30 Acts of Kindness

I turned 30 this year.

Thirty.

Unlike many of my peers (and those who have come before me), I’ve always been kind of excited for my thirties. My mom always said I was three going on thirty, so maybe I internalized it as my true age. It wasn’t like my twenties had been all that kind to me either: my dad’s cancer, a house fire, and neuro Lyme are enough to make one long for better days. And that’s what the dawning of a new decade was for me.

I thought a lot about my thirtieth birthday through time. I wanted to do something big, something special to bring in the decade that seemed to announce to the world that, twelve years later, you are actually now an adult (for me, an adult with a house, two dogs, a husband, and two young kids). What I planned for a decade was a trip to London and Scotland. While I had been to London when I was fifteen on a school trip, I wanted time to soak in the English culture. And I wanted to spend my birthday at Wimbledon.  I also wanted to travel the Scottish Highlands, hoping that Diana Gabaldon had not led me astray in my love of the Scottish heritage. And then they announced London as the host city for the 2012 Olympics, an event that would fall shortly after my birthday. And then I got pregnant. I didn’t want to travel abroad with a four month old, and I didn’t really want to be caught in the chaos that would be preparation for the Olympics (though I would love to go to those one day as well).

As it turned out, Dan’s brother planned his wedding for the week before the big 3-0. And he was getting married two hours from where I grew up in Virginia (across the country from where we lived and where his brother had grown up). The beach, rolling hills of Virginia, and D.C. were going to have to be an adequate substitute for Scotland. But still, I had no idea what I wanted to do to mark the birthday that I felt was one of the biggest in my life thus far.

My mom turned sixty two days before me. Thirty had been rough for her (though who could blame her since she was nine months pregnant), and sixty seemed to be another birthday milestone that reminded all of us that this life is short. We were together in Virginia, and I felt like there was a missed opportunity for embracing what should have been a celebration of her life thus far and all of the life left in front of her. I wanted to mark my birthday in a meaningful way, doing something that reflected both the struggles and triumphs of my first thirty years. Thirty acts of kindness was created. Thirty acts for thirty years.

I can honestly say that it was the best birthday I’ve had. I asked friends to participate as well, doing an act of kindness for others in lieu of gifts. What was amazing to me was that in being selfless, I found that others were actually more invested in my birthday. Instead of just the Facebook Happy Birthdays, I had messages of dinners made, Starbucks bought, neighbors called. What a gift!

As it turned out, the day was over before thirty acts were complete. But the day wasn’t about hitting a number, achieving a goal. It was about happiness and love. And the twenty+ acts I did perform were meaningful. I took Subway sandwiches to a fire station, honoring the firemen who go out of their way to protect us; I handed out $10 bills to random people, which was actually one of the most difficult acts, not because I had a hard time letting go of $10 but because it’s kind of awkward and outside the bounds of societal norms to hand people money, telling them to have a good day; I picked up shopping carts at Target. We posted messages along a walking trail; I brought flowers to a cancer wing at the hospital and asked them to give them to someone having a particularly hard day; I visited the mother of my oldest friend from preschool who lost her husband when I was in college and who I hadn’t seen in over a decade. I spent time with my husband; I treated myself. Kindness.

I’ve reflected a lot on that day, about how much joy was created in my life as a result. Christmas, too, is a time for kindness, for joy. I have complained in the past about how much I give to others, how much time I invest in finding the right gift (I truly love getting people the perfect gift). And yet, I never feel that time reciprocated. I get cheese puffs (we don’t eat cheese puffs), cash, and from others, nothing. So I decided to pare down my Christmas list, buying only a few things for a few family members, and instead focusing on others, those for whom I expect nothing in return. This year Christmas will be about investing in others, giving – but in a way that gives more meaning to the Christmas season to me. And in a way that brings me joy. I hope you will join me on the journey.

 

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196 thoughts on “30 Acts of Kindness

  1. Pingback: About 25 Days of Kindness | Twenty Five Days of Kindness

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  3. Hi all of u guys i would like to say be patient about the drug as i posted dat i was vomiting every morning since i started the combination drug its almost 3weeks nw m feeling well its my third month taking it hop it will treat u well too as time goes on.

  4. The only thing that will keep you healthy and your HIV under control are HIV meds. If you are having trouble with Atroiza you can ask at your clinic or doctor if there are other meds available.

