So. The holidays are comin’ like a freight train.
And also like a freight train, they are loaded.
Loaded with joy. Or sorrow.
With hope. Or hopelessness.
With peace. Or stress.
Maybe you have too much to do. Or not enough to do.
Maybe you have family drama. Or not enough family to create drama.
Maybe you look forward to the next six weeks. Or maybe you just wish it were over.
Whichever side of the tracks you’re on this year, I have an invitation that will increase the joy you already feel, and also be some crazy good therapy for the blues you may be singing:
Tap into a passion of yours and use it to launch a Kindness Adventure.
My friend Sandy and I love to dress up. Not in a classy Audrey Hepburn way, but more like in a tacky Ronald McDonald way. And we’ve been doing this for the pure fun of it for years.
Sandy has been a clown; I’ve been a cow. We’ve helped people celebrate birthdays by dressing up in garbage bags and pretending to be the California Raisins singing I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Another birthday, we did a parody of a Shania Twain song, dressed up like country singers (impersonating Shania Twain was way out of our wheelhouse), and called ourselves The Haggard Sisters. At one July Fourth festival we made like the Statue of Liberty and the American flag. Though our husbands conveniently removed themselves from our presence, small children were captivated, and actually asked for our autographs.
At one time, we both dreamed of playing the part of Lady Luck (the representative for the Virginia Lottery), but that position wasn’t open.
I settled for putting on my prom dress, fashioning a wand out of a dowel and a star covered in foil, and visiting a friend at her office as the “Take-You-Out-To-Lunch-To-Make-You-Feel- Better-Since-You-Just-Got-Dumped-By-A-Jerk” Fairy. Sandy got a job that required her to dress up like a Ping Pong ball, and advertise the Lottery in a convenience store in a super-sketchy part of town.
Yes, we are shameless. It is our spiritual gift.
You would think, then, that Halloween would be our favorite holiday, And it’s true, we think it’s a fine excuse to costume oneself.
But nobody invites us to their parties.
So this past Halloween, we had an idea: We knew so many people who were either confined to their homes, or had been through some challenging times recently, we thought, “Why not do a reverse trick or treat?” We would dress up (of course), but we’d give out treats rather than show up at their door with an open pillowcase. It would be a small way to use our wiring to initiate a little adventure in kindness.
Sandy put our outfits together (Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory), and off we trotted–for two nights, since we had too many names to cover in one.
It was a divine experience. And I mean that in the holiest of ways.
Most of the time, we didn’t just stand at the door, we hung out (sometimes went in and chatted) for a while. Shared smiles and news.
Gave out treats.
And later when we posted pictures on social media, a number of people approached us and said, “We want to do that, too.”
That inspired us to actually make it a Thing next year. If we send out teams of people, we could exponentially bring some happiness to many more folks because, as you know, there’s no shortage of people needing joy these days. And maybe at the end of the evening, we’ll all meet up and have our own dadgum party, thankyouverymuch, and EVERYONE will be invited.
Maybe eventually it will become a Global Thing. Or at least a Local Global Thing.
Maybe we’ll start a Go FUN Me campaign, and offer (rather than ask for) thoughtfulness and good cheer.
We’re not sure where this is going yet, but it certainly is going somewhere. Somewhere adventurous. Somewhere kind.
Of course, you may think that dressing up is a hideous way to spend an evening. But you have other gifts, other passions. What’s fun for you? What are you driven to do? Music? Food? Sports? Construction? Art?
How could you use your “wiring” to activate a Kindness Adventure–soon?
Because, with all the vitriol being spewed out and sprayed around lately, you probably agree that there’s never been a time when people are more desperate for this healing, elevating power.
And also because God created you (even during this loaded season) to be kind…so that when any given person at any given time feels compelled to ask, “Who cares?” you can raise your hand and say, “Me.”
Here’s some inspiration to get you started. Then, please, share your adventures in kindness with us!
Mike Rowe’s Returning the Favor (You’ll be SO GLAD you watched this! It’s is just one episode in the series. See them all on the Returning the Favor Facebook page. Fabulous.)
And, if you’re just joining us, check out the very first post (Your Epic Adventure Starts Here), where you’ll learn about starting a yearlong (52 questions) quest to practice living a life of adventure. As a bonus, you will also find the backstory for that ridiculous herd of buffalo on the header photo of this website…