Small Moments of Daily Happiness

Archive for June, 2011

VBS

I don’t know if you have experience with Vacation Bible School, but it always brings a ray of sunshine into my life!

For one week, a whole bunch of kids have fun, singing catchy songs, dancing, acting out Bible stories, creating crafts, playing simple games, and eating fun snacks. It always amazes me how profound little ones can be! Listening to their answers to the simplest questions often reveals to us adults that we miss the whole basic point!

Most importantly, we don’t have to follow a prescribed set of motions to be where we need to be in life. We can have fun, veer from the pack, and still get where we were always meant to be.

Inspiration

Today I visited Nashville, IN which was established as an artist’s colony and still remains to this day a place where art is a way of life.

All along the streets and alleys, shops display their wares. There are flowers and decorations everywhere. It is such a beautiful place!

Galleries, confectioneries, street performers playing, it is all inspiring.

All of the artists; working in paint, glass, sculpture, and even socks, are local. Sometimes the hard-to-find toys, or the perfect unique gift is hiding among the treasures in the shops, a few of which are really houses. Some of the artists live above their stores.

Even the gardens are inspiring, full of colorful flowers and often outdoor decorations for sale. Windowboxes alive with color even line the alleys!

They offer everything from old to new, food to decorations, hobbies to household goods. There is a tiny shop for any craft. How could you not be inspired?

Generosity

I’m not Generous! At least, not generous enough..

So I tried to begin today. I made 10 copies of a Thank You card on Word and signed them and handed them out at school to the 10 teachers and aides I work with.

Firstly, I made them with all good intentions. I have a very hard time saying thank you when it is needed. I just sometimes think my gratitude is implied. Why I think that, I have no idea, and it has gotten me in trouble in the past.

Thus, when I got to school, part of me wanted to pretend I hadn’t made them and just end the year in silence. I didn’t get to write in a personal note to each one. They were not store-bought or fancy or really special. They felt weak, and I began to get embarrassed.

But I decided to push through, covertly handing out two cards on teacher’s desks who were out of the room. Then I wandered to another classroom and did the same. I was feeling better, like a Secret Santa, on some mission of behind-the-scenes gifting. I enjoy doing things to make people feel good that I don’t have to own up to.

In the third classroom, the teacher was present. CONFRONTATION! I began to feel my cheeks grow red and I planned my attack. Swoop in, look at floor, say a phrase to make little of the gesture, exit.

Surprisingly, the teacher said, “Oh you are so kind! Usually people hate me because I yell at them.”

Floored, I began to wonder how many times she was thanked in her life. I had to reply. I made a lighthearted comment. “It comes with the territory!” So true. I meant that the students she has are often difficult, but I guess that could go for staff, too.. I considered this. Then I stopped considering it because that would require me to cast judgment on the other faculty. That only causes trouble. I do wish this teacher would praise the students more, however that’s a style difference.

I then handed out the rest of my cards in person, with the phrase “I made a little thank you card for everyone.” I received small thanks in return, as is custom and polite. It was all over. I finished my lunch.

I should sum this up by stating something that I learned, but I won’t. I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone a tiny bit and have a tiny story about it. Nothing huge happened, no vast emotional bridges were crossed and burned, and I don’t feel a strong sense of accomplishment.

This is just a stepping stone. Let’s hope I keep taking small steps like this because one day I will be able to turn back and say ‘See how far I’ve come?’