I’m normal and like most people, I was getting ‘normally anxious’ as I was approaching the quadragesimal phase of my life. There was a feeling of apprehension and a continuous effort to convince myself that it was just a number. I’m sure, most of us whose age passed beyond the numbers in the calendar do. What makes me more normal is that blood pressure and cholesterol are progressively becoming more familiar and personal!
At any rate, the cerebral thrust of persuasion that to look forward to it can be wondrous as it is another milestone in my existence in this big blue marble. My consciousness gradually tipped towards such and I made a decision to be grateful as I reached this stage ergo I wrote in my wish list that I should kick up my heels on my natal day in Antarctica which would not happen because first, I was not financially prepared and second, there was no cruise to that remote beautiful place on my birth month. Hence, my thought labored to crop up another extraordinary but economical adventure that I have not done yet to hail that occasion. Nope, I could not think of anything.
A couple of months prior to that supposed-to-look-forward-day while under the shower, it suddenly occurred to me to beat the drum by doing some simple good deeds, random or otherwise, (it’s amazing how one can have a light bulb moment in a shower!) I was thrilled especially at the thought that it was an inceptive idea which, I learned sooner rather than later, that there have been so many people who have done pretty much similar things. Nonetheless, that amazed me more!
So over the months prior to that happy return and thereafter, here’s how I celebrated my 40th year on this planet.
#1. Took a resident in my workplace and pushed him on a wheelchair to the mall and treated him with coffee and sandwich. It was his birthday.
#2. Cooked extra foods and included AirBnB young German guests in our dinners. They were prepared to try anything so that was awesome.
#3. Bought chocolates and lollies and gave them to the two boys who were behind me in a check out counter in a supermarket. They were asking their mum to buy them some chocolates but I heard her say they cannot afford them. They were ecstatic when I handed them the sweets.
#4. DONATED BLOOD
#5. Encouraged a friend to donate blood too which she did! She was happy to do it with me.
#6. Volunteered to drop off AirBnB guests to the airport at 4:30 in the morning.
#7. Cooked food and brought it for my AM staff in my workplace.
#8. Gifted a colleague with authentic saffron. She loves to cook with herbs and spices.
#9. Visited a friend in a hospital even on a tight schedule prior to catching a flight.
#10. Surprised my parents’ caregiver with a washing machine. Her family needed it badly and I gifted it to her right on my birth anniversary. She was pleased as punch!
#11. Gave away loads of near new dresses to a colleague’s daughter who loves to wear frocks.
#12. Treated my PM care staff with pizzas and smoothies.
#13. Donated heaps of clothes to a colleague to give away to the village people in her country.
#14. Spent time with a colleague for support whose husband unexpectedly passed away. She was grateful for the conversations we had.
#15. Donated cutleries, plates, cups and kitchen utensils to a colleague who has friends and families who need them.
#16. Handed thank you cards to a few hardworking colleagues.
#17. Helped friends move their stuff to their new house.
#18. DONATED BLOOD (second time).
#19. Donated $50 to support Young Pinoy Artists in NZ through Give a Little.
#20. Donated new pairs of pajamas for Wellington Hospital’s Pyjama Winter Appeal to keep sick kids warm in winter.
#21. Took a day off from work to support a friend in her pop up business trade show. Her business is called Me2Infinity
#22. Donated $35 for a friend of a friend who was diagnosed with cancer through GoFundMe.
#23. Donated $20 to Jeans For Genes while I was in Australia. I was walking alone in Darling Harbour when I saw three school kids who volunteered as fund collectors for the said organization. I complemented them too for the effort and the support they give to kids with birth defects and genetic diseases.
#24. Donated all my leftover money in my travel to Australia to UNICEF campaign through Qantas Airlines on my way back to Welly.
#25. Donated $100 for the Lombok residents through a Give a Little page set up by a friend. I learned later that she did this for her birthday project as well. Sadly, the Lombok residents in Indonesia were one of the recent victims of a deadly natural disaster.
#26. Organized a surprise birthday party for a workmate. I bought her a cake.
#27. Donated $100 to an ex-classmate for her sick premature baby in an ICU in Singapore through GIVE.asia.
#28. Picked up a workmate on my way to work. I have done this many times.
#29. Cooked food (again) for my staff at work.
#30. DONATED BLOOD (third time)
#31. Visited a retired colleague and her husband and brought them flowers.
#32. Gifted a mother $200 for her baby’s milk and diaper.
#33. Bought grocery items and donated them to Countdown Food Rescue.
#34. Bought diapers for a friend’s baby.
#35. Bought a very close friend her favorite snack.
#36. Complimented some coworkers for the job well done.
#37. Paid for someone’s bus fare when I heard that he was short of money to take his trip that day.
#38. Offered a workmate a ride home several times.
#39. Donated used prescription glasses to the Fred Hallows Foundation through Specsaver.
#40. Consciously make an effort to do better than my best in everything that I do.
And right on my name day, I treated myself with a bad boy pork belly hamburger and congratulated myself for completing another trip around the sun!