  5. I am 28 years old and I am HIV positive since 2010. I am strong and fit and it was difficult for me to accept but one day I told my partner about it and she went and got tested. We found out she is negative. She is very supportive and she is looking after me and make sure that I eat well. Now I am taking Odimune and I don’t even have side effects. Can i mix alcohol and Odimune?

  6. ID!OT FANS OF DINGDONG & MARIAN ARE BEHIND METAL BARRICADES?……”Fans and spectators behind metal barricades cheered and waved frantically when celebrities stepped out of luxury vehicles”. Idiot fans must learn to embrace the reality and move on. Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by actors and celebrities anymore. Fans love their idols so much but look what your idols have done to you? All of you are not invited. Hangang metal barricades lang kayo. Gets nyo?

  7. I am positive but my partner is not,I am planning to have a baby but I am afraid to take ARVs for the rest of my life. My viral load is undetactable and CD4 count is 600. Does this mean I will take the ARVs for the rest of my life if I plan to have a baby?

  8. Hi all of u guys i would like to say be patient about the drug as i posted dat i was vomiting every morning since i started the combination drug its almost 3weeks nw m feeling well its my third month taking it hop it will treat u well too as time goes on.

  9. In my dreams, my lion is white or invisible, and I call him The Professor as he sometimes shape-shifts. He is never scary or threatening, instead, he is my protector and teacher. He often asks me questions, sphinx-like, to guide me in the direction I should go or help me find the answers I’m seeking.

  10. I had a dream that i transformed into a (werewolf sized) green lion, all of a sudden it was like the end of the world, nd i was this lion fighting nd killing zombies or zombie like people. All of a sudden i was joined by 2 other spirit animals(blue goat,& purple bear) i start we start running up a glass like tower and jumped into another part of the world. Were we had to fight some mysterious dark hooded figure. The goat was killed first, than.later the bear died. But i survived and deafeated the dark figure.

  11. Listening carefully to “The Captain’s Collection”. Such a wonderful project, and fitting tribute to Fraser. I know you all produced it a good few years ago, but I am grateful today! You brought my attention to it while chatting with myself and Daithi Sproule a few years ago in Minneapolis. It was a lovely visit, and you were very generous with advice and information! I am learning Braighe Loch Iall and Hi horo’s na horo eile! Cheers!

  12. Transit TV generated very little revenue for Metro – maybe the cost of a bus a year. I would rather pay an extra five or ten cents per trip than listen to that annoyance. Good riddance, even if I did enter a contest occasionally.

  13. It sounds like your doctor is giving you good advice. As you take Atroiza at night, it is not a common side effect to be sick the following morning. Pregnancy on the other hand is associated with morning sickness, especially in the first few months.

  14. Hi Minki, it sounds like you are doing lots of good things to look after your health. It is important to talk to your doctor about the weight loss though as this may be caused by something else. Without knowing your usually weight and height it is difficult to know how significant the change is. However, 20 kg sounds like a lot, especially as most people tend to put on a little weight during the first six months on treatment.

  15. It sounds like your doctor is giving you good advice. As you take Atroiza at night, it is not a common side effect to be sick the following morning. Pregnancy on the other hand is associated with morning sickness, especially in the first few months.

  16. I enjoy NBC 4 clips…the worst of those beats is the three guitar chords and drums for Safety Zone and the piano in Explore your mind. There is good information in the features though.

  17. My girl friend had sex from her husband without condoms 9 months back now he using condoms …… If i have sex with her without condoms any chance to get hiv or any disease?

  18. I am doing a animation webliography for a class in high school and we needed an online publication. I loved the set up of your website and the idea of it being peer edited, so i used it in my presentation.

  19. I have been diagonised HIV positive in 2008 and have been sleeping with my husband everyday of my life without using any protection. Today my husband has tested negative. Where could I possibly have gotten the virus because I never slept with anyone else and was never imposed to HIV situation.

  20. a buttefly flew into my house today and landed on my arm then slowly flew around me, despite the cold wet weather & i didnt think they survived this long it was beautiful in colour & seemed so calm, does this mean anything??

  21. Hi there… I am 35 weeks pregnant & have been taking Tribuss since I was 12 weeks. The problem is I dont take my meds at the same time everynight. I take them at 9, sometimes 9.30 or even 10 pm. Will this affect my baby? I am really worried.

  22. Transit TV was one of those “let’s talk about it for with endless useless meetings and discussions about it at taxpayer expense for decades” which is what people wanted back in the 1980s, and just when they got finally to do it by the 2000s, the technology has moved to where people started having their own smartphones and entertainment devices.

