Good morning, friends!
Today is my birthday and I’m starting it out with an annual mammogram and finishing it out by attending a wedding.
In the middle is the super good #bdayprojectstuff. (Not that the wedding won’t be fun, too.)
A few years ago my friend Robyn celebrated her birthday by spending the day giving instead of waiting to receive. She did all sorts of nice things for people all day long. As she spread such joy, she shared her adventures on social media and asked others to pass it on by doing something nice for someone they came across that day in honor of her birthday.
I was buying shoes at DSW that day and, after making my purchase I bought a gift card and then handed it to the lady who was in line behind me, telling her it was in celebration of my friend Robyn’s birthday. Of course she was incredibly surprised by a stranger’s gift for someone else’s birthday. I asked that she just pas it on in some way by doing something, anything nice for someone else in honor of my friend Robyn. She promised to do so and the love and celebration continued.
Since that day, Robyn has launched a non-profit organization called The Birthday Project to inspire all of us to think about birthdays differently. What if we took that one day to really focus on giving rather than receiving, and asked others to join us in that? How much love could we share? What difference could we make?
All month I’ve been thinking about today, my birthday, and all the blockbuster acts of kindness I could do. Robyn’s first birthday project adventure exhilarated me with all her kindness. I wanted to do the same thing. To be honest, though, as my day drew closer it intimidated me, too. I wanted it to be spectacular. But the overwhelm got me and I worried I would end up doing nothing because I couldn’t do it ALL.
Earlier this week I changed direction.
I thought of little, meaningful things instead of grand gestures to strangers. I realized kindness is kindness and a little kindness goes a long way. My day didn’t have to be action-packed with giving to be a success and it didn’t have to all be to strangers, either.
So here’s what I’ve got planned:
I remembered Bob Goff’s book, Love Does, which is a fantastic collection of gestures of love to those around him. It chronicles a way I would like to live my life. Each page is filled with joy, even among frustration. Its words inspire me and, like Robyn’s Birthday Project, make me want to share that love and joy.
I bought a bunch of copies of the book to give away to people who cross my path today. I’m tucking about 5 of them in my bag as I head to my mammogram this morning, along with notes to pop inside. I might leave some out in the waiting room, I might give one to the lady who checks me in and one to the tech. I’m not really sure. What I do know is that I’m facing the day ready and open to give.
I might write notes to people I haven’t sent a personal note to in awhile. I might buy someone’s lunch. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do. I just know I want to share joy and give to others in the name of the Birthday Project. The promise of the day excites me.
Will you join me today in sharing joy in honor of my birthday and in honor of The Birthday Project?
And/or will you consider doing the same on your own birthday?
Here are a few ideas that don’t cost anything: 20 Acts of kindness that won’ t cost a penny
And here are a few more in my Operation Intentional Kindness Posts.
If you’re up for it, and want to share your adventure, please do so on social media and use this Hashtag: #bdayproject. If you’d like to tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, that would be awesome, too. The most awesome part, though will be the fact that we are coming together to share love and joy today. Can’t the world always use more of that?
I hope you’ll join me in celebrating today.