Creating, Feeling, Living, Working

Bringing Kindness, Full Stop

February 2, 2016


I’ve wrote about Alex Franzen’s daymaker idea a while ago, but her most recent post It All Matters hit me like a Mack truck, reminding me of this simple, yet profound concept.

 “…if you are willing to make one person’s day a little better than it was before… then you are making a difference, and you might not realize just how big of a difference you are making. It could be the biggest difference of all.”

This is what I forget daily: that we are here to be kind to one another, to be helpful, to be loving. I get so tied up in the productivity, the projects, the what-do-you-want-from-me pains, that I lash out or hunker down, removing myself from the equation entirely.

But this idea, this action item of making someone’s day – doesn’t that turn it all around?

I woke up this morning with these words in my head if I only had 37 days to live, none of this bullshit would matter. And by “bullshit” I meant the stuff in my head I was panicking about. Projects without plans, emails waiting for responses, the calls I “had” to make, the incoming texts, the berating myself for sleeping in/not exercising/wanting too much.

If I only had 37 days to live, I would be down at the ocean, swimming in the 50 degree water, warmer than the air. I would be calling friends, meeting for coffee (all the coffee), getting on a plane to see everyone I love in person one more time. I would be cooking myself lunch, whatever I’m craving, and then cooking the best damn dinner I possibly can for H and I to enjoy when he gets home. I would be out rock climbing every wall and hiking every path in Southern California. I would be writing, writing, writing. And I would be telling everyone “It’s going to be OK” and “I love you” over and over and over again.

That intense focus, like the prick of light through a magnifying glass, is diffused by my daily worries that I’m not enough, I could do more, I’m going to lose it all if I don’t x…y…z.

At the core, the light is my life and the magnifying glass is the lens of viewing my life through my impending death. It’s inevitable, right? We all leave this plane earthly plane eventually. But, what am I doing with the time I do have? And how do I not crumble under the weight of that pressure?

By being a daymaker. That’s how.

It all slides into perfect clarity when I think about it this way.

It doesn’t get much more “important” than that. Remember this power that you hold.  Then go do something — big or small or so very tiny, extraordinary or beautifully ordinary — to make another human being’s day a little better. What you do matters. Every art project. Every email. Every job, even the jobs you don’t love. Every act of care. It all matters.

And with that, I’ll go about today, taking it slowly, measuring by joy, and hopefully making someone’s day, aiming to bring kindness, full stop.

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  • Reply Renee February 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Beautiful words and so relevant for me today on my Crisis Text Line Tuesday. To be quite honest, I’ve felt the time crunch of those volunteer hours – between work, writing, and CTL, it’s hard to find time to meet with friends, and nearly impossible to have more than one day/afternoon off with M every week. Then, like last week, I fall into the role of non-judgmental listener for someone who’s apparently never had that before, I send her a couple book suggestions, and her whole demeanor changes like a huge weight has been lifted since she now has a word to label how she’s been feeling. Gratitude is never expected and that’s not why I do it, but the kind of humanity and kindness some texters express at the end of the conversation just pulls at my heart in an awesome way. Nothing has made me feel more human, more connected. That sort of focus and perspective IS diffused by daily worries, because those matter too – I still haven’t quite figured that out yet, but I think just staying mindful of how fleeting this all is and bringing your awareness back to that in those hurried moments, helps. Even just being out there in the world (or on the blog!) speaking your truth, leading by example is a way to manifest good in the world. Thanks for these words today. <3

    • Reply jtao21 February 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks for reading – and yes “I think just staying mindful of how fleeting this all is” — totally co

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