  23. Much appreciated Todd. It was a great event to be part of and Trace has such a fantastic voice. He’s a gent too. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  24. I read once ( about 8 years ago). That technology is a great tool, but it wont replace learning fundamentals. Some of these kids never had to write notes. Different world we live in now huh?

  25. My boyfriend first blood test was detected to have HIV 1 & 2 and now he had the confirmatory test for HIV. If he had HIV positive what medicine and treatment he has to take? And how many times he have to take it? I’m very lost I love him very much but I’m too afraid because my blood test is negative but will I in future will possibly get HIV positive? If he get treated with medicine and treatment how long can he live? I’m very worried I don’t wish to see him dead or anything happened.

  26. I just started using RR again to check few things. Surprise to find that command line execute to View the session report in HTML didn’t work instead it just launched RR. Is the command RapidReporter.exe –tohtml still valid? or I lost the nag of using it.

  27. Hi i started treatment at 32 weeks of my pregnancy and have delivered an HIV negative baby, so now my baby has been coughing for four days, i took him to the Dr and he said he is having pneumonia, what is the possible cause of these and is it possible for an HIV negative baby to have such disease? Is there a cure for these disease?

  28. Hi i just found out im hiv positive an im pregnant ive been given tribuss but the packet insert says dont take if pregnant im confussed what do i do? My cd4 is above 500

  29. Since I have a thing for blue and white, I love, love, love that shirt. And now I want it to be summer, so I can wear my own denim baseball cap. Oh well.

  30. It is difficult to know how to answer your post as the same three drugs are in Atripla and Atroiza. Sometimes when different formulations are used, people report that it takes a little time for their body to adjust again. You have the choice of continuing to see if their improves or to try to change back or to different meds.

  31. In my dream I was in a big bus with military friends and we drove out of the gate of my old front paddock and then when we looked back and there was a grey flecked appaloosa horse coming towards the open gate. I got the bus turned around and we were racing back to close the gate. I raced out of the bus and tried to steady her, my friends watched in admiration, and then she whirled around took off and somehow seemed to run up a distant tree and be in the sky. My angels are talking to me through the

  32. I am HIV positive and my partner is negative, i was tested +ve in 2011 and I’m on ARVs i still want to have a child i want to do it naturally ,is it safe to my partner and the baby ?

  33. If you dont mind, exactly where do you host your site? I am searching for a good quality host and your web site seams to be fast and up just about all the time

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  36. I have started Tribus a week ago , I have experienced few minor side effects like tongue numbness, dizzy, vomiting but it only lasted for 2 days now I am feeling much better than before the only thing I am worried about is permarnent side effects like fat distributions etc but so far so good

  37. We have been married for 9 years; on our 2nd year of marriage we discovered that my husband was HIV+ and I was HIV- even though we had unprotected sex. We have been using condoms for the past 7 years but we seldom have sex. This makes me feel guilty as I assume he has lost interest due to the use of condoms. At times I feel like we should continously have unprotected sex as I feel I am being too impossible and unreasonably strict……I am confused as I love my man and would like to see him happy also I love my life.

  38. I am 28 years old and I am HIV positive since 2010. I am strong and fit and it was difficult for me to accept but one day I told my partner about it and she went and got tested. We found out she is negative. She is very supportive and she is looking after me and make sure that I eat well. Now I am taking Odimune and I don’t even have side effects. Can i mix alcohol and Odimune?

  39. Hi im pregnant and i’ve found that im positive and i told my partner he went for test and he tested negative but we continue having sex without a condom and my CD4 count is high but im taking the AZT what will happen to our baby im worried.

  40. I ended up using a 9×13 pan. A thin layer of batter, bake about 5 minutes until just set. I used a thicker caramel layer that I used for a previous recipe, layered according to your recipe. I spread the remaining batter with a small cookie scoop, dipped in ice water after every scoop, and carefully spread it over the caramel layer. I baked it about 20 minutes, checking with a toothpick after 15. It turned out really great, everybody loved it. I really like the idea of there brownies, I just had to get those right.

  41. In my present and past home I have had coyotes come into my yard in broad daylight. Non-aggressively. I have no small animals. This morning it was a very young pup who was very timid and gentle. I live in city limits and it was trapped on the inside of my chain link. I still have no idea how it got there. Animal control assured me that they would take it unharmed to a out of city limit area. I feel some sort of connection with this animal, which is why I searched the meaning online. Any comments or ideas as to why the coyote literally lands in my lap frequently??

