Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Improve today

Happily, this ice storm yielded stacks of twigs and branches, and no frozen cows

After the ice storm of 1998, I experienced a dismal bout of darkness and depression. Seeing that sad pile of frozen cows on the news was unbearably sad. While I can see some absurd humour in the phrase, "sad pile of frozen cows," at the time, the idea of those animals freezing to death was acutely painful and the image of them stayed with me, pulling the rug out from under my feet.

This time around with the big ice storm in late December, I thought once again about that phase of darkness years ago, and it reminded me of one of the things I did back then to improve my reality of the moment and make the world a little better, and therefore make the world seem a little brighter.

Add a drop of goodness to the world
Late one night that January, when it felt as though I was feeling the pain of everyone's misfortune around the world, I suddenly had a small idea for a way to add some goodness to the world. I would enact an addition of goodness to the world.

And even though my action would be only a drop in the very large sea of humanity, it would be a positive drop, right there and then.

I could think of no better way to improve my reality than to improve someone else’s.
I went through my change jar and scooped out all of the quarters I'd been saving for laundry, ran down many flights of stairs down to the building's basement laundry room, and placed my quarters in the coinholders of each of the washers and dryers.

Immediately, things seemed a little better.

Surely if such an impulse had happened to little ol' me, the possibility that others in this world had felt and acted on similar impulses. And that meant there was a whole bunch of us out there. And that meant that the world in its entirety wasn’t totally dark.

Now I’m not claiming that my little epiphany is the answer for everyone. And it wasn’t the total and complete answer for me at the time, but it was the start of the light turning back on.

What I did today to improve today
I did two things; one small thing to improve my own day (by improving my health), and one small thing to improve M3I’s day.
1. For me, I went for a swim, doing 25 minutes of laps. Southbound is breaststroke, northbound is front crawl. My T-Rex shoulders appreciate the workout every time I do it.

2. For my husband, I took Charlie to his martial arts class; M3I usually does it, but he does everything for everyone with no days off.

What you can do to improve today (that is, if you're interested in following a suggestion from me, a total stranger):
• Check out your local swimming pool and go for a swim, either for exercise or just for fun!
• Do someone else's chore to give them some unexpected free time.

I’ve got tons of ideas all stored up; and I can’t wait to improve the days ahead. Not a bad idea for a mid-winter project, amiright? Care to join me and improve today?

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