Because I'm a word nerd, I had to be sure exactly what I was getting into before beginning this day (technically Day 3 of the 100 Days of Awesome).

According to Wikipedia, "A random act of kindness [RAK] is a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual or in some cases an animal. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happier. [Random acts of kindness can be] either spontaneous or planned in advance."

For some reason I thought it also had to be done anonymously, but perhaps I have it confused with something else. So that not being a caveat, I can think about the people (or animals, evidently) I'd like to make the recipients of my RAKs. Stay tuned ...


So here we are at the end of the day, and I managed -- just barely -- to perform three random acts of kindness with varying degrees of success:

Random Act of Kindness # 1: Succeed

This morning as I left a gathering, a woman I know suddenly felt dizzy and faint. Three of us helped her find a place to rest, called her husband to pick her up, and stayed with her until he arrived to take her home. I could easily have left for work and let the other two people handle the situation, but I decided that in keeping with my goal of performing three random acts of kindness today, I should stay. I ended up about a half-hour late getting to the office, but felt very good about what I had done.

Random Act of Kindness # 2: Fail

I should never have read the “animal” part of the definition. But since we will not be able to take Oreo for a walk over the next few days, I figured he should be the recipient of my second kindness. So although he seemed a bit reluctant, I put him on his leash and headed out. First clue that things were not going well was when a guy four doors down nearly ran us over coming out of his driveway. (I considered committing a random act of violence on the hood of his car, but instead just hollered “WTF!?” in my very best Brooklynese and walked on.)

Rounding the corner, Oreo started the pulling and tugging against the leash. Since my elbow was already bothering me from the last time he jerked me around, I wondered how long this walk would last. The answer: not long. After he dug in his heels a couple more times, I realized this could be a very long and miserable walk, so we turned around and went back home.

Random Act of Kindness # 3: Succeed

Today was our 26th wedding anniversary, so my husband and I went out for a celebration dinner. About halfway through my meal, I realized I had a choice: finish everything on my plate or take the rest home as a special treat for my daughter. The choice was obvious … and not only would I be performing my third random act of kindness, but I was also making room for dessert! A win-win if ever I saw one! This one was very well received (and quickly eaten!) by Liz. And as a special bonus, Oreo got to lick the juices from the plate.


I must say that this exercise was a lot harder than I expected, most likely because I work at home so spend a good deal of time alone. It did force me to think a lot more about what I was doing and what my intentions were throughout the day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thanks, Ryan!

After following Ryan's "100 Days of Awesome" blog, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try some "awesomeness" myself!

The Day One assignment was to recruit someone new, so I emailed Liz and she accepted the challenge.

The Day Two assignment was to write 100 awesome things, so here they are:

100 Totally Awesome Things

1. Being married to my best friend
2. Having two wonderful kids
3. The smell of autumn
4. Geocaching
5. Getting out and hiking in the woods after a stressful week at work
6. Vacation
7. The smell of New Hampshire
8. The ocean
9. Babies
10. Long drives
11. Broadway musicals
12. Reading a great book
13. The feeling of getting into bed at the end of the day
14. 12.30.99
15. When my friends & family really understand me
16. When I really understand my friends & family
17. A great restaurant meal
18. Endorphins
19. Watching the shows I DVR
20. 3-D movies
21. Disney World
22. Italy
23. The house right after it’s been cleaned
24. Christmas morning
25. Lighting a candle at the end of the day
26. Going out for breakfast
27. Having everyone home for dinner
28. Lying out in the sun all day
29. Finally enjoying hikes in the snow
30. Cooking a great meal
31. Shopping for new clothes because the old ones are too big!
32. Finding a great bargain
33. Catalog & Internet shopping
34. My dog … he definitely should have been at the top (sorry, Oreo)
35. Fresh flowers
36. New perfume
37. Kisses & hugs
38. Amusement parks
39. Country fairs
40. Book sales
41. Craft fairs on the Milford Green
42. The Oyster Fest
43. SoNo Arts Festival
44. Trips to NYC, especially at Christmas
45. Barbecues
46. A sunny day when they predicted rain
47. Putting up the new season’s decorations
48. Singing in the car at the top of my lungs
49. Watching the sunset
50. Fireworks set to music
51. Savoring dessert
52. My favorite candy while I’m watching TV
53. Coffee!
54. The iPhone when it works
55. Getting back in touch with old friends on Facebook
56. A day with no drama
57. The feeling of the first big drop on a roller coaster
58. Planning a vacation itinerary
59. Finishing a difficult project at work
60. Getting the check after finishing the difficult project at work
61. That new car smell
62. Swimming
63. Kayaking
64. When my African violet blooms
65. Putting on my PJs
66. Weddings
67. Thanksgiving dinner at my MIL's
68. Phone calls from my daughter and any form of communication from my son
69. Walking my dog
70. Getting a massage
71. FlyLady
72. Trader Joe’s
73. Jacuzzi
74. Listening to my old records
75. Photo albums
76. Getting Christmas shopping done early
77. A freshly painted room
78. Laughing so hard you cry
79. A full night’s sleep
80. Energy drinks
81. Sushi
82. Trying something new and overcoming the fear
83. Helping someone
84. Dancing with abandon
85. The way I feel after a good cry
86. A day with no hot flashes
87. A cold glass of milk
88. Dressing up for Halloween
89. Learning something new about a place you’ve been a million times
90. Listening to a brilliant lecturer
91. Really feeling like you made a difference in someone’s life
92. Having a “God moment”
93. Leftovers
94. Technology when it works
95. Simplicity when technology isn’t working
96. Quiet times
97. The first warm day of spring
98. Love
99. Life
100. All the awesome stuff I forgot to list