  42. Hi, I’ve been diagnosed with HIV, my CD4 was 91. They put me straight on Tribuss. They also gave me ilvitrim and norstan-isoniazid. That was a week ago. Now I am always tired and moody. Are these the side effects of all this? My stomach is burning,that feeling of a pregnant woman. Is there something wrong. Pls help.

  43. Boy, the Zen gang has so much more fun than us banal Shambhala people. We started out with a wildly flamboyant teacher and it seems like everything since has been about homogenizing and smiling sweetly and creating McDharma centers. I just might have to find myself some black cushions and decamp to the local Zen center where I can stir up trouble by declaring my loyalty to Brad. (I do that a lot at Shambhala gatherings but they all just stare at me blankly, they are really not a bunch that likes to go off the reservation.)

  44. Absolutely my new favorite mellow hip hop. I love this hip hop mash-up album concept. I had considred Max Tannone (Jaydiohead, Mos Dub) the king, but you have deposed him with this album.

  45. I have been dating my partner for about 18mnths now.we have been practising unsafe sex.as we were planning fr a baby.our mistake was that I tested alone and all my tests came back negative.but last week we decided to test together and our baby is six weeks old.his test came back positive and mine negative.I even took bloods which still came back negative.we received his CD4 count yesterday and its 74 so should start taking medication.my question is can I be realy negative and because I’m breastfeeding my baby am I not exposing her to the virus.I am supportive towards him but I’m scared to even have sexual intercourse with him.what are the possibilities that I might be positive and all tests can’t pick up the virus

  46. Listening carefully to “The Captain’s Collection”. Such a wonderful project, and fitting tribute to Fraser. I know you all produced it a good few years ago, but I am grateful today! You brought my attention to it while chatting with myself and Daithi Sproule a few years ago in Minneapolis. It was a lovely visit, and you were very generous with advice and information! I am learning Braighe Loch Iall and Hi horo’s na horo eile! Cheers!

  47. Hi, I am in relatioship with an hiv positive woman and i am nagative i love her so i wna if we take our relationship 2 de next level. She says she needs a child next year and i also do so hw is de risk of there will i be positive too?

  48. It is difficult to know how to answer your post as the same three drugs are in Atripla and Atroiza. Sometimes when different formulations are used, people report that it takes a little time for their body to adjust again. You have the choice of continuing to see if their improves or to try to change back or to different meds.

  49. am also going to start on my odimune today and am so glad i read your comments they made me feel so betterv cause i was also confussed and had so many questions that you guys unswered for me thank you

  50. Absolutely love this effortlessly chic mix!!! Also I think it fits your personality and style just perfectly! And I’m so jealous of this warm weather, we are so tired of snow and cold here in New York….

  51. Miss Bella^I waited almost a month for this shirt to arrive. I am a HUGE Rocky fan&#44 so I was so anxious to get this shirt. The graphics are PERFECT. Looks just like the picture.~4|Michael G.^But make sure you buy a size up. I did and am glad because they are not pre-shrunk as often the case with “Jerseez” brand tshirts. This is a pretty cool looking shirt if you are a ROCKY fan. My only complaint is that I fear the decals will fade so I plan to handwash this.~4|Michele^Great Shirt! It has not been washed yet however the print and material so far are perfect!~5|RONALD MANGALI^Cool T-Shirt.~5|Lenor Mack^Awesome! Came on time as expected! Fits perfect and the graphics are great!~5|LJ Smith^The shirt I received has a small photo of Rocky Balboa(s) and says “Woodstock 3 days of music and peace” and some other weird stuff that’s actually even peeling off.~3|Melissa F.^it was a gift for my brother. He’s a big Stallone/Rocky fan…he even looks like him…lol He LOVED it! It is greatquality T-and the detail was great.~5|Kyla Lee^Shirt for a really well.. very pleased with this purchase.. great bargain at a good price.. very happy husband..awesome.. thanks~5|candy missler^Husband loved it??~5|LCMOMMA^My husband loves this shirt. The material is kinda stiff&#44 but fits well. It does soften up after washing&#44 and I hang to dry to prevent shrinking.~5|

  52. These are things your friend needs to talk about with here doctor and HIV health care team. Getting an HIV positive test result is difficult and stressful. It takes time and support. Learning you are positive when you are pregnant also involves finding out about treatment, and using this during the pregnancy to reduce the risk of passing HIV to the baby.

  53. Similar to comment #8 and #9 above, has anyone done any work with parsing the logs? Just to cite the easy example, I think it would be interesting to see how much time is spent per category